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Why Snow White’s Mother Is The Best UX Writer You Will Ever Meet

The tone and voice are essential to build a brand and engage users. Let's examine how Snow White's Stepmother can help to define the brand's voice and tone.

Importance of Branding
Samrat Sharma
23rd Nov, 2020 · 3 min read
Marketing Your Brand

If I were to ask you to name few Disney fairytale protagonists; there is a good chance that one of the names will be Snow White. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Snow White is a famous character because she is fierce, a survivor and she can ‘talk to animals’- the princess has major clout. However, she does lack the means to be an excellent UX writer. The key features of good UX writing such as ‘voice’ and ‘tone’ is not understood by her. On the other hand, her evil stepmother is a woman of many talents.

Let’s pretend that Snow White’s story does not have an ending- say we stop at Snow White taking the apple from the old woman (Stepmother in disguise). You will notice that Snow White is not able to understand nuance and context behind the old woman selling the apple. If voice and tone is not understood properly, you will not be able to sell anything, even the ‘Hope Diamond’. The question which comes up- what is voice and tone and why it is important to build your story brand?

“Rhiannon Jones, a content designer, cites that every brand is a two way communication. It is easy to look at brands as a dialogue between the product and user. ”

Therefore, it is important for the brand to have a cohesive and uniform voice throughout its narrative. Voice can be defined as who you are which never changes. The only thing which changes is the tone. The changes in tone allows for the product to adapt to different scenarios. Think of the stepmother- observe what she sells and how she sells.

Unlike the Disney film, after the failed attempt of the huntsman, the evil stepmother tries to kill Snow White not once but three times. First, she ties a corset too tight making her pass out; second time she sells her a poisonous comb- both times the dwarfs are able to save Snow White. Despite repeated warnings from the dwarfs, Snow eats the red glossy poisonous apple and collapses. After a careful reading of the story, the reader sees how the stepmother transforms herself into an old woman with a bent back.

It is interesting to see how vulnerability and empathy convinces Snow White to buy tools of her own murder. When selling any product it is important to map the emotional state of the users (angry, confused, neutral etc.) and create a corresponding tone (warm, empathetic, friendly, straight forward, pleasant etc.). The voice or identity of the stepmother never changes- which is sinister and evil. As herself the stepmother knows that Snow White will not meet her.

Therefore, what she changes is the tone- through her appearance as an old woman, the stepmother comes across as an empathetic, defenseless and unfortunate individual. This allows Snow White to change her attitude towards the old woman, let down her guard and accepting tools which she doesn’t need.

Voice and tone can make or break a product while marketing your brand. While the Stepmother never changes her brand of evil, she can change her tone to make it more client and user friendly. If you want to become a good UX writer, realize the voice and tone of the copy. You can learn much from villains of fairytales as they are charismatic, adaptable and witty. Better yet, hire Snow White’s stepmother for your product as she can sell anything.


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