By Lucy Bradley
Here at Frogspark, we’re really passionate about what Derby has to offer as a city. We think the SME’s of Derby should get a little more recognition for their hard work, creativity and innovation. As great as they are, there’s more to Derby than Rolls Royce and Toyota you know! That’s why we’ve decided to put together our ‘Best of Derby’ list, recognising everything from best social media efforts to the best beer garden that Derby has to offer. If you’ve been recognised below, congratulations! We think you’ve done an amazing job in 2019!
Hannells is a locally born and bred, family-run estate agency, which has grown through passion and dedication to become a well-recognised brand within the community. It’s clear the Hannells team are passionate about all things Derby – this is demonstrated in their active contribution to the community through previous sponsorship of the ‘Hannells Stand’ at Derby County, numerous charity events and Hannells Darley Park Concert. They have a fantastic customer-focused approach, which is why we’ve chosen them as the best dedicated local business.
“As an individual, you might think that you can’t make a difference, but you can, it all begins with an idea”. We came across the video marketing campaign created by Derby Uni alongside Jet Productions to celebrate their technology and engineering degrees. They found the perfect way to showcase the fantastic courses on offer at the University of Derby as well as involve the students themselves. Where can we sign up, guys!
Pushing boundaries in the business world can be a courageous but rewarding action. Nelsons Law has done just that, taking a leap into the unknown with not only with a complete rebrand but with a refresh of their identity as a whole. Their new vibrant branding has been designed to reflect their new company visions and values, as to push themselves as a business with a positive, energetic and high-performance culture. We love to see strong and consistent branding because we know how it can propel you miles ahead of your competitors. Good job Nelsons!
Earlier this year Derby IT solutions firm RDS Global launched their RDS Black Box. This system helps to consolidate data, allowing businesses to use it to their strategic advantage and keeping them ahead of their competition. To aid in the launch of this, RDS Global got former hacker Tony Sales, once known as Britain’s ‘greatest fraudster’, to warn businesses that the biggest threat to online security is ourselves. RDS Global wins the most inspiring launch for promoting their product with a person who’s been directly involved in facilitating cybercrime, therefore can act as the best advocate for software which helps to protect from it.
When two insurance brokers began a merger process to become Aston Lark, they aimed to create a clean and modern logo that represents their joint mission, vision and values. The Aston Lark logo caught our eye due to the dynamic simplicity of the design, with the use of the ‘lark’ bird within a triangle to create an illusion of an ‘A’. We also love the use of bright colour gradient – similar effect to what we have in our Frogspark logo… great minds think alike!
The best not-for-profit marketing campaign we’ve seen this year has, of course, got to go to Mercia Image Print! To coincide with their 30th Anniversary they launched their ‘30 Days of Giving’ campaign to try to raise £30,000 over a period of 30 days for 30 local charities. How amazing is that! Some of the main charities they worked to support money for were Derby County Community Trust, Treetops Hospice Care, The Breakfast Club, Big C Little C and Children First Derby. Merica Image has shown an absolutely amazing commitment to the local community, combined with an excellent marketing campaign to support their cause as much as possible. They are such an inspiring Derby-based business, and we couldn’t commend enough.
Our favourite networking event we’ve come across in Derby is Elliot Mather’s ‘Business Over Beverages’. So many networking events out there are quite frankly, awkward! Over rehearsed pitches, presentations and forced conversations – no thanks! This invitation-only networking event allows you to meet new faces each time and having meaningful conversations to form better relationships. We love how Elliot Mather has created a different (and more enjoyable) local networking event, and that’s why they’ve won this award.
Alice and the Hair is a hair salon and academy based on Sadler Gate in the heart of Derby. They’ve absolutely smashed their social media efforts over the past year, with a loyal following of over 7000 people! With artsy shots of their work, beautiful images of the products they use and ‘girl power’ graphics – we can see why. They utilise Instagram brilliantly, making full use of Instagram stories, highlights, engagement competitions and live streams. They now even offer their very own ‘socialhare’ workshop, sharing the secrets of their social media successes with others. We can’t wait to see the amazing work they put out in the next 12 months!
Sometimes you need to get out of the office to strategise your next killer marketing strategy or discuss your progress over the past year. Penta Hotels Derby gets our recognition for meeting those requirements! Featuring 3 conference rooms of various sizes means this location is suited for both smaller and larger meetings. The ‘vibey’ interior couldn’t be more up our street, and it really helps to get our creative juices flowing!
When it comes to employee motivation, Baltic Apprenticeships knock it out of the park. They go above and beyond to make sure their employees feel valued, supported and part of a work family. Our favourite thing we’ve seen is their ‘Baltic value nomination mugs’ which encourages the staff members to award their fellow colleagues with a treat filled mugs – with labels such as courage, honestly, customer service and communication. When an individual receives a mug for their efforts, they get to keep all the treats inside and have a week to fill it up to pass on to the person they have recognised contributing that value. The team are also going on an all-inclusive trip to Ibiza later on this year – how’s that for an incentive!
Timms Solicitors have shown their dedication to various charities and the community year on year. One outstanding achievement of theirs is facilitating over £6.6 million worth of gifts from people