A federal credit union approached us to help choose a new name and develop a branding strategy for their community-focused financial institution. The client found that their current name didn’t accurately define the credit union’s breadth of services and mission beyond its geographic location. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution, they wanted a title and brand identity that would account for the ethics and history of their organization while emphasizing financial empowerment and social change.


Despite the deep, communal history of the institution, we discovered that there was very low brand and name recognition among its members. The new branding would need to build on the credit union’s track record of financial empowerment and mission-based services while making a stronger impression.

Aha! Moment

Based on our research findings from surveys and interviews, we realized that financial empowerment was the key to this credit union’s success; calling attention to the continued creation of relevant, smart tools to help its clients become financially informed, stable and empowered would be the most effective way to create brand recognition. A strong roll out plan would also be a key factor in solidifying the new name and brand.

  • Brand Strategy
  • Communications Assessment
  • Concept Development
  • Content Strategy
  • Logo Design
  • Messaging
  • Community
  • Economic Development


To resonate with membership, we knew that our response needed to be motivational, very simple and recognizable. We came up with the name Forward to emphasize the progress members make by working with this credit union to understand and take control of their financial situations and ultimately, their futures. Along with the name, we delivered a comprehensive brand identity, a style guide that could be applied to all forms of media, a report that shared all of our research findings, and a roll out plan for the new brand.

forward multiple logos
Forward 3


After our process of research, brand development, and strategy development, the credit union had a new understanding of their membership’s concerns and motivations, and was prepared to listen for changes needed in the future. There was also a reinvigorated awareness of the history and values upon which the credit union was built. The style guide, tools, and strategy we provided ultimately made them more engaged and responsive with current and prospective members across their marketing, PR and outreach efforts.

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