Hard launch vs. soft launch: what’s the difference?

So you’ve been working on your business plan, you’ve developed a strong brand and your website is almost ready. The next thing to consider is how you’re going to bring your business to market. Here, we explain the concept of a hard launch vs. a soft launch.

We’ve been quizzed about this a lot recently by clients who are starting a new business, rebranding or merging with another brand. They want to know the best way to introduce their new venture to market when developing a launch strategy.

Both approaches have their advantages, depending on what your business offers the market, who your clients are and what you’re trying to achieve. To help you plan your launch activity, we’ve developed a list of key considerations for hard launch vs. soft launch.

The art of the soft launch
This is a gradual roll-out that introduces your brand to market quietly. Discretion and subtlety are key. Typically, a soft launch involves rolling out your supporting marketing applications piece by piece – without a great deal of fanfare. For example, your new website will quietly go live when it’s ready, not on a specific launch date.

Soft launch vs. hard launch requires no official PR strategy, largely because you don’t want to generate publicity or draw mass attention to your new proposition. Typically, this is because you want to ‘test’ your offering on a limited audience, demographic or geography to assess whether it needs refinement before launching it more widely.

Other scenarios best suited to a soft launch are those ‘delicate’ business situations where you already have a strong base of clients and customers (perhaps inherited through a parent brand), and there’s a risk that creating hype about a new brand may cause confusion or even alienate some people.

Table about the pros and cons of a soft launch on blog article by Sketch Corp.


The impact of a hard launch
A hard launch, on the other hand, is where you launch with a bang. You schedule an official launch date well in advance where all marketing material, external communications and sales collateral must be ready to ‘go live’.

Activity for a hard launch usually involves drumming up pre-launch interest through PR activity and culminates in a gala launch event.

In terms of hard launch vs soft launch, the goal with this approach is to attract attention and garner widespread brand awareness. You want as many people as possible to know about your new brand and its benefits.

Table about the pros and cons of a hard launch on blog article by Sketch Corp.


Hard launch vs. soft launch: key considerations
Put some thought into your overall launch objective. Do you want to generate enquiry, acquire new clients, revamp subtly, communicate brand changes to existing clients while reassuring them their service won’t change, or give the market a clear understanding of who you are and what you do?

The second thing to consider is allocating your launch budget. Take the time to clearly identify what you’re willing to invest in getting the new brand up and running. Is this budget best spent on launch activity in terms of ROI or are there more effective ways of achieving your objective? Investigate the cost of launch activity vs the cost of targeted advertising and the likely performance of each.

Another point to consider is your internal resources and skill sets. If you decide to host a launch party, who will manage this internally? Are they equipped to do this to the standard it needs to be, or do you need to outsource some aspects of your launch to PR, events or marketing professionals?

Communicating your ‘new brand’ to existing clients is a weighty consideration that requires some finesse. Is there any risk some your current clients won’t ‘buy in’ to the new brand? Decide on the best way to mitigate this risk, which may be through reassurance issued via strategic communications.

Look at how many existing clients you have in your database and the kind of relationship you have with them to gauge what’s appropriate. Decide whether the most effective way of communicating changes is via EDM or perhaps a personal invitation to a launch event.

Then there’s the matter of what will happen after the launch. A post-launch lead generation marketing strategy may be in order to capitalise on your hard work, in which case you’ll need to assess whether your follow-up marketing strategy complements your launch activity in terms of messaging and fulfilling your brand promise.

It can help to seek an objective opinion when introducing a new business to market. As always, if you have any questions, concerns or collateral requirements for an upcoming launch, Sketch Corp. can assist. Call our team on (07) 3369 6100.

We’re calling it: our predictions for marketing trends in 2020

We’re at the pointy end of the year – the time when we should in theory be slowing down but instead seem to be hurtling towards some kind of invisible finish line. With 2020 just around the corner, we’re throwing down the gauntlet and making our call on what you’ll be seeing in terms of marketing trends in 2020 – and how incorporating them into your business could help you have a very happy new year.

