How do you build a brand from just a logo? This was the challenge I faced when CEO, Scott Sechrest, approached me to create a full branding package for his fitness software start-up, AthliOS. In three short years, AthliOS made a name for itself by securing big-name clients such as Polar, Equinox, Woodway and True (pretty impressive, right?) But during this time, little effort was spent on positioning, marketing or branding. AthliOS’ only assets were a business card and a WordPress splash page.
I was tasked with bringing the company’s marketing arm up to speed before their first significant fundraising effort. Over four months, I worked with Scott, Dan, Chelsea, and Mark (the core squad) to develop the brand’s position, identity, DNA, creative direction, and digital assets. The result of this fantastic effort was a 70-page brand book, a new website, a pitch deck, and some sick business cards.
Develop the brand's position, identity, DNA, creative direction and digital assets.
I did not create the AthliOS brand; it always existed in the hearts and minds of its founding team members. It was my job to dig deep into their collective psyche and uncover their unifying values. This brand book encapsulates hours of interviews, brainstorming sessions, writing workshops, and pixel pushing. I highlight a few of the design-intensive projects in this case study, but for the full experience, click the link below.
AthliOS’ short history is one of accelerated development. Instead of building custom solutions for each client, the company started by building out a full-service cloud platform. This foundation allows clients to deploy cloud-connected interfaces, asset management systems, and web apps at a staggering speed. To be exact, working with AthliOS can cut down a client’s development time from 40 months to 180 days.
For equipment manufacturer and club operators, this is huge. Most fitness companies do not have the resources or expertise to develop a product of their own, and AthliOS is giving these clients a chance. To sweeten the deal further, AthliOS manages the design process, software maintenance, and feature updates. In our meetings, the team expressed difficulty in communicating their offerings to a “tech-illiterate” clientele. It was clear they needed to simplify their pitch.
The idea of a “foundation” got my wheels turning. In essence, AthliOS empowers brands to invent the future by coming to the kitchen with the pie crust already set. All the client has to do is select the filling, and they’ll cook it up. Well, obviously the pie crust analogy didn’t work. AthliOS is a technical and engineering-driven company. And that’s when it clicked, BLUEPRINT! AthliOS provides a blueprint for manufacturers and fitness operators to deploy a personalized experience across all of their devices. AND their color is blue! Bingo, we have a winner.
The AthliOS team is innovative and introspective--they are thinking up new ways to utilize their platform. Despite their best efforts, this cutting-edge approach served as a double-edged sword when it came to communicating what they could build for clients. I wanted to simplify the message by designing a visual representation for each product offering that could spark a potential client’s imagination. The result of this exercise became known as “the AthliOS family of products.”
Scott, the CEO, wanted the brand to look sleek, modern, approachable, and futuristic. I created a blue gradient to symbolize the brand’s strength and trustworthiness. For the iconography, I used a minimalist, stroked design style to create a sense of lightness that is friendly and inviting.
The AthliOS logo is strong, futuristic, and impactful. To harness this energy in future assets, I created a custom version of Pirulen Regular. Each character takes cues from modifications made to the original wordmark.
In addition to their platform, AthliOS is pursuing a series of hardware and virtual investments. To imply their relationship to the mother-brand, I created their logos in the stroked style and used elements from AthliOS’s lock-up.
After the completion of the brand book, I pivoted and began to work on the website design. AthliOS has three target customers: Manufacturers, Club Facilities and Platform Partners. For each segment, I wanted to create a digital experience that communicated the unique values AthliOS could provide. To accomplish this, I designed the homepage as a portal that guides the user through the website based on their needs and wants.
One of the challenges in designing the AthliOS website was communicating a substantial amount of information in an efficient manner. I set a major constraint on myself from the start: each target customer will be allocated one webpage. In my competitor analysis, I found other websites to be incredibly complex--I'm talking about submenu after submenu. My solution was to utilize a series of dynamic sliders and internal tabs to make the pages less daunting.
The aesthetic of the site is in-line with the visual style guide. The design principle I held paramount during each stage of the process was: "how do I make the site more engaging and approachable." To accomplish this, I introduced simple micro-interactions into every touchpoint. The site is currently in production!