RITNB Case Study

Recovery Is The New Black podcast cover


Recovery coach Michelle Smith initially approached Xylina for help in crafting a book-publishing strategy. A well-loved influencer and facilitator in the recovery coaching space, Michelle wanted to take her personal brand and push it into new, creative avenues where she could help out even more women and collaborate with other recovery coaches on larger projects.

Her concern was that she wanted to maintain her highly engaging and approachable “tough love sober momma, we’re in this all together” style that endears her to her clients and community members and builds fierce loyalty with her followers. 

Her branding needed to go beyond traditional self-help and motivational book author and recovery coach marketing. Michelle needed a strong branding and story-telling foundation that honors and supports her dedication to women’s recovery and the guiding principles that her community follows. 


The first order of business was to build a book publishing and brand development strategy for Michelle that would allow her to focus on getting her memoir written, edited and published while building her personal brand foundation. We connected her to a top-shelf team of book publicists and writers to work with her on taking her story to the top level so that it could easily be pitched to and picked up by a major publishing house.   

While Michelle was working with her book team, Xylina did a significant brand and story/messaging audit. We collected and compiled compelling brand messaging, developed a set of detailed customer avatars based on her loyal followers and clients. These juicy and engaging stories formed the core of her refined brand archetype and branding guidelines.

A family of visual brand identities was created as an integrated umbrella so that she could continue to expand her role as a leading social media influencer in the field of recovery coaching, and easily connect with new clients and other leading influencers and communities.

We also retooled the existing lead generation and program materials to align with her brand identity. We provided website messaging and content recommendations that she can continue to implement on her own. 

Recovery Is The New Black vertical logo - slab and sans serif fonts

Recovery Is The New Black vertical logo - slab and sans serif fonts

Recovery Is The New Black diamond icon

Recovery Is The New Black diamond icon

Recovery Is The New Black eguide cover

Recovery Is The New Black eguide cover


The revised brand launched earlier this year. Michelle has successfully added an influential podcast to her list of accomplishments. Her social media influence continues to expand on Instagram and her Facebook community. She has also seen a considerable uptick in the number of interview requests with local and national media about her programs and her community. 

Recently she was selected to speak at the upcoming TEDxCWRU 2021: The Butterfly Effect! (The event will be held on Saturday, March 27th 2021. Location for the 2021 event will be virtual, though speakers will record on a TEDxCWRU stage at Case Western Reserve University. Stay tuned!)

She is collaborating with several other well-known recovery coaches to create the online recovery community “Sober Mom Squad” that is growing by leaps and bounds. She has now published her first book - We want autographed copies! 


Marketing Strategy, Brand and Visual Identity, Communications, Identity, Marketing Materials, Messaging,  Content Strategy, Business Development Strategy, Naming, Branding Guidelines, Marketing Collateral, Editing, Book Publishing Strategy, Brand Archetypes, Customer Avatars