1. Privacy.
This one’s a biggie. With all sorts of privacy scandals rocking the online world in recent years, consumers are becoming savvy to the fact their data isn’t as safe with online brands as they may have thought. Globally, new legislation intended at tightening internet security (as well as increased restrictions built into browsers including Chrome and Safari) means the days of relying on the humble cookie (particularly third-party cookies) and digital fingerprinting may be numbered. This means businesses should be considering alternative methods to monitor customer behaviour if they’re not already.


2. Insight-based marketing.
The next step on from data-driven marketing, insight-based marketing isn’t just the ‘what, when and how’ of user behaviour – it’s also the ‘why’. Tapping into the reasons behind user behaviour is a great way to provide your customer with a meaningful user experience that will encourage loyalty. As consumers come to expect increasingly personalised experiences from brands, we predict insight-based marketing will become one of the biggest marketing trends in 2020.


3. Humanising the robot.
No longer the stuff of futuristic films starring Will Smith, artificial intelligence (AI) is now a part of our everyday lives – often in the form of a chatbot that helpfully pops up in the corner of a website. With an increased push for AI to become more human and less, well, robotic, the use of ‘humanised’ bots is on the rise. While this technology – when done well – can boost ROI by freeing up skilled staff members to undertake higher-value tasks, it remains an expensive outlay, and can be disastrous if not done well (though hopefully not as disastrous as Microsoft’s first foray into the world of chatbots, which quickly turned into a racist, genocidal and misogynistic maniac). Will humanised AI be one of the biggest marketing trends in 2020? Watch this space… 


4. Social media stories.
We’ve all seen them, and whether or not we watch them all ourselves, there’s no denying the stories function of Instagram and Facebook will continue to be a hugely powerful and effecting marketing tool. In fact, according to Instagram, one-third of the platform’s most viewed stories are produced by businesses. As one of our predicted marketing trends in 2020, these highly personal, quickly consumable videos are a totally free-to-upload engagement tool that can target your market, link to your site and give you complete creative control over your messaging. With their 24-hour turnover, stories are a fresh, real-time way to engage with your audience. 


5. Video.
Even though the ‘you need video’ message is nothing new, we think video is set to continue as one of the biggest marketing trends in 2020. With our streaming, short-attention-span culture, video is now the way most people prefer to take in information, and platforms including LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook are clearly favouring video content. Now that video production is becoming increasingly affordable and accessible, it’s a very achievable way to give your business a head start in 2020.

6. Environment and sustainability.
With 74% of global consumers now expecting brands to take a stand on ethical issues, successful companies need to be aware of customer perception around their own environmental and sustainable policies. From fashion labels embracing Fashion Revolution’s #whomademyclothes campaign to the world’s biggest hotel chain announcing their plan to do away with miniature plastic toiletries, environmental and sustainable transparency is a crucial way to engage with a customer increasingly concerned with these issues. Whether you’re a business with an end-product or a company that can highlight the ethical decisions behind the day-to-day running and internal processes of your business, there’s never been a better time to wear your sustainable heart on your sleeve.


– Sketch Corp.

Will you add podcasting to your marketing mix in 2020?

Podcasts are now BIG business with huge, hyper-engaged audiences. Who would have thought this humble audio medium would be on track to eclipse social scrolling and even binge-streaming? Well, that’s what’s happening and here’s how you can get on board. 

Remind me – what is a podcast again?

For those who haven’t had the pleasure, a podcast is a downloadable digital audio file that people can listen to at their leisure on their phone, tablet, laptop or other device. Podcasts are typically available as series with new episodes uploaded periodically. What generally happens is that people try a few, subscribe to their favourites, get to know the hosts and before long they’re hanging out for the next instalment to land each week.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago to us that podcasts were a new thing, but today there are more than 750,000 active podcasts available for streaming and download. Born in 2004, podcasts didn’t really come of age until 2016/17 when the hosts of cult podcasts like Serial, Teacher’s Pet, This American Life and The Joe Rogan Experience became celebrities in their own right.

