Brand Case Study: How ‘Tone It Up’ Built A Multi-Million Dollar Brand (with InfoGraph)

Affordable fitness? Check. Easy to understand nutrition plans? Double check! If you haven’t heard about the Tone It Up girls Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott then you’re either living under a rock or aren’t in their target market (currently health conscious, on-the-go, Millennial women). So how did two friends team up to create a multi-million dollar online fitness brand with little initial investment?

This week I’m reviewing what’s made Tone It Up so popular, how they’ve used brand archetypes to build an empire and how you can tap into the power of your community to build a successful brand the same way.

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Tone It Up’s Brand Story

After meeting at a local SoCal gym in 2009, Katrina and Karena knew two heads were better than one and joined forces to create easy-to-follow workout videos under the brand name ‘Tone It Up.’ With just $3,000 of their own money, they invested in a website, camcorder and tripod and got to work. By creating and editing their own videos, then uploading to YouTube, they started a small following of women who wanted to get fit in a similar way.

Fast forward to 2017 and Tone It Up is now a multi-million dollar brand with over 5 million online followers across Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest. They’ve not only created a stellar brand but a loyal community of like-minded women who spend their hard-earned money to be lifetime members. Through nutrition plans, workout videos and DVDs, products such as protein bars and shakes, a smartphone app, week-long retreats, as well as a clothing line, the Tone It Up girls have built a brand bigger than their wildest dreams.

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The Secret Lies in Their Brand Archetype

So how’d they do it? By honing in on their brand archetype the Alchemist, and using the Humanitarian archetype for support, they built a brand on transformation - both inside and out.

One of the key defining characteristics of the Tone It Up brand is the power of transformation. Karena and Katrina know this all too well; they help transform women’s bodies and mindsets daily. But without the belief that they can transform, the Tone It Up brand would be dead in the water. The key is to provide enough support (through the Humanitarian archetype) and build faith that the transformation is possible. By doing this, the Alchemist archetype is a success.


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Supporting their Alchemist archetype is the Humanitarian. Defined by compassion, empathy and the desire to help another, Tone It Up’s Humanitarian archetype helps build up and inspire the women who watch, creating a strong and loyal fan base. More than just customers, Tone It Up sees each woman as their good friend. It’s this way that allows Karena and Katrina to pour so much of their effort into creating content that produces amazing results.

How to Build a Tone It Up Brand

Building your own brand - no matter what your archetypes are - to match the intensity and popularity of Tone It Up is as simple as following these steps. I can’t promise it will be easy, but I can promise it will be worth it!

1 | Make Content King

Karena and Katrina knew that content was the most important factor in their brand building success. Investing in a camera and editing software, while learning along the way, was imperative in the beginning. Head to their website, app or YouTube channel and you’ll see that there are endless hours of content!

Put it into practice right now: what could you be sharing - either in audio, video or written format - that could put you and your brand on the map? Remember, it doesn’t need to be new, it just needs to be relevant.

2 | Know Your Audience

The Tone It Up brand is built on sandy beaches, surfer girl vibes and sun-kissed skin. There’s no denying that the brand identifies with a certain target market and they never attempt to be something they aren’t. Additionally, they often tap into their fan base to see what would make them happy on a regular basis.

Put it into practice right now: without apologies or tip-toeing, who does your brand serve? Are you casting too wide of a net or alternatively, are you scared to branch out?

3 | Play into Your Archetype

Knowing your brand archetypes (both primary and supporting) allows you to work with the strengths of your brand and build a raving fan club. The Tone It Up girls know that personal transformation, coupled with compassion and inspiration, allows their customers to succeed. Their success drives both brand profit and equity, as customers build brand trust and loyalty.

Put it into practice right now: not sure of your brand archetype? Discover it here and start building that epic brand today.

Can you think of another great Alchemist brand? Share it below!