PR Log - Jan 09, 2013 - Strawberry started life in a small office on Strawberry Street in Hull. It remains in the same location to this day, however occupies a much larger space with a design studio, web team and a growing digital marketing department.
Strawberry’s founder and Managing Director, Jonathan Leafe, takes up the story: “To make 20 years in this industry is a miracle; not many agencies make it this far so to have done so, and grown so much, is a real achievement. I think the key to Strawberry’s success is our ability to evolve and adapt to changes in the industry. When we started out, it was just me and Sue Gibson, Strawberry’s Office Manager, who is still with us now. We had two desks and two computers and we were mainly doing publishing work – something we do very little of now.
“Over the years we have embraced new technology and the services we provide today are very different to the work we did 20 years ago. The one thing that has remained the same, however, is our commitment to adding value to our clients’ marketing strategies and helping them to achieve success.”
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Strawberry has plans to launch a new website and has made children’s charity, Whizz Kidz, its charity of the year with several key fundraising events planned for 2013. Whizz Kidz is well known throughout the UK and supplies mobility equipment to disabled children and young people, whilst encouraging them to lead active lives.
Jonathan comments: “We decided to work with Whizz Kidz because we were extremely impressed with their ethos and the work they do. They also needed help with their website and digital marketing, so thought we could provide them with a great deal of value by completing this work free of charge, at the same time as raising funds. We look forward to working with them during our 20 th anniversary year.”
Throughout its 20 years, Strawberry has always been keen to help develop young talent by offering work experience placements and welcoming apprentices to the team. Dominic Love, Strawberry’s Creative Director, joined the company as a trainee 17 years ago and has seen his career progress with the company. He explains: “When I left sixth form, I knew I wanted to become a designer, however there were very few creative agencies in the area at the time.
“I joined a course run by the council and came to Strawberry one day each week as a work placement to give me a stepping stone into the industry. I soon realised that the techniques taught on my course were out of date and that learning first hand on the job was more valuable, so I soon became a full time member of the team. I’d say the biggest change during my time at Strawberry is technology and the deadlines we have to work to. 17 years ago we had to send proofs and photos to clients through the post and an urgent advert would take 2-3 days to deliver. Now, with email, an urgent advert can be turned around in 30 minutes but still requires the same attention to quality and detail.”
Strawberry’s strategy to adapt with new technology saw James Greenwood join the company nine years ago to help establish the web offering. James is now Strawberry’s Digital Director and his team has grown from just one to fifteen members of staff. He comments: “Prior to joining Strawberry I worked in various creative and consulting roles. When I saw the opportunity at Strawberry I jumped at the chance to help develop its web service, recognising this was going to be a massive growth area. Nine years later, we are still growing, particularly in the field of digital marketing and ecommerce. We have a fantastic team and a portfolio of clients I’m extremely proud of – here’s to the next 20 years of Strawberry.”
Strawberry offers a wide range of marketing and design services including website design and development, graphic design, branding and digital marketing. Its current clients include XEN Jewellery Design, Tony’s Textiles, Hugh Rice, Tyremen and Leafield Projects. The agency was recently placed in a list of the UK’s top 100 design agencies by industry magazine The Drum.
Whizz Kidz is a national charity that provides disabled children and young people with mobility equipment and opportunities to have fun. It is the charity’s aim to help disabled children have an active childhood and it runs a network of clubs across the UK where they can make friends. Whizz Kidz also helps young people to find work experience and internships.