Cut to November 2019 and pretty much everyone you talk to has their top 10 podcasts saved for listening to in the car, on a run, while cleaning the house and even when chilling out on the weekend.

The stats say it all

In the US, a mind-blowing 144 million people listen to podcasts. That’s half the US population! While our stats aren’t quite so high in Australia, they’re certainly not low at 1.6 million. Australian podcast audiences have increased by 70% since 2015, with that number set to keep rising in the foreseeable future.

Demographic-wise, 67% of listeners are aged between 18 and 44. If this is your target audience, this is a medium worth paying attention to.

What’s driving growth?

The thing about podcasts is that their trajectory has closely followed that of do-it-all smartphones with increased data and listening capabilities. Now that people can listen on the go, they are. In droves! Roy Morgan stats from early 2019 say that over 1.3 million Australians now download podcasts to their mobiles in an average four-week period. In 2015, this was only true of 421,000 people. Only a 215% increase!

Podcasting for marketers

Everyone in our studio has a list of unmissable pods (check out our personal recommendations at the end of the article), and the democratic nature of the medium means that anyone can be a podcaster. Podcasting is incredibly niche, with series devoted to every subject imaginable – from pop culture, parenting and true crime, to gardening, marketing and 90s TV shows. 

From a business point of view, we’re passionate about podcasting because it can enhance your marketing strategy if implemented with a bit of thought and without fear. It’s a different way to connect with audiences at a time when they’re less frenetic and not so bombarded by competing demands for their attention.  

Headphones with lightning indicating podcasting is good for marketing strategy in business

Just listen

If you’ve never listened to a podcast before, it’s time to back up and just listen. Get some recommendations about topics you’re interested in and start subscribing. Have a look at the top-rating shows on the Apple or Android podcast apps and drill down on the categories and genres that appeal to you.

Prioritise quality production

This may seem like a no-brainer, but audio quality matters enormously and there are a lot of podcasts out there with shocking sound quality. There’s no point having amazing content if no one can hear you properly. Get your equipment and audio quality sorted before you hit record. Invest in a decent microphone and pay attention to your editing.

Decide on format and structure

How often will you release new episodes? Weekly is a good place to start, but there’s no rule book that says it can’t be more or less frequently. What day of the week will you upload? Whatever you decide, consistency is the key to building an audience. Decide how long your episodes will be. There are podcasts that run long, which some people love for in-depth conversations and analysis. Others prefer a 30-50 minute show they can align with their workout or commute.  

Forget the sell

If you’re considering podcasting purely to sell more products or promote your services, it’s not going to work. The only way to go about podcasting is to genuinely entertain and inform your listener. Whether that’s through sharing your personal experiences, interviewing people with an interesting story to tell or discussing hot topics, what needs to come across is your passion and enthusiasm.

Brand your podcast

First you’ll need a catchy name that gives some indication of what your podcast is about. Unless you’re a super-famous celebrity, we personally believe that clear, unambiguous names work best – maybe with one or two keywords relating to your chosen topic. Then it’s time to think about a logo – the icon that pops up as the face of your podcast. Even though most of the time it will appear smaller than a postage stamp, this needs to be well designed and attention grabbing. The right blend of image, font, colour palette and design elements is crucial. If you need help branding your podcast, Sketch Corp. can develop your visual identity in line with what you want to achieve.

Go for it and grow your audience

It’s important not to overthink podcasting. Just record, edit, broadcast and promote consistently. Keep in mind that building an audience takes time. Fully expect to hear nothing except crickets for a while. Podcast fans are always searching for new shows to listen to, so tell everyone you know about yours. Create a Facebook page and Instagram feed where you can grow your community and promote new episodes. Cross-promote via email and on your business socials. Whatever you do, don’t give up and don’t be shy about telling listeners to rate and review your podcast.  


sketch corp studio favourite podcasts recommendations

Podcasts on business, branding, design, marketing and copywriting

TED Talks Business
The Honest Designers Show
Australian Design Radio
Design Life
The Futur Podcast
The Design of Business | The Business of Design
Hot Copy

Podcasts just for fun

Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend
WTF with Marc Maron
This American Life
Revisionist History
Science Vs
The Happiness Lab
Chat 10 Looks 3 with Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb
Mamamia Out Loud
The High Low
The Goop Podcast

– Sketch Corp.

