Mr B & Friends is a fast-growing creative agency that has recently relocated from Bath, landing in Temple Quay towards the end of last year. Keen to find out more about the company’s choice of Temple Quarter and its plans for the future, we spoke to founder and CEO Simon Barbato.
Business age: 11 years.
Number of employees: 42, but this will be increasing again shortly!
Length of time in Temple Quarter: Nearly 6 months.
What does Mr B & Friends do? We’re one of the UK’s leading independent brand, marketing, digital and customer experience agencies. We help ambitious companies to transform, grow and improve their businesses through strategic and creative consulting.
Can you share any quirky or interesting facts about the business? We are still working with the very first client that launched the agency: Suffolk Life. This long-standing and trusted relationship says everything about what we value in business.
Tell us about some of the most memorable projects you’ve worked on. We’ve worked across a whole range of sectors and on such a variety of projects that many are special for different reasons. A few that spring to mind:
- For Siniat, a manufacturer of plasterboards based locally in Avonmouth, we have just completed a 9 month long marketing campaign called ‘If walls could talk’. This involved painting human models to match wall coverings to give walls a voice. Over the 9 months, we managed to achieve a massive 7 million views of the online advertising campaign and a sales increase which equated to £42 return for every £1 spent!
- From a blank sheet of paper, we created the brand for Six Degrees Group, a managed cloud services provider. We worked with them from the inception of the company (in 2011) up to the recent Private Equity backed sale of the business for a reported £180 million!
- Finally, we took over the InterContinental Hotel in Berlin for a three day IHG Owners Conference. 550 IHG owners and general managers attended the event, which we created the branding, marketing, digital and brand experience for – over 100 separate projects to create a spectacular experiential event.
Why did you decide to move the business to Bristol, and what’s your favourite thing about the new location? Our home in Bath was very important to us but, once we had decided to relocate here, there were four key reasons for the move:
- Space – we needed an office space and environment we could grow into and our new office in 3 Temple Quay will comfortably afford that.
- Talent – there is a lot of creative and digital talent in Bristol. A recent report stated that every week 91 people are leaving London to move to Bristol. We’d like to attract existing and newly arriving people and make them aware of fantastic career opportunities with us.
- Opportunity – there are many exciting businesses located in Bristol and, with a newly devolved government with a £31 billion GDP, we want to position ourselves as a company that can help businesses in the region to capitalise.
- To contribute – we want to contribute to the fast-growing creative and digital community. That means getting involved, being generous with our time and contributing to the circular economy.
We recently held a business networking event at our office and invited senior professionals from many of the top local companies. The buzz in the room was incredible and it was clear that Bristol really is an excellent place to be in business.
How would you like to see the area develop in the future? The development of the area over the last few years has been outstanding, with companies like OVO, Burges Salmon and Osborne Clarke locating here. We’d like to see more companies recognising the potential of this business district as an alternative to London and putting down roots in Bristol.
Immediately we see opportunities for more food and beverage establishments to open and we’re looking forward to the new gym opening soon.
What does Mr B & Friends have planned for the future? Being the very best at what we do is hugely important to us. This past year has included the move and bedding in lots of new faces. Now we are looking at business improvements, creating agile and efficient ways of working and ensuring that we place the client at the heart of our business at all times. We are constantly asking ‘where next?’, and we are on a journey of ‘good to great’ – so building, growing, improving is what we are focused on.
Describe the business in 3 words. Curious. Expert. Creative.
How can people find out more?
Call: 0117 4400 600