The Separation Guide

An inclusive identity and a functional lead-gen machine

The Separation Guide was created with an aim to make separation and divorce simpler, more manageable and less stressful. The brainchild of Thirst’s Managing Director Angela Harbinson, it was started as a social impact initiative aiming to improve the damaging impacts of a bad divorce.

The B2C, B2B and data platform is now one of Australia’s leading sources of holistic separation and divorce information. The platform puts consumers first, blending people and technology to educate, triage and connect consumers with ethically-aligned service providers to guide them through all the twists and turns of their separation from contemplation, breakup, settlement and beyond

The Goal

The Separation Guides brand philosophy centred around a separation system that educates and guides people through the process, connecting them to the services and specialists they need for their unique circumstances. The idea behind the brand was to make divorce and separation simpler, more efficient and less expensive, by taking the pressure off the over-saturated court system and offering an innovative alternative.

This bold concept required a number of essential pieces to function; a strong, inclusive and accessible brand and visual identity, a highly functional website to act as a lead generating information hub for users, a large inventory of informed content, a sophisticated marketing automation strategy with content driven emails guiding users through specialised areas of divorce, an interactive online Q&A and much, much more.

The greatest challenge of this case was ensuring these complex moving parts worked in harmony to guarantee a successful launch.

The Process

For The Separation Guides launch, we needed to make the complex seem simple. To combat this, we created a human-centred brand with a sympathetic tone of voice and brand identity that aimed to be as inclusive as possible to the 200,000 people in Australia who enter the separation or divorce process every year.

There was a strong focus on ensuring all users felt safe, included and accepted; with the exclusive use of both gender neutral language and design being paramount in making this a reality...we even created a nondescript pet!

Design is a very powerful medium, and our team of experts were sure to carefully craft every visual touchpoint of the brand to help create an empathetic and approachable space online. Our designers not only created a logo and visual identity grounded by a soft and calming colour scheme, but also illustrated a collection of approachable gender ambiguous characters to help support the brand’s messaging; with the use of these characters helping to make the hardships users may be experiencing a little less isolating.

“Users have commented how calming the brand and content has made them feel, in what is often referenced as one of the most stressful periods in a person's life.” - Founder, Jack Whelan

We created a website for The Separation Guide, which was built to act as the epicentre of activity for the brands Q&A, free resources and recruitment of network partners and staff. There was a strong emphasis on intelligent design when constructing the website; with our web designers and developers ensuring that the site not only provided a straightforward user journey and easy, reliable access to resources, but also functions that protect users privacy due to the delicate and potentially dangerous nature of the subject for those who may be experiencing domestic violence or wanting to be discreet with their children or colleagues - such as a quick exit tab and browser-clearing instructions.

The site features a wide variety of useful content, including both illustrated and piece to camera videos, expert blogs written by industry professionals, podcasts featuring prominent industry guests, a Pool of Assets Calculator which allows users to plan for the value of assets and liabilities in their portfolios, Divorce and Separation Checklists and more. Each section of content helps to guide users towards becoming more aware and more prepared for the separation process.

However, the crowning jewel of The Separation Guide’s website is the interactive Q&A. The Q&A is a 5 minute experience which aims to gather as much information from an individual as possible and help guide them towards the most appropriate next steps. The Q and A is a piece of technical ingenuity, built deliberately by our developers to interact and pass on relevant information to our automation software Sharpspring; which allows all information to be securely encoded and tracked so the brand can have a comprehensive view of individual user journey needs throughout the separation process, as well as be summarised proficiently when being referred to a specialist.

This process is supported by a highly functional email automation process for The Separation Guide, which allows the business to easily tailor their helpful resources and content to clients at different stages of their separation journey. This emphasis on personalisation of the users journey reflects the brands desire to break the formulaic and robotic nature of the industry and make the divorce process more human.

Our high-level digital work for The Separation Guide went through rigorous user-testing processes from members of the community who are currently going through a separation. This was a vital step in guaranteeing that the website functions to the highest level and that the intricate behind-the-scenes automations and workflows performed seamlessly. It was essential that both the resources on the website and the information roll-out was perceived by users to not only be in a helpful and logical sequence but also come across as natural and approachable as possible.

Our team also created comprehensive digital marketing, content and social media calendars for the brand, ensuring that marketing is tailored specifically across a number of paid and organic platforms to capture and convert leads from both the customer and network target market.

The Outcome

We are proud to have assisted The Separation Guide in a highly successful launch. Almost every touchpoint of the business was shaped by the expert work of our entire team, and we are confident that our ongoing marketing, design and digital partnership with The Separation Guide will continue to deliver excellent results for the emerging business.