Emotion-evoking Christmas campaigns and why we love them

Our studio’s favourite time of year is fast approaching and nothing ignites the festive spirit quite like a touchy-feely Christmas campaign from a big brand.

This year, any day now, they’ll all be at it again – competing for your emotions (and to be totally honest, your dollarydoos). To get you in the mood, we’re looking back at some of the most touching Christmas campaigns of the past few years and how they’ve embraced the holiday season:

Year: 2018
Brand: Apple 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Share your gifts’

Why we love it

Maybe it’s because we’re all creatives here in the studio or perhaps it’s our all-round love of Apple products, but this story of an aspiring artist fills our souls with happiness.

Now this may be an ad, but it appeals to something deep within us because it embraces the idea of Christmas as a time of giving – not presents, but the gifts that you can create and the joy they bring.

It’s just all kinds of feel good; not to mention visually perfect! Like all good Christmas campaigns, the branding and product placement isn’t too overpowering.

Year: 2017
Brand: NRMA
Christmas Campaign: ‘Drive Safely’

Why we love it

This offering from car insurer NRMA is beautifully done and there’s something about this gran and pop – especially when they’re in the car – that just about all of us can relate to.

Within the first few seconds, it manages to strike an instant chord and makes us cry every time. And the music! Such a touching soundtrack from Tom Odell that works to set the scene and emphasise the journey home.

It’s a strong message to drive safely on the roads when we know they’re most dangerous at this time of year (and doesn’t the heart skip a bit when they nearly miss that exit!)

Year: 2010
Brand: John Lewis 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Always a Woman’

Why we love it

An oldie but a goodie, this modern classic from UK department store John Lewis makes us tear up every time! In just 90 seconds, it cleverly traces a woman’s life story from cradle to grandparenthood through a series of shape-shifting shots. For example, she’s lifted out of her cot as a baby, but when she’s put down she’s suddenly three years old. You see her in primary school, at uni, on her wedding day and enjoying her grandchildren.

As with the NRMA ad, the music is key – a beautiful version of Billy Joel’s Always a Woman by Fyfe Dangerfield. Fun fact: our copywriter loves this ad so much she walked down the aisle to this song.

The tagline when it flashes up on screen at the end is possibly our favourite of all time: ‘Our lifelong commitment to you.’ How brilliant is that! For a department store. At Christmas time.

Year: 2015
Brand: EDEKA 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Heimkommen (Coming Home)’

Why we love it

Ok, so this campaign for German supermarket chain EDEKA isn’t your average tear jerker with its unexpected dark twist at the end. It follows an elderly man spending Christmas Day alone year after year as his busy family fails to make it home to see him. He fakes his death to finally bring them all together.

It went viral when it was released, it’s been viewed more than 60 million times on YouTube, sparked news stories and yes, there were even spoofs and spin offs. Social media users even shared how the ad made them change their flights to be home sooner for Christmas!

We find it hard not to get teary watching this and while there are critics and controversy surrounding this campaign, you can’t deny it got people talking about the message of making sure loved ones aren’t left alone at Christmas.

Year: 2018
Brand: Boots 
Christmas Campaign: ‘Gifts That Get Them’

Why we love it

Another great, touchy feely Christmas campaign this time from the British health and beauty and pharmacy retailer, Boots. Robbie Williams’ hit song “She’s the One” is changed to “She’s Me Mum” as the ad follows a teenage girl and her well-meaning Mum.

The teenager does typical teenage things like stealing her Mum’s perfume (cue the product placement) and generally pushing the boundaries. But that can’t hide their special connection that’s highlighted when she spots her Mum singing at a Christmas market. In the final scene around the Christmas tree, she gives her Mum exactly what she knows she’ll love – a lipstick.

Who hasn’t resorted to gift vouchers occasionally and while there’s nothing wrong with that, we couldn’t help but be inspired by the clever message that thoughtful gifts show a loved one you truly understand them and what makes them feel good about themselves.

