Alyson was entering the wellness space as a startup co-founder and wanted a brand that moved her away from her former identity as a Disney star while highlighting her quirks in a grounded way.
Moving into a new industry is terrifying, especially when you're established in a different one. Being in the public eye can feel daunting and open doors to criticism. As Alyson entered the wellness industry, she knew she needed a visual identity representing her essence rather than the roles she's played in the past. Through interviews and heart-centered conversations, I decoded the values she wanted to bring along. Keeping her values in mind, I designed her visual identity to help her feel at home online.
As part of my research, I spoke to Alyson and her team about market they were hoping to serve. Some of the questions I was hoping to uncover were:
What are the different types of audiences she has built over the years?
Where is the majority of her audience residing? Are there any policies, values, structures that constrain them from engaging with her content?
What are the kinds of messages and feedback she receives when she shares new ideas?
Is she looking to sort through her old audience and refocus, or is she trying to build a completely new one?
The discussion was kept conversational, and I later distilled the insights into three key types of people.
Younger, less experienced individuals making major life transitions like graduating from college, and beginning a career.
Individuals with more freedom to explore their sense of self, looking for guidance on how to heal their inner child traumas.
Older individuals with a more developed self-concept looking to connect with likeminded others, and advocating for social equity.
According to Alyson and her team, their three main competitors were companies offering health and fitness products with a side of community. However, it doesn't necessarily compare to her star power. As a personal brand, she has the ability to create long-lasting trust with her audience new and old by speaking to them in her authentic, creative, quirky tone of voice.
Primarily unified by values of growth and transformation, Alyson's new audience spans across a wide age range. Creating the segmentation helped Alyson see the different ways she can approach her audience with content, products, and inform her overall approach to the new strategy.
Pulling from the market research and the segmentation, I created 3 separate personas for Alyson's content strategy. These personas were intended to help Alyson make decisions about her upcoming courses, books and other revenue generating products. Marina, Kael and Dominic all fall at different places on the spectrum of folks Alyson aspires to serve. For confidentiality, the personas cannot be mentioned here in detail.
After establishing the personas, it was time to give Alyson Stoner's brand a personality. I wanted the brand personality to feel as close to who Alyson sees herself as at her most empowered. This is a key step in creating a personal brand. By making the brand as authentic to the individual as possible, we can alleviate emotions associated with impostor syndrome - a common psychological occurrence in high-achieving creatives.
Seeing an accurate representation of herself online can help her when she's least certain about her decisions by showing her what she's already built. it can also help her communicate with her audience more effectively.
Magician resonates out with Alyson because......
The brand voice is the distinct personality your brand takes on the internet. It's kind of like making sure than when you talk to your teenager, they still want to listen to you because you're relatable. So please don't say 'dawg' when you're saying hello to their friends. It wont work.
This moodpboard later inspired the drawing of Alyson's first book cover.
Alyson was exploring biomorphic abstractionism and learning about the way things in nature work together. I hoped to create an identity that felt resonant with who she is today. I used that detail to explore her initials in abstraction.
Keeping in mind her ideas about transformation, I researched alchemy and biomorphic abstractionism. I then created 2 logo sketches exploring each of those ideas separately.
After showing them the logos ALyson was more inclined to go with the fluid logo. I further explored abstractionism. It seemed too focused on the 's' shape rather than highlighting th 'a'. So we made some changes.
The word mark is an essential part of a logo. I wanted to make sure the words were legible but also felt less rigid and more fluid. The entire logo needed to represent change, transformation nd the state of being dynamically in motion. Alyson and her team loved Wildstripe as the logo option. It was free lowing, and fluid. It reminded them of movement and dynamism in nature. So I explored the colour options.
Since this tool was not meant for actual financial planning but to help millennials gain an idea of how much their short-term goals would cost over their long-term goals, we decided to present these ideas in the form of an interactive quiz.
I took these colours and created complementary and contrasting colour scheme that was still bold, quirky and grounded. Here's the final colour palette.
Before the logo could be considered complete, I explored the different colour combinations that would show the most personality. The duotone gradients caught our eye way more than the monotone ones. The gradients felt more aligned with the brand identity for Movement Genius (Alyson's startup) and we liked the idea of them being related.
Creating the course assets was a challenge since there was no new photography for her own brand. She was taking her time to build the startup. I used her old photographs and turned them to B&W and added strokes as outlines giving edge and still keeping in line with her being a creative.
For copywriting, I wanted to make sure we were telling the story of her life and how she got here. There is definitely a trust factor in seeing where the leader has come from and where they are headed now. I wanted to honour her previous experiences and create a through line as to why she is doing what she is doing today.
Here is a flow I made from the about page of the site since this is where we wanted to cohesively construct a storyline for Alyson.
With the brand and assets ready, I took on the taks of building Alyson's site, membership course platform, and email templates on Kajabi, adding integrations, and launching it for her brand reveal!View Website
1. Asking for help is key to successful projects. Having taken on a workload far heavier than ever before, I was challenged in balancing timelines and client relationships. I was lucky to be have access to a community of designers I built with 2 others on Clubhouse. This community was uplifting, and very helpful in sharing tips about workflows.
2. Boundaries are important especially when you're empathising. Getting to know Alyson on a personal level was both rewarding and challenging. When you know someone well, setting boundaries can sometimes become difficult because you want what's best for them. However, in a business relationship, it's so important to honour your own time and energy since everything depends on your ability to manage yourself first.
3. Scope creep is REAL. With large projects such as this one, things can quickly add up if the contracts aren't tight, the right questions aren't asked and strict guidlines aren't set. Lots of notes were taken.