Navigating a high-stakes merger

Community First Fund (CFF) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that creates financial equity through wealth building opportunities for individuals and businesses in low-income communities. As CFF’s services grew and their geographic footprint expanded into other communities, they made the strategic decision to merge with FINANTA, a Philadelphia-based CDFI that offers similar services as CFF. After the merger was agreed upon, CFF commissioned Gavin to strategically navigate the combining of the two organizations through a carefully planned and fully integrated approach. This would ensure a smooth introduction for CFF into the Philadelphia market.

Making use of existing brand equity

One of the major obstacles to seamless integration into the Philadelphia market is the brand recognition FINANTA had in that area. A quick dissolution of their brand equity would’ve proved to be extremely detrimental because the Philadelphia community was not familiar with CFF. A phased brand introduction and integration plan for CFF – aligning and combining it with the FINANTA brand – was necessary to ensure that the merger would succeed.

Success required fully integrated services

Gavin developed a fully integrated approach that includes design, branding, public relations and digital services to work in harmony and deliver a successful outcome. Gavin designed various assets such as a short-term combined logo for the merged entities and stationery materials to introduce the CFF brand to the Philadelphia market, provided photography and videography services, promoted the merger news through public relations and social
media and developed an integrated website to communicate the new merged entities to the Philadelphia community.

Scope of Work

  • Research Strategy
  • Creative
  • Website
  • Video
  • Behavior Targeting
  • Social Media
  • Traditional Media Buying
  • Public Relations
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Event Planning and Facilitation

A brand growing continually stronger

The result was a successful introduction of the CFF brand to FINANTA’s Philadelphia audience through the strategic rollout of the various assets Gavin developed. CFF is now widely recognized in Philadelphia and has assumed the strong brand position previously held by FINANTA. Ongoing public relations and social media efforts work continuously to further enhance brand equity.