– Sketch Corp.

New business? Our guide to building brand reputation

An essential element of the branding process is about building brand reputation. Naturally, you want your brand’s reputation to be impeccable and above reproach.

You may engage an agency and undergo a thorough branding process where you’re equipped with a comprehensive brand personality, positioning, language and visual identity – all critical components of a healthy brand. If your brand’s development and evolution ends there, however, you won’t end up with a strong brand that gains momentum over time.

Choosing to do nothing in terms of your social media, customer communications and stakeholder engagement (or engaging in activity only sporadically) either because you don’t know how or don’t have time will damage your brand and stunt its growth.

Taking consistent action, on the other hand, will have the effect of bolstering your brand reputation little by little.

Where to begin

Active branding doesn’t have to be a hugely expensive endeavour. What it does require is an unwavering understanding of your brand’s core purpose and how you solve problems. From then on, it’s about the consistent action. 

All too often businesses focus on ‘what’ they do and believe that’s what branding is. It isn’t. Branding is about how you do what you do and why you’re doing it. The ‘what’ comes after.

If your brand is currently focusing on the ‘what’, you’re coming up against the ‘what’ of your competitors every day. Chances are, ‘what’ you all offer is largely the same. There’s no separating you. Why would customers choose you over them? You’re not giving them a compelling reason when it’s service/product vs. service/product (like for like).

Where your brand steps in is with the story behind the what. Why are you doing what you do? Money? Passion? To improve on what’s out there? To change a behaviour? To offer more competitive pricing?

To build a brand that really connects with people, you need to be honest about this. Give your audience something they can engage with.

Get comfortable with the fact that your brand won’t please everyone all the time. It can’t be about that. When you aim for catch-all mass appeal, you run the risk of becoming bland. It’s far better to be authentic and honest with your audience. 

a reminder that brand reputation won't please everyone
Get comfortable with the fact that your brand won’t please everyone all the time

What comes next

Once you’re clear on who you are and why you do what you, you must commit to consistency in your actions. Building brand reputation requires maintaining a regular presence on the social media channels that matter to your target audience. Whether you do it daily, weekly or monthly, the important thing is that you do it.

Communicating directly with your customers and prospects via the considered use of email, SMS or mail is also important. Keep them up to date about important updates or special offers while at the same time reinforcing who you are and why you do what you do.

Depending on what type of business you have, establishing and strengthening your brand may also require engaging with your stakeholders by hosting special events or attending select functions and conferences to demonstrate the authority and presence of your brand.

As we often advise our clients and associates, branding is not a one-off. Building your brand reputation never ends and requires commitment.

– Sketch Corp.


Where designers go for brand design inspiration

In any branding project, gathering brand design inspiration is an essential part of the the process – one that usually comes after the client brief.

This is an opportunity for art directors, strategists and designers to look to the world at large for creative ideas. They can scope out what competitors are doing, get a feel for trends and see what visual styles dominate the industry.

There’s no right or wrong way to gather inspiration. After all, every designer has their own taste and style.

We asked three of our experienced agency designers to describe how they approach brand design inspiration. Here, they share the resources and tools that they regularly use to get the ideas flowing.

Carolina Jaramillo, Sketch Corp. Art Director

When starting a new branding project, it’s tempting to jump straight into the design stage. A bunch of design ideas will come to mind after the client brief, and your initial reaction will be to get sketching or start designing on the computer. The problem is that those concepts are usually based on what we as designers “personally” like.

Working on a company brand involves way more than just a pretty logo. It’s a combination of visual elements that bring to life the intangible concepts that make up the brand (for example, values, mission, vision, industry, target audience, services, approach and tone of voice). That’s why searching for brand design inspiration is so important before actually starting the design.

It helps me identify possible colour palettes, typography examples and execution ideas – not only for the logo, but for the rest of the brand. You’ll also learn how to tackle potential issues you may face during the course of the project.

