Hc-One & Wellbeing Club

Reinventing the care home and wellbeing experience

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Identity
  • Naming
  • Design
  • Messaging
  • Copy Writing
  • Tone of Voice
  • Illustration
  • Uniform and launch collateral

The UK’s largest care com­pa­ny had an ambi­tious growth plan. The HC-One brand, how­ev­er, was real­ly hold­ing them back. Cold and clin­i­cal, the brand sim­ply was­n’t con­nect­ing with key audi­ences. In a heav­i­ly reg­u­lat­ed sec­tor that already strug­gles with reten­tion of staff, root and stem change was required.

We defined a new vision and sim­ple phi­los­o­phy about care, reject­ing the stan­dard jar­gon and imper­son­al approach for some­thing com­plete­ly trans­for­ma­tive. Far more than a sim­ple rebrand, The Kind Care Com­pa­ny is an entire­ly new phi­los­o­phy, inform­ing how the com­pa­ny behaves — nur­tur­ing staff and res­i­dents, and set­ting a high bar for the indus­try as a whole.

ODA’s work had a pro­found effect on the busi­ness. I’ve been work­ing in this sec­tor for 20 years and I’ve nev­er seen the sort of feed­back this has gen­er­at­ed. Every­one I’ve intro­duced the new brand to tells me it’s turned HC-One into an out­stand­ing sec­tor-lead­ing brand. We get peo­ple apply­ing for jobs who tell us the very rea­son why they’re here is because they buy into our kind­ness-first philosophy.

Emma Charlton Marketing Director HC-One


We worked close­ly with HC One to embed the new val­ues into the cul­ture. Togeth­er, we built pos­i­tive con­nec­tions between res­i­dents and staff. We also rede­fined the brand archi­tec­ture to cre­ate a more local expe­ri­ence by flip­ping the hier­ar­chy to lead with home name and state­ment belong­ing to the Kind Care Company’.


Care is emo­tion­al, it’s all about feel­ings, so we cre­at­ed a sen­so­r­i­al brand. An own­able hand drawn font and sim­ple ink illus­tra­tions bring a gen­uine feel­ing of warmth and human­i­ty to the identity.

We retained the brand’s recog­nis­able orange brand colour but intro­duced a new sen­so­r­i­al colour palette.


We cham­pi­oned the use of famil­iar lan­guage that peo­ple would both under­stand but also feel. Instead of sec­tor jar­gon like respite’ we named it a lit­tle break’.

In a sec­tor first, rather than the usu­al facts and fig­ures approach, we intro­duced authen­tic sto­ries that demon­strat­ed the care ethos in a way that peo­ple could feel. We worked with a fan­tas­tic old­er nov­el­ist who spent time in our homes observ­ing and talk­ing to staff and res­i­dents and under­stood the sensitivity.


Attrac­tion and reten­tion of staff in care is the hard­est part to get right. When you do it’s life-chang­ing for res­i­dents. We pro­vid­ed car­ers with name badges that includ­ed unex­pect­ed facts about them to encour­age more mean­ing­ful inter­ac­tions with residents.

Rachel, Cham­pi­on Knit­ter’ was stopped so often to dis­cuss her knit­ting that she start­ed to car­ry some with her to show peo­ple dur­ing their chats. It was a sim­ple idea that real­ly helped to gal­vanise Col­leagues behind the idea of kindness.

Many of the brand’s car­ers were younger, so we added a tag to the door to give infor­ma­tion that allowed them to see beyond age to the peo­ple the res­i­dents used to be.


With kind­ness as our sim­ple guide we designed a new brand expe­ri­ence bring­ing that to life in every touch­point, from the choice of music play­ing in homes to the books avail­able in recep­tions, even the soap in the toi­lets and the names of the com­mu­nal rooms.

Vis­it an HC-One care home today and you will find they get the lit­tle things right like the wel­come expe­ri­ence, and bright, fresh flow­ers in reception.


Sec­tor-lead­ing brand with increase in appli­cants and staff retention


Well­be­ing Club rolled out across 300 homes and rein­vig­o­rat­ed staff and residents


We con­tin­ued work­ing with HC-One to exam­ine what mean­ing­ful lives look like in a care home, ini­ti­at­ing a cul­tur­al shift that focused on the pro­mo­tion of indi­vid­ual well­be­ing through a range of activ­i­ties that gen­uine­ly enhanced mind, body and soul. 

To suc­ceed it need­ed to work for res­i­dents will all needs and inter­ests and be eas­i­ly on-board­ed and imple­ment­ed. We ran work­shops with lead­ing demen­tia care experts and inter­viewed over 20+ Activ­i­ties Co-ordi­na­tors for insight into the chal­lenges they faced and to under­stand the logis­tics and constraints.


First we reframed the role of activ­i­ties co-ordi­na­tors’ and worked with HC-One to change the role and job descrip­tion to Well­be­ing Club Lead­ers as this was piv­otal in cre­at­ing the change we want­ed to see. 

Then we cre­at­ed a full toolk­it to re-engage Well­be­ing Col­leagues with the role and inspire them to see the poten­tial impact of their role in the lives of the Res­i­dents liv­ing in the home. 

Each home has one or two Well­be­ing Club Lead­ers but they rarely get the oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet each oth­er for advice and shar­ing. To help cre­ate a thriv­ing well­be­ing com­mu­ni­ty we cre­at­ed a closed Face­book page and invit­ed Well­be­ing Club Lead­ers to share ideas and expe­ri­ences. It’s now a thriv­ing engaged com­mu­ni­ty of over 400 peo­ple nationwide.

I was a bit ner­vous about tak­ing a com­plete­ly new cul­ture to an estab­lished group of hard-pressed peo­ple who’d been doing their jobs for years with­out inter­ven­tion — but the most expe­ri­enced peo­ple haven’t felt talked down to, they feel we’ve giv­en them a new way of think­ing. I’m real­ly pas­sion­ate about what ODA have done for us — they did a remark­able job

Emma Charlton Marketing Director HC-One