How to write product descriptions

Developing a brand that your customers can relate to is an important step in building a loyal customer base. Businesses that fail to develop an authentic ‘voice’ can wind up sounding robotic, generic, or worse, insincere.

But while many businesses work hard to establish their brand identity through social media, emails and web copy, there’s one place that’s often overlooked …. Product descriptions!

Every product description is an opportunity to offer your customers a little taste of your brand, so here’s how you can write descriptions that better reflect your brand identity.

Step 1: Define Your Brand Identity

The first thing you need to do is get a clear idea of your brand identity. Is your brand serious? Funny? Cheeky? Thoughtful? Free Spirited?

You may have already established your brand’s identity, but even if you haven’t, read through your social media, web content and emails to see if you’ve already got a voice that customers associate with your brand.

Reading through old content and previous interactions with customers will help you adopt this voice in your writing.

product descriptions that reflect brand identity

The notoriously ironic humour of the Old Spice ads is still going strong in their product descriptions

Step 2: What Do Your Customers Need to Know?

Next, you need to work out what information your customers need to know.

While clever descriptions may be amusing, they’re not much use if they don’t tell your customers anything about the product.

Start by listing the essential information:

  • Features
  • Benefits
  • Materials
  • Dimensions
  • Weight

Step 3: How Will You Reflect Your Brand Identity in Your Product Descriptions?

The next step is to work out how you can reflect your brand’s identity in your writing.

For inspiration, try looking to the people in your life. A conversation with your mother or a grandparent, for example, may be an excellent resource for working out how a ‘motherly’ brand would speak.

Or perhaps your brand sounds a lot like the class clown you remember from high school.

If you want to establish yourself as a ‘fun’ brand, pop culture references, a hint of irony, tongue-in-cheek humour, and a casual tone are options for representing this persona.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club often sneak some ‘cheeky’ humour into their product descriptions

Step 4: Find the Balance

Now it’s time to tie it all together. You need to find the balance between providing the information your customers need, and using language that reflects your brand identity.

You may wish to build a list of the key information that needs to be included in your description before you start to write it. Once you know what you need to say, you can start working out how your brand’s persona would convey that information.

Card Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity’s product descriptions perfectly reflect the risqué nature of their game and their brand

Step 5: Be Honest About Your Abilities

You need to be honest with yourself about your writing abilities. It could come apart here.

Are you a good writer? An excellent writer, even?

Do you have the time to be writing your own descriptions?

Perhaps someone amongst your marketing staff is better equipped to capture the tone that you’re trying to convey. Or maybe your customer service team leaders can inject some levity into the copy on your site (as they hopefully do in chats, calls and emails)?

Otherwise, you might consider outsourcing the job to an external copywriter who specialises in shifting a brand’s voice to lighter tones. You don’t want to gloss over getting this right.

Bite-sized packages of personality

With every description having the power to delight, amuse, reassure or inform your customers, product descriptions are an oft-overlooked opportunity to reflect a bit of personality.

By developing a consistent brand identity that extends all the way to your product descriptions, you can attract more customers, while establishing a relationship with them that keeps them loyal to your brand.

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