Employee value proposition, brand strategy & brand transformation for education & care company, Esland


Esland provides care, education and therapeutic support for vulnerable young people. Many of the young people in their schools and homes have encountered adverse childhood experiences, including complex trauma and foster placement breakdowns, as well as mental health issues, learning disabilities and neurodevelopment disorders.

They rely on excellent staff to support the young people in their homes, schools and assessment homes. The post-pandemic skills shortage meant that the social care sector had a vacancy rate of 8% compared to the UK industry rate of 3% (The Health Foundation), making recruitment and retention a key strategic goal.

Esland also has ambitious growth plans to scale significantly. Their strategic plans involve opening numerous new homes, schools and assessment homes over the next five years. To achieve their goals, they needed a strong internal and external brand to attract the right calibre of staff and communicate what makes them unique.


We began with the internal brand strategy, as recruitment and retention were their primary goals. We ran a workshop with senior leaders and developed an Employee Value Proposition, which included a whole host of employee benefits.

What did we develop for their internal brand?

  • An ideal employee persona – so we could understand their challenges, what they care about, objections and more
  • Brand values – agreed clear, simple brand values that all staff could engage with
  • Employee journey – we mapped the touchpoints for potential candidates and staff so we could better communicate with them
  • New Employee Value Proposition (EVP) – exploring the financial, work environment, career path & culture benefits
  • Updated the website copy and developed the career site
  • Supported with 3rd party communications plans
  • Internal and external launch

Next, we began the external brand strategy. This followed We Are Circle’s brand strategy methodology and examined how we could reposition the brand so it better reflected their integrated education, care and therapy approach.

We then planned a full brand transformation which was successfully delivered over a 9-month period, alongside their visionary CEO and fantastic internal marketing team. It encompassed:

  • Brand strategy that set the blueprint for success
  • Created a full brand transformation plan
  • Developed a new brand story and a new tone of voice
  • Evolved their brand identity, changing their name slightly and created new guidelines
  • Ideas for naming their unique education methodology, which they trademarked
  • Developed briefs and plans for their website, photography and copy, building the right team of suppliers around us
  • Launched a new website and 3 school websites


    • Indeed reviews increased from 3* to 4* and Glassdoor from 3* to 4.2*
    • Successfully repositioned the brand both internally and externally
    • Launched new website
    • Great feedback received

“Esland is evolving. To bring our ambitious plans to life we needed a Marketing Director who could lead the brand transformation and create a strategy that we could implement with ease. Laura provided an insight-led brand strategy that put us on a path to achieving our ambitious goals for the business.

We exist to change children’s lives for the better. To do that we must be able to attract and retain the right staff and communicate what makes us great so we can open more schools and homes. We Are Circle have helped us do just that.”

Jill Palmer, CEO, Esland

Jill PalmerCEO, Esland
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