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Brand identity




Alibaba prioritizes women empowerment in its CSR initiatives and runs multiple programs through different stakeholders, causing confusion among beneficiaries. To address this, the Group decided to consolidate all programs under one umbrella. Named "Cyber Mulan", the five-year plan aims to assist 50 million women in achieving their goals through tangible support such as digital-skills training programs and interest-free loans for female entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises.


As the lead designer, I developed the brand architecture and drove the design for the overall brand umbrella - Cyber Mulan. I also had the opportunity to take part in the launch event as an ambassador of the Cyber Mulan programme.

Prior to initiating the brand design process, it was crucial to establish Alibaba's relationship with the women beneficiaries in our programs. In order to achieve this, we conducted a brief survey of the existing women empowerment topics, which are summarized as follow.


To determine the most significant topics, we engaged in discussions with female colleagues and conducted interviews with the beneficiaries. We asked them to select the topics that resonated most with them. Through this process, we discovered that "uniqueness" and "equality" were the topics that touched their hearts the most.

By combining these findings with the Group's past experiences in running women's CSR programs, we came up with the following brand message:

Before addressing the visual representation of the initiative, it is important to acknowledge the existing women's CSR programs within the Group.


As some of these programs have been ongoing, completely discarding their brand identities presented a challenge.


To overcome this, it was essential to retain their existing logos and incorporate all these brands into the Cyber Mulan program using a unifying element. To tackle this issue, we first established the branding for the Cyber Mulan identity.


By incorporating this element into our design, we aim to create a cohesive and recognizable visual identity that includes the original branding of the initiative while representing the diverse range of women that we support through our Cyber Mulan initiative. The secondary element will be a constant feature, helping to tie all our other programs together as demonstrated below:


The secondary element incorporates the "Cyber Mulan" branding in the first part, while retaining the original branding and incorporating the various programmes' names and brand colours in the second part. This approach allows each brand to maintain its distinct identity while being part of the larger Cyber Mulan brand umbrella.

The following showcases the different scenarios of how the element will be used.

When promoting Cyber Mulan as the core brand, secondary brands are visually weakened to highlight the overarching Cyber Mulan brand. The tail part of the element incorporates the brand colours of the secondary brands, while the original logos are featured at the end of the layout. This brand strategy involves de-emphasizing individual sub-brands and instead prioritizing the Digital Mulan brand to create a cohesive and recognizable identity.

When the secondary brand is the main focus of the message, its brand name and colours are prominently featured. In this case, the program name, "追风计划," is included at the tail end of the secondary element to further emphasize the sub-brand.


On July 15th, nine front-line staff members from both Alibaba and Ant Group participated in a live broadcast to launch the Cyber Mulan initiative. It was a great honour for me to be among the nine ambassadors who kicked off the programme.

Our role didn't just stop at the live broadcast - we were also featured in social media posts and interviews to help launch the event.

Our campaign received a positive reception, with support from various segments of our target audience. Notable quotes captured were inspiring, including one user who hoped that in 100 years, the political discourse on gender equality would recognize the remarkable contributions of Alibaba and Ant Group.


Our design blends femininity and strength, incorporating the character "数" to emphasize the digital and technological aspects of the initiative. Inspired by the character 兰, we incorporated a ribbon-like element to symbolize the fluid and graceful nature of women. It was also the unifying element to consolidate all programmes under Cyber Mulan.


To celebrate diversity, we used a vibrant gradient scheme of pink and orange. As the program would be launched on live streaming and social media platforms, we included the call-to-action hashtag, #Alibaba <tech for her_>, to expand its reach and encourage women to participate.


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