The Starting Point

Once upon a time is a day nursery and pre-school located in north Bristol. It was set up by Helen O’neill, an experienced primary school teacher with a passion for child care and education. The nursery had been extremely successful for many years, but then new nurseries began to spring up in the locality and things began to change. Numbers started to decline as the new nurseries stole market share, seriously damaging this once steady business.

Helen’s son Rob stepped in to take over managing the business. Armed with massive enthusiasm and drive, as well as experience in business turn-around, his plan was to re-invigorate the nursery and return it to its former profitable status.

One of the first things Rob did was contact ie for advice on marketing to help him in achieve his goal.

The Intelligent Approach

Initial research and competitor analysis confirmed that work was urgently needed to raise profile and re-establish the nursery as a leading local provider of high quality nursery and pre-school child care.

Helen has created a ‘Home form Home’ style environment within her nurseries, perfect for encouraging active learning and nurturing each individual child. We worked closely with Helen, Rob and the team to understand the benefits of this approach, their ‘value proposition’, and then ensure that this was clearly communicated throughout their marketing communications.

We had established that referral marketing would to be key to attracting new families. We also knew that parents research local nurseries online before arranging a visit. It was therefore critical to upgrade their website to ensure that it communicated the expertise and experience of the team, as well as how they work to ensure that each child’s individual needs are met. Leaflets were also created and distributed within the local area. 


The Results

Within days of the new website going live the nursery started receiving calls from new parents keen to arrange a show around visit, one enquiry even came from a family about to move to Bristol from London. The website now communicates exactly what makes Once upon a time such a special place, as well as the the passion, expertise and enthusiasm of the people who work there. ParentS visiting the site are left in no doubt about the high standards of care and individual attention that their child would receive.

The work that we have done has helped kick start a new era for Once upon a Time and we look forward to working with Rob and the team on future marketing requirements. 

Rob said;"We loved the new website from the moment we saw it and knew that the time we had all put into the project was worthwhile. We now have a web site that reflects the quality service that we provide and makes us proud of where we work. Feedback has been hugely positive from existing parents, staff and prospective customers. It is a powerful, user friendly marketing tool that we own and control and it will suit our needs for years to come”. 


I receive frequent compliments re quality of our web site. Thanks!!!

Greg Smith - Senior Partner of Hookway Chartered Surveyors


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