Forestcare residential care homes has been established for over 25 years. They offer attentive, comfortable residential care in beautiful locations. Their business was facing two new potential threats to their continued growth. Firstly the market is growing very rapidly. With people living much longer lives and families and communities no longer caring for the older generation at home, many new players are entering the sector to take advantage of the demand. Conversely, the second threat is the very negative cases and reports in the media of the maltreatment of people being cared for in a few homes. Forestcare appointed Valiant to review its current positioning, analyse local competitors and make recommendations on ways to reassure potential customers or their carers as well as building a competitive advantage.
Following an immersive workshop we got to the root of the values behind Forestcare as a business. The company is owned and run by genuinely lovely, caring people. Their existing marketing material and identity was very old and out of date. It did nothing to suggest the levels of innovation and service within the groups care homes. We visited some of their homes to get a real insight to the day to day workings, the behaviours of the staff and feedback from the residents. It became really clear how much all involved in the homes really, really cared. Having been in the industry for so long it was obvious it was not driven by a desire to make a quick profit but actually to provide high level care at a cost that has no hidden extras. We then looked at the many new carehomes currently entering the market locally and those that started in the past 2-3 years. We reviewed their marketing, costs and ratings. Forestcare commissioned a “mystery shopper” to visit competitor homes and their own, to really understand where improvements were needed in-house and to identify their own strengths and any threats posed by competitors.
We assessed their target market too. The decision makers choosing a care home are most often the family of the person going into care – their children or even grandchildren. Too often the marketing material was designed for the resident only – this over simplification no longer made Forestcare appear aspirational. It became clear that Forestcare led the way with their offering but their brand identity and materials just didn’t reflect that.
With all this information to hand, only then did we begin the design process for their new brand identity and style. We set out to create an image for Forestcare which captured their values, their strengths and better represents their proposition. A design which would appeal to the family or carers of the loved one who needed care and reassure them they were making a safe choice. The material needed to clearly communicate the length of time and therefore experience Forestcare has. And finally that there were no hidden costs.
We produced a new brand identity, a clean and contemporary icon of a tree (a modern evolution of their previous mark). The typography of the name was developed to be as unique as the company is in it’s offering. A new soft colour palette supports the brand refresh and has been applied to all materials, website and signage. Finally the photography was commissioned using real shots of residents in the Forestcare homes. This honesty was critical to support the company’s values. The brand refresh has enabled Forestcare to gain a competitive edge on the fast growing local market, has greater appeal to their target market and is a better representation of the company, its values and experience. If you live in Surrey or Hampshire and would like to find out more then visit their website here.