Usually I start by researching similar companies to see what the common elements are, what works, what doesn’t and the general look and feel of how they approach their clients. From there, I do some digging on more specific elements related to the client and possible execution ideas.

My go-to sites for brand design inspiration are:

  • Pinterest: a great platform for exploring ideas that allows you to save brand inspiration boards and collate links. I also like that one image leads to multiple new options.
  • Dribbble: an excellent resource to check out latest design trends and styles.
  • Behance: my preferred destination for full branding execution ideas and the thought process behind them.
  • Designspiration

Even if I’m not working in a specific branding project, I like to search for inspiration all the time. I recommend subscribing to design blogs to keep up to date with what’s happening around the world, saving bookmarks and examples of branding, and following design accounts on Instagram that may be helpful for future projects.

Here are some design blog examples:

And Instagram accounts:


Brand design inspiration blog image with Instagram dribble and underconsideration on blog article about where designers find brand design inspiration by Sketch Corp.

Nicole Verna, Senior Designer

It’s really important that brand design inspiration is born out of a thorough understanding of the brief. Initial thoughts are bounced around between the team during the brief, and I then get my head around the industry by researching competitors or nutting out some industry relevant themes. This generally sparks a few ideas on how to differentiate the brand differentiate from others.

From there, the fun begins! Pinterest is great for collating all your ideas into one board. I use the Chrome Pinterest extension so I can pin images web-wide (not just within the Pinterest application). When pinning, I look for images that showcase the tone of the brand, typography, colour palette and brand applications. 

I’m also regular visitor to Behance. It’s rich in world-class creative work. I look for projects that showcase the complete roll-out of a brand from logo development through to print and digital applications. Even though finding inspiration is the initial stage of a brand project, it’s important you take as much in as possible so you can build a clear idea of how to create a complete narrative for the brand.

Designspiration is another handy resource. It has a nifty tool where you can search by colour.  

Finally, typography is ALWAYS a critical consideration. I like to visit Typewolf to see what typography is available on Adobe Typekit, Google Fonts or other platforms. It’s also a nice way to look for a substitute type and to check if the fonts you want to use are web safe.

Design blogs I visit on the reg are:

  • BP&O for up-to-date branding projects
  • MindSparkle as it’s a very clean, minimal site that suits my aesthetic
  • SiteInspire for the latest web projects
  • Awwwards to keep up with the latest web trends

Brand design inspiration blog image with mindsparkle siteinspire and designinspiration on blog article about where designers find brand design inspiration by Sketch Corp.

Mitch Clayton, Designer

After discussing the brief and deciding on a general direction, I’ll select some keywords I can use to identify appropriate sources on the web. I use a program called Milanote, which lets you organise visual boards and has a web clipper add-on for browsers. I’ll set up a project and a variety of boards nested within that project that pertain to specific visual aspects such as colour, typography, photography, applications, user interface elements, layout and logo. 

Using my selected keywords as a guide, I then start saving brand design inspiration images from the web and print (using my phone to take photos) into the relevant visual boards. 


  • BP&O for a curated selection of high end brand design projects
  • Behance for general inspiration and sparking ideas
  • Designspiration for researching specific colours and ideas
  • Awwwards Website award website that lets you search by style, industry, technologies and colour
  • Evernote Design for new sources of inspiration (a bookmark of all the best design sites on the web).


  • Logo by Michael Evamy: a huge collection of logo designs that are categorised clearly so you can immediately find ones relevant to your current project.
  • How To by Michael Bierut: general inspiration on how to overcome design challenges in a wide variety of circumstances.

Following this process, ideally I’ll get feedback and cull the mood boards until the essential direction is approved. Then I can create a general stylescape/moodboard for easy reference during the design process.

Brand design inspiration blog image with Behance BP&O and Evernote Design on blog article about where designers find brand design inspiration by Sketch Corp.

– Sketch Corp.

Why powerful Information Memorandum design pays off

When your business is on a mission to attract investment or secure a sale, Information Memorandum design is a crucial part of the process and one worthy of careful attention.

More and more savvy businesses are investing in customised Information Memorandum design solutions to effectively communicate with their target audience and present their proposition with the support of strategic visual devices and layout enhancements.

