With thousands and thousands of brilliant eCommerce brands out there, who may have similar ideas and products, how can you make sure that you’re standing out from them and differentiating yourself? Tone of voice.
Having a distinct tone of voice (TOV) for your brand is essential when it comes to eCommerce marketing. Whether it’s playful and humourous, academic and to the point, or eccentric and whimsical, your TOV will reflect your brand’s personality and values. It’ll also greatly help customers remember who you are.
Just like with any great eCom content, consistency is key. Having a consistent TOV throughout your website and blog will help customers connect and relate to you. If your blogs are very academic and informational, but your product descriptions are full of puns and slang, you likely won’t reach your target customer.
Discovering your brand’s TOV can be a tricky element of your marketing strategy to figure out. Some things to consider include:
- Your target audience
- Your customers’ language
- Core traits of your brand
- Company culture
- How you want your brand to be perceived
- Your products
- Your values
- Your own personality
Here, we’ve compiled a list of 6 eCommerce brands that we think have nailed their tone of voice.
1. Bloom & Wild
Warm, friendly and positive, Bloom & Wild have a bloomin’ lovely tone of voice that’s expressed all throughout their website and social media channels. From calling their customer service the ‘customer delight team’ to naming their flower bouquets and giving them unique stories full of passion and heart, Bloom & Wild are like that friend you can always rely on no matter what.
Thoughtfulness is also a huge part of Bloom & Wild’s TOV, they want to make each customer feel valued. This is shown through their thoughtful marketing emails, which give the option for customers to opt-out of emails that may bring up difficult emotions, such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
2. Charlotte Tilbury
Luxury beauty brand Charlotte Tilbury has created a fabulous tone of voice that’s instantly recognisable in an industry that some would argue is highly oversaturated. The brand uses Charlotte’s own voice, which comes across as genuine and trustworthy, as though she’s letting you in on the top beauty secrets of the world. Starting every social media post or product description with the word ‘Darlings’, the brand immediately draws you in and keeps you with its conversational approach.
They also tend to capitalise entire words throughout their copy, such as ‘GLOW’, ‘MAGIC’ ‘HYDRATES’ to really capture the audience and grab their attention, focusing only on the most positive aspect of their products and making people want to shop there immediately.
Gymshark has a very clever tone of voice that specifically targets a niche market of young gym-goers (between the age of 18-30) to create highly relatable and occasionally amusing fitness content. Gymshark themselves will be the first to tell you that they don’t always feel like going to the gym, but will then inform you of how important rest days can be and encourage you to keep going in your fitness journey – even on the days that are extra hard.
Knowledgeable, down-to-earth, funny and motivating, with their unique take on TOV, Gymshark infiltrated and dominated a huge market to compete with the likes of Nike and Adidas. And if that doesn’t make you realise the importance of tone of voice, nothing will!
With a passion for fresh and natural cosmetic products, Lush differentiated itself by using organic ingredients in all of its products and creating a quirky, fun and approachable tone of voice. Whether you’re 15 or 50, you’ll be able to easily understand Lush’s ethos, values and goals through their copy.
While they use a lot of visual elements, the way they name their products, often using puns and play-on-words, and speak to their customers, really stands out. They’re experts at making you feel good and believing in the importance of self-care. And the witty copy doesn’t stop at their website. You’ll find their packaging is also fun to read, with cheeky body wash instructions that advise you to invite someone you really like into the shower with you if you don’t know how to use body wash to demonstrate.
5. Dr. Martens
For decades, Dr. Martens has gained a cult following for its iconic footwear that never goes out of style. Since the late 60s, the brand has been associated with being edgy, fearless and rebellious, with rockstars proudly championing them. Nowadays, their TOV still very much reflects their rebel attitude but has also evolved to promote self-expression and make the boots your own.
With articles that aim to challenge society and social norms, interviews with real people making a real difference, and powerful statements, such as ‘the only thing tougher than a Docs boot is the person wearing it’, Dr. Martens have certainly made their mark on British fashion with their wildly distinctive TOV.
Patch Plants specialise in making plant care as easy as possible and have created a simple yet fun and educational, tongue-in-cheek style TOV that speaks directly to the Millennial market (20-30 years olds). From using the words ‘plant-parents’ to humanising the plants themselves with instructions such as ‘Pippa loves humidity’ and including categories named ‘unkillable’, Patch fully succeeds in bringing its brand to life and separating itself from its competitors.
Every single section on the Patch Plants website is just a delight to read. Each word has been wisely chosen to connect with their audience, draw them in further and educate them in an easily digestible way.
If you’ve yet to think about your tone of voice in detail or have a fairly neutral voice, it’s time to switch it up and start focusing on how you want your audience to see and react to your brand. As you can see from the examples above, TOV can really make your brand and help you to dramatically stand out from your competition!