CRF: a change agent
Community Reinvestment Fund, USA (CRF) is a not-for-profit organization that connects private capital to economic and community development groups. Sound like a typical financial company? It isn’t. CRF has fundamentally changed the ways private capital reaches never-served and underserved markets. Positive results continue to abound: jobs creation, stable communities, lives restored, and social justice delivered.
After many years of growth, CRF was poised to scale up its innovative financial models and selected Tilka Design to study the existing CRF brand and make recommendations for moving ahead. Tilka Design began by understanding CRF's financial models, future plans, and the newly passed federal legislation called New Markets Tax Credits — tax credits that give private investors motivation to see these underserved markets differently.
The work continued with a rigorous analysis of existing equity that included internal and external interviews, brand assessment, a visual audit, organization of products and services, participation in the strategic planning process and a comparative review. Informed by the research and analysis, brand strategy and definition, design objectives and key messaging were proposed. The approved strategy became the starting point for developing visual ideas for the identity system. In the same year Tilka Design was developing the new brand, the federal treasury department awarded CRF the largest possible allocation of tax credits to distribute. With a well-designed system in place, the CRF brand was positioned to effectively communicate this new opportunity.
CRF's brand outcome is memorable and distinct, warm and professional. The visual system resonates with both main street and Wall Street. Tilka Design continues to work with CRF to form its brand character. Even with the bleak economic climate, CRF remains true to its culture of innovation and can depend on its brand system to reassure their stability and to communicate new ideas and products with ease and efficiency. Everyday CRF works with the most sophisticated financial organizations and with local, small on-the-street emerging entrepreneurs. For audiences on both ends of the spectrum, the CRF brand signifies the power of positive change.