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T H E  C H A L L E N G E

ForrestBrown is a firm of chartered tax advisers specialising in research and development (R&D) tax credits. They’re young (founded in 2013), they’re independent and they’re proud to be based in buzzing Bristol.

ForrestBrown is growing fast – doubling in size year on year. We needed to add people power to their team, but without diminishing their individual, start-up culture. That meant we needed to create an employer brand that could:

  • Raise awareness of ForrestBrown as an employer of choice in Bristol – and as a specialised tax consultancy and credible alternative to top 10 accounting firms
  • Reduce reliance on agency hires in order to decrease long-term costs

T H E  S O L U T I O N

ForrestBrown had developed a surprisingly friendly corporate brand, but even that didn’t represent the employer personality that already existed. There was a lot to say, but wasn’t being communicated. To begin with, we developed and executed a robust research programme that included robust internal and external research. That research culminated in an EVP that was truly descriptive, emotive and ownable, and centred around four pillars:

  • The difference trust makes
  • Proud to be good
  • Solutions, not suits
  • Small but mighty

Then, the employer brand essence, or rallying cry, was agreed: Share purpose. Feel proud.

We created a look and feel that drew on the insights gathered, along with the EVP pillars and Rallying Cry, to position ForrestBrown in a fresh and exciting way. Distinctive, hand-drawn custom illustrations act as a visual representation of ForrestBrown and the creative, bespoke work we do for clients. Always used alongside birds-eye photography of real objects, that represent ForrestBrown’s various clients, it visually demonstrates how close employees are to the impact of their work. Illustrations are always positive and incorporate ‘real’ elements to form one bigger picture.

We also developed a tone of voice that accurately reflected ForrestBrown’s personality. Although they are professional, they aren’t corporate or boring. So, instead of hiding behind long sentences or meaningless jargon, we use a human tone: simple, clear and honest. Then we summed it all up with a comprehensive employer brand book.

The first stop on our activation journey was a brand-new careers website.

Next, we fully activated the employer brand across a series of marketing collateral, including exhibition stands, online banners, collateral for a ‘Gin Mixer’ event and HTML emails – plus a set of T-Shirts for a charity run.

T H E  R E S U L T S

Since launching the new employer brand we’ve seen some amazing results both online and offline.

Careers site:

1,476 visits of which 69% were brand new

9.08% bounce rate and 2.44 pages per session browsed

+ 3 mins and 10 secs dwell time

9.15% conversion on ‘visit to get in touch page’

377% increase in unique page views (average 1276 p/m in last four months compared to 268 p/m in four months prior)

3,222 video views

425% increase in number of applicants coming to us via the website (21 applications in the last four months, compared to 4 in the four months prior)

4 hires via the website, a 400% increase as we have never hired via this source before. As a result we saved £39,000 in recruitment agency fees

Gin Mixer event:

103 total sign ups

79 total attendees

77% turn out rate

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