What’s design got to do with drumming up investment?

In a lengthy document like an Information Memorandum, design is what captivates potential investors and holds their interest. Nitty gritty content only goes so far. Clever layout techniques can be employed to draw attention to key information and keep your reader engaged from pages 1-50 and beyond.

Make no mistake – investing in powerful Information Memorandum design can (and often does) improve your chances of raising capital or achieving a great exit sale. As a reflection of your business, you want your Information Memorandum to look the part: professional, polished, solvent, in control.  

Ultimately, the Information Memorandum is a vital marketing document and sales tool – and that’s exactly how it should be treated.

Naturally, preparing an Information Memorandum requires the utmost discretion on the part of the creatives involved. You don’t want the world at large to get wind of the fact that you’re raising money or selling.

When commissioning external suppliers, it’s essential to engage an agency you trust and have complete confidence in. After all, you’re hiring them to shape your raw material into something investors can get on board with.

This is a meaty document and you want to give it all you’ve got. If you’ve never prepared an Information Memorandum before, the first thing you need to know is that it’s much more substantial than your company brochure or pitch deck.

An Information Memorandum must include analysis, financials, future projections and detailed explanations as to how you make your money and what you plan to do with the money they give you. With so much detail, it’s no wonder your Information Memorandum Design has to do the heavy lifting. Who’s going to read it otherwise?

Information Memorandum Graphics


The practical applications of Information Memorandum design

When putting together your Information Memorandum, think about how an investor will digest it and in what circumstances. One thing’s for sure: they won’t be reading it cover to cover.

In our experience, investors will only refer to it as specific questions occur to them or if they’ve forgotten something you touched on in your pitch (like your year-on-year profit for 20xx) and need reminding.

Investors should be able to scan the contents page and flip immediately to the section with the answer. When creating a professional Information Memorandum, brevity and clarity are absolutely key. You want punchy, unambiguous, easy-to-read sentences that contain fact after fact after fact.

Essential information your Information Memorandum design will need to address:

  • Key investment highlights
  • Management team
  • Business information
  • Financials
  • Opportunities
  • Legal information (corporate structure, patents and trademarks)
  • Plans for funding

Given all this important detail, the overall presentation of your Information Memorandum design cannot be underestimated. This is not something you want to knock up in Word or PowerPoint. It requires an extremely high level of visual skill and finesse that only an experienced designer can provide.

– Sketch Corp.

What’s the deal with Libra? Facebook’s new currency explained.

Are you aware that Facebook is planning to launch its own currency? Yes, you read that right. As if the mega-rich company doesn’t already print money.

In June, the social networking monolith announced plans for ‘Libra’ – a new digital cryptocurrency a bit like bitcoin (but more secure apparently).

Backed by global partners including MasterCard, PayPal, Visa, eBay, Facebook, Lyft, Uber, Spotify, Vodafone Group, Mercy Corps and Women’s World Banking, Libra has been styled as a fee-free way to send money across borders – a cheaper alternative to Western Union and the like.

Facebook says that Libra (aka ‘zuckerbucks’) would also allow millions of people around the world who don’t have bank accounts or credit cards to transact online. So far, so democratic – but what do Libra’s detractors say?

Well, there’s the small matter that Facebook is already under investigation in the US over its privacy practices. Let’s face it – the platform doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to people’s data. Launching a new currency that could potentially destabilise the banking system (according to some experts) may not be the best move for a company already attracting intense scrutiny from regulators.

Even though the response from the powers that be has been skeptical to say the least, Libra may well be up and trading in the next 12 months. The plan is for Facebook to build the technology and for the aforementioned partners to help fund and run the system. To propel the launch of Libra, Facebook is hoping to raise $1 billion from current and future partners.

Libra’s technical specs

So Libra is built on an open-source blockchain called the Libra Blockchain and is reportedly backed by a portfolio of assets that secure its value. The independent ‘Libra Association’, which is made up of all sorts of businesses and non-profits, will govern the currency and have final decision-making authority. Facebook will have just one vote among many.

