Capital Impact Partners

The Challenge: 

Capture the true essence of a complex and highly-innovative organization.

NCB Capital Impact is a CDFI (Community Development Financial Institution) located in Washington DC with a national presence. Established in 1981 by NCB Bank, NCB Capital Impact provides financial services and technical assistance to help make high-quality health care, healthy foods, housing, and education more accessible and attainable, and eldercare more dignified and respectful.   

After conducting extensive discovery interviews with partners (including leading foundations), employees and the board, we identified a number of brand challenges. First, there was confusion with NCB, the bank, because of similarities in the names, logos, and brand creative treatments. Second, messaging and strategy weren’t aligned; there wasn’t a compelling brand story, or connection between NCB Capital Impact and its sub-branded programs. Finally, the current brand creative (including website) didn’t communicate the compelling and unique strengths of the organization — or connect people to the brand on a human, emotional level.

The Solution: 

Bring a compelling new brand story to life.

After working through priorities with the senior team and Board, we identified the need to develop a new name, brand identity, and look, feel and theme that could position NCB Capital Impact as a true “social innovation” brand. A new name, Capital Impact Partners, new tag “turning potential into progress,” and term “Impact Systems” acknowledges their unique strengths in providing capital, expertise and a deep knowledge of how communities work.

  • New Identity:

    Simple, elegant and strong — representing an organization focused on social innovation and change.

  • Website:

    The website brings the brand story to life both through beautiful imagery and detailed storytelling. Each area of focus (like healthcare) includes a scrolling, narrative page that describes the problem, solutions, our approach, case studies, and measured impact — real metrics related to capital invested, and number of lives improved.

  • New Brand Story:

    The new brand utilizes bold statements and images that connect the reader to core values and programs now called “Impact Systems” — re-engineering and reinventing models in critical areas such as healthcare, fresh foods, aging, and affordable housing.

  • New Brand Book:

    A detailed brand book provides everyone on the Capital Impact team with an understanding of the new brand story, including vision and mission, core values and graphic standards.

Brand Action: 

Giving birth to a new social innovation brand.

The new brand identity was introduced in January 2014, and a dynamic new website was launched in April, all to great fanfare. Work continues to incorporate the new messaging and personality into every communications touch point, and help employees begin to “live the brand” internally. Ongoing communications will further explain the meaning of “Impact Systems” and connect the Capital Impact story to the dynamic programs they invest in, and scale, improving the quality of life for millions in communities across the United States.

“Now we have a brand that clearly explains who we are and what we do, in a way that positions us for continued growth and success. The Garfield process and team has helped us to clearly communicate our key strengths and the difference we’re making in the world.”

Terry Simonette, President & CEO
Capital Impact Partners