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Brand HistoryTanya Whitebits


By February 1, 2019December 3rd, 2019No Comments

“The face behind Tanya Whitebits belongs to Founder Shoned Owen, otherwise known as Tanya!”

That’s my strap line by now, but the name confusion is often followed by laughter and humour (which I love) as the name Tanya Whitebits derived from my love of faking it – with tan, obvs!

Shoned Personal Photo

Shoned goofing around

In a world where the high street is on the wane, it takes some real marketing nous to keep bringing in the customers. For Britain’s small business owners, there’s long been a tradition in the UK of attracting shoppers with nothing but an ironic name and I am proud to be part of this tradition.

My pre-tan catchphrase used to be that I was going to ‘tan ya white bits’ and so the brand name reflects my personality by bringing a little fun into a fairly serious industry. I love the play on words element of the brand and the fact that it is personal to me. In fact, many people suggest that I actually change my name to Tanya by deed pole!

People tend to feel embarrassed when they realise they’ve been calling me the wrong name all along, but then they can’t stop referring to me as Tanya which amuses me even more. I adore the simple fact that it puts a smile on people’s faces in a world that can be anything but smiley at times.

Family Photo 2

Shoned and husband at a fancy dress party

When I initially launched the brand name,  I could only compare the reaction to ‘marmite’ in the fact that people (the majority) loved it and some hated it. You can’t be everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine.

The best responses came from the penny dropping reaction of customers realising the funny pun. Most promotional fake tan brands are serious, bikini models in sultry poses and that’s awesome, but I wanted to bring a fun element into the industry with my fuss free tanning products.

The initial feedback that I got from the ones who disliked the name was that they felt it could be cheesy and I imagined them thinking of an 80’s clad disco character in leg warmers and cycling shorts called Tanya Whitebits! However, for me as a brand I think it’s great that the name is being discussed and it’s a catchy name which makes it all the more memorable – lots of people call it genius!

Although the brand ethos originated from a personal perspective from me as the Founder, the products are for everyone. They are gender neutral and contain a light Aloe Vera fragrance that isn’t considered feminine or masculine, we have different shades to suit every skin tone and our customers are varied.

Behold the new look branding, with a sleek new logo using negative spacing – the brainchild of our amazing Creative Director, Niki Pilkington. Her awesome artwork is also featured on a neon backdrop giving our products a cool tropical vibe. This transformed the brand perception and now it’s the most instagramable bottle online with a colourful range to match and customers loving it!

Add to that our Friday night #tanyaroke and we have a cult following with many of our tribe joining in and tagging us in their lip sync videos.

I don’t take life too seriously and am generally quite optimistic, this is my sense of humour, granted we don’t all have the same personalities and outlook but I don’t tend to take everything literally.

Family Photo 3

Shoned with her two daughters

In the words of Marilyn Monroe…

“It’s better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring!”

I’ll certainly raise a glass to that… cheers!

S x

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