Merging digital banking and community empowerment

Civic and New Kind build digital banking that builds up local government

Background

Who builds up our communities? Those who work in local government, or maintain the services we depend on, or just look out for their neighbors.


And those people and organizations need financial services built for them. That offers groundbreaking tech while staying grounded in the community.


Civic Federal Credit Union was built to do just that by offering a digital-first banking experience for local government in North Carolina. It acts as a trusted financial team that reinvests back in the communities that depend on it.

Industries: Finance, Fintech, Technology

Services: Brand Diagnostic, Company Messaging, Identity System, Positioning, Storytelling, Visual System

The Opportunity

STARTING FROM STRENGTH. BUILDING WITH CONFIDENCE.

 

The Civic brand was in a good place. It had strong growth and loyalty. It was time to capitalize on that position.

It was time for a recalibration for the next chapter of growth. Moving from an exciting new banking option to the obvious choice for those eligible to join.

The credit union was already pushing for enterprise-level cohesion. Sharing language, defining terms, simplifying their message.

This was a strong foundation with an abundance of existing pieces and parts. Civic tapped New Kind to help them take the next step. Our experience helping companies Scale with Soul matched their goals: Helping them establish their position, and rallying their people around a common mission.

 

Brand Diagnostic

OUT OF MANY PATHS, ONE ROAD TO TRAVEL

 

With so much to build on, and so many potential paths to travel, it was time to make a plan.

Civic and New Kind started with a Scale with Soul Diagnostic. We worked together to uncover strengths and opportunities along multiple dimensions. Assessing company materials and thoughts to structure a full view of the company and highlight any gaps that were impacting their ability to scale.

With those results in hand, we held two workshops to inform the development of a roadmap. It charted recommended priorities for the future.

Repositioning a company while it’s successful can feel like remodeling a plane while it’s flying. It can’t stop, but making it better requires iteration and reconstruction.

The diagnostic and roadmap process provides space to take inventory and plan. It meant the leadership group could think about the organization as a system and align on their thoughts. And look at the best ways to tweak and improve that system in a holistic, not piecemeal, way.

 

Positioning, Story, and Messaging

REDEFINING LOCAL BANKING FOR THE DIGITAL AGE

 

Our road forward was clear, it was time to create the next chapter of Civic.

We began with a reset. We created video onboarding tools and read-ahead primers to help new working group members prepare . We delved even deeper with brand gap analysis and stakeholder interviews. Ensuring the full team had the right tools for the right moments.

We then held a series of workshops. Taking leaps, collaborating and iterating, refining. Getting better, simpler, and more true in each meeting. And delivering a new messaging platform for Civic.

The heart of our deliverables was a brand positioning framework, including points of parity and difference, market category, competitors, and audience personas. A messaging architecture packaged new visionary way and supporting statements, and messaging pillars expressed the core of what makes Civic stand out.

The visionary way and supporting message was built around redefining their audience. From simply saying “local government workers and their families” to building a movement of those who uplift their communities:

How civic bankers bank: The modern credit union grounded in local government.

We paired that framework with a brand story for Civic. Based on our logic map model, the story translates key processes and outcomes into an emotive, memorable narrative. We developed the story in tandem with the visuals, making each version feel more and more like the next chapter of Civic.

You build up the place you live. This is how we help you build your financial foundation.

As we worked, we navigated the shifting dynamics and milestones that come with business. Staying adaptable while keeping the overall picture in mind.

New Kind maintained forward momentum and the overall vision for where the whole team could go. Framing feedback to support that momentum. Helping a smart, invested team take ownership and row in the same direction.

 

Visual Identity

NEW FRESH VISUALS FOR THE OLD NORTH STATE

 

The Civic team was happy with their logo and fond of their bright color palette. At the same time, they realized they needed a modern update to signal strength and solidity alongside innovation and energy.

New Kind and the working group needed to navigate the attachment to the original look and feel, while creating a fresh evolution. It required honesty and an even keel on both sides.

As we worked, we prototyped the story and the visuals at the same time to ground the system in the Civic story.

The final brand palette is based on the colors of North Carolina: A locally-inspired color palette for local government. Based on natural icons like pines and wildflowers, history like gold mining, and natural features like the Sandhills.

The visual system is built on the existing Civic star. It connects to the past, while acting as an arrow that points to the future. Variation in scale and offsets add energy and interest to the system. And images focused on humans and local landmarks keep the system grounded in local government.

The new visual system isn’t a drastic change. It applies our storytelling and makes what makes Civic different come alive. Pushing Civic’s visuals to tell a better story, and inspiring new questions and actions.

The Outcomes

GROUNDED IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT. SPEEDING INTO THE FUTURE.

 

This was the opposite of a teardown and rebuild. Civic had great assets and attributes. And they knew that it was time for their brand to take the next step. Our work together gave the group the direction and tools they needed, ready to pick up and use.

Our work was a learning journey. The Civic team ended the project confident they’re better off than before. With a clear vision they’re ready to turn into a successful future.

Our next story could be yours

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