- Brand Strategy
- Brand Positioning
- Brand Messaging
- Tagline Creation
- Value Proposition
- Brand Guidelines
- Website Design
- Web Development
Helping a Nonprofit Lender Stand Out from the Crowd
For entrepreneurs and small businesses, getting funding is extremely important. However, the need for funding presents challenges: taking on investors means giving up equity and getting a loan comes with strings attached. Though there is more access to business loans than ever before in today’s world, the industry can be fraught with predatory lenders, fast money with fine print, and more. That’s where Colorado Lending Source comes in: they are a nonprofit lender that truly cares about empowering small businesses and provides funding, education, & resources. However, the fact that the brand truly cares about entrepreneurs as individuals, their business’s success, and the community as a whole was not clear until the marketing team underwent the whole branding process
Through our proprietary branding process, The MAVEN Method™, we worked with Colorado Lending Source to uncover their brand promise and differentiators. While the immediate answers were about how the loans are backed by the SBA, or the fact that they help borrowers through the entire loans process, the discussion kept circling back to the true reason that made Colorado Lending Source unique: they truly care about their borrowers’ success. We then tested this theory through customer research and discovered that the borrowers’ perception aligned perfectly with the brand’s—something that’s quite rare in all industries.
Before and after comparison
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Designing a Remarkably Different Experience for Borrowers
Based on the knowledge gathered during the research stage, we knew that it would be important to feature the values and the people working at Colorado Lending Source on the new website. With the new custom design, we found a balance between providing in-depth loan information and the people that borrowers will be working with to make the website experience as personal as possible. This entailed using pictures of actual employees in place of stock photography and including personal messaging. This personal touch informed everything from the structure of the menus to the overall layout of the website. The tagline we created was also born from the idea that Colorado Lending Source is unique in how it handles business: “remarkably different business lending.”
Building a Custom Website That Empowers Entrepreneurs
The new website side of the project for Colorado Lending Source entailed adding custom features to align with the company’s value of being an educational resource and turning dreamers into doers. As part of Colorado Lending Source’s mission to foster economic growth and support business beyond just funding, we created a small business resource directory. We also designed custom icons for the loan information pages and a custom four-step process for taking out a loan so that the information would be easy to comprehend for anyone in need of funding. Once the website was completed and launched, Colorado Lending Source was so elated by the new brand strategy and website that the marketing team threw a launch “birthday” party with cake, champagne, and computers showcasing the new site.
For more information, read the five star Google review from Lauren Kloock, the Senior Marketing & Communications Officer for Colorado Lending Source.
Colorado Lending Source SAID:"Working with Ascend has been a dream. The backend software piece is amazing; they have gone in and created exactly what people want and need." China Califf, COO