Rethinking small business lending

Brand Strategy, Brand Identity, Brand Communications, Product Strategy, UX / UI Design, Development

In Australia, small businesses can find it hard to secure funding. In a large financial sector dominated by the big banks, there’s a huge opportunity for disruption. And Sprout’s just the start-up to try it.

Sprout offers small businesses flexible, unsecured loans in a matter of days, and an innovative new product called revenue-based financing. From top to bottom, we crafted an end-to-end digital customer experience, and a brand that would take Sprout to market in the best possible way.

Crafting a meaningful brand

Through internal and external research, we gained a deep understanding of the needs of potential Sprout customers, identifying the value Sprout could offer, and where they could differentiate from the banks.

This led us to the brand idea ‘Championing Growth’, expressing Sprout’s desire to help inspire, support and enable small businesses to reach their growth potential. We positioned Sprout as small business champion – a real partner for growth.

The Sprout logo

Like a small green shoot, the Sprout brand icon represents growth and partnership, with overlapping shapes emphasising the open and transparent nature of the business.

Giving the brand a human touch

When competing with big banks, it pays to stand apart. To reflect the collaborative spirit of the brand, while communicating the ideas of trust and reliability every financial institution needs, we took a very everyday and down-to-earth approach to the visual and verbal identity.


We developed a custom icon set to be used throughout the customer journey. Leveraging the forms of the brand mark, the icons evoke an inviting and supportive feeling.

Saying things the Sprout way

Sprout’s tone of voice was firmly rooted in the brand strategy. We developed tone of voice principles that helped capture the spirit of each of the brand values – empowering, positive, human and flexible.

Connecting online

The Sprout website is the first touchpoint for most small businesses. By focusing on the user, we created an online experience that clearly communicates Sprout’s offering, and made applying fuss-free. The site was optimised for viewing across mobile, tablet and desktop.

Streamlining the application

We designed the online application process from the ground up, putting the customer at the heart of every decision. The result is an easy-to-use, streamlined process that enables customers to complete and manage their funding application in minutes.

Managing the experience

To help Sprout maintain a high level of customer service, we built a custom CRM enabling them to manage all customers and applications in one place. The simple, centralised portal makes it easy for the Sprout team to work together, and offer the best service possible.

“Made Together helped us create an exciting alternative to traditional business lending, giving us the firepower we need to take on the big banks.”
Mark Hearl

Founder, Sprout

Sprout launched in June, 2016 and initial customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

  • 30 mins Avg. application time
  • 4 days Avg. time to funding

Project Team


Manning Cartell

Crafting a luxury 
eCommerce experience

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