In contrast to bitcoin, Libra is a ‘permissioned’ system, with access to the ledger (the blockchain) granted to only a few trusted entities. Bitcoin’s ledger, on the other hand, is basically a database maintained by a computer network. Some are saying Libra is more of a digital currency than a cryptocurrency.

It sounds like they’ve thought everything through to us, but the question remains whether Facebook can get its 2.38 billion users on board with Libra.

Posting a few family photos is one thing, but trusting a social media company with your hard-earned cash is quite another – even if they do have some legit partners on board. Let’s see what happens in the next few months!

Sketch Corp.

Like, what’s going on? The Instagram social experiment everyone’s talking about

If you’re into Insta, you’ve no doubt noticed your feed is now mysteriously devoid of numbers – or at least you may have heard the media commentary surrounding the latest Instagram social experiment. First, it was showing posts out of chronological order, and then it was a raft of rumoured algorithm changes… Now, as of Thursday 18 July, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing platform has removed the number of likes from people’s posts.

Everyone in the Insta eco-system has been affected, from your mum who gets two hearts per gardening post, to social media influencers with hundreds of thousands of gushing followers.

For now, the no-likes ‘trial’ is only impacting accounts in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Italy, Japan and Brazil. While you, the ‘likee’, can still see how many people have liked your post, no one else can see your magic number – unless they can be bothered to go through the process of counting every single ‘liker’.

Why this Instagram social experiment? Why now?

While there are many (possibly conspiracy) theories doing the rounds, the official line from Instagram is: “We want people to worry a little bit less about how many likes they’re getting on Instagram and spend a bit more time connecting with the people that they care about.”

The move has been widely applauded for the positive impact it may have on mental health.

With many Instagram users (especially young people) purporting to experience feelings of inadequacy and anxiety after using the platform, there’s no doubt the mental health concerns are real. The pressure to always show the best version of yourself and the constant culture of comparison to other people’s perfect lives/families/bodies/careers/holidays/cars/clothes can indeed have a negative impact on self-image. As can seeing shots of everyone hanging out without you when you’re an insecure and impressionable teenager. You see, it works on a macro and micro level.

Some of these negative consequences can also be attributed to the weight Instagram places on popularity – by that we mean the number of followers a person has and how much engagement their content generates.

One of the theories circulating is that the Instagram social experiment has nothing to do with mental health at all – it’s really a bid to get users re-engaging with parent company Facebook (which you’ll notice hasn’t removed likes from its posts).

Neon sign showing an instagram notification with no likes in a blog post about Instagram removing likes in Australia by Sketch Corp.
Image credit @kpbiglife

Please, won’t someone think of the social media influencer?

While many are saying the move is a step in the right direction for mental health, of course you can’t please everyone… especially not the social media influencer who leverages likes for lucrative deals.

Some critics say the Instagram social experiment is really a ploy to get small businesses investing in paid advertising rather than collaborating with social media influencers, who are currently raking in big bucks from sponsorships.

Many a successful social media influencer has built a business on their ability to engage a large audience that brings in paid partnerships. It may be a crude measure, but one of the key metrics these ‘brand partners’ use to determine which influencers they work with is the number of likes they get.

Australia and New Zealand Instagram Manager Jeff McBride has addressed this, saying the Instagram social experiment won’t affect measurement tools like Insights or Ads Manager. Be that as it may, it’s difficult to see how brands are going to gauge engagement at a glance when scrolling through the accounts of potential ambassadors.

While the Instagram social experiment may have a positive effect on mental health in some corners of society, it may lead to economic pressures for others. Some influencers may have to find a new revenue stream or even change careers. One thing’s for sure: it will be interesting to see how the social media influencer scene changes (if it even does). You just never know with Instagram.

From a brand and marketing point of view, it’s an exciting development. What we can expect to see is a shift away from people posting things they think people will like towards true self-expression. And genuine, authentic, imperfect content has got to be a good thing, right? As for how many people will like it, well, I guess we’ll never know.

– Sketch Corp.