Formerly Albina Opportunities Corporation
Over the years as our organization evolved, we found ourselves with the growing desire to create a unique identity that is more aspirational, better represents the broad scope of communities that we serve, and better conveys our mission and what we do.
Changing our identity from Albina Opportunities Corporation to Ascent Funding was not a casual decision. A branding consultant, LeAnn Locher, was hired to work with a board-led committee and staff to lead us through this journey. Over the course of 7 months we engaged over 50 people including community partners, clients (current and former), funders, founders, and others to participate in various focus groups and review meetings to provide feedback and input on what our brand meant to them and our community.
Our Name: Ascent Funding
From an initial brainstorming session of over 100 terms and phrases, we winnowed the options down to one. Our final choice might be best explained through a sampling of comments from our focus group sessions:
- “It talks about your journey as a business owner and your hopeful summit of success.”
- “‘Ascent’ feels like I’m going somewhere. It infers success.”
- “It means something in regards to growth, and moving forward.”
- “Funding conveys what you do.”
- Furthermore, it was made very clear that our constituents did not view (nor want to view) us as a bank. As such terms like “loans” and “capital” were dropped from contention.
Our Tagline: Together, creating opportunities for small businesses.
This tagline was carefully scripted to describe the mission of our organization and can be deconstructed as follows:
- “You’re not in it alone. Ascent Funding is your partner on this journey.”
- “Together represents community” (which was a very important consideration from our focus groups)
Creating opportunities is what we do and opportunities also honors the legacy of our old name.
Small business is who we do it for.
As with our name and tagline, our logo is designed to convey our mission and values. The “A” in Ascent can be seen as a “summit,” the goal of the path our clients are on. The circle represents community and inclusiveness. The rounded corners evoke friendship, warmth and trust. The logo color is another reflection of our values. Orange is optimistic and uplifting, signaling emotional strength in difficult times. The blue is calming and steady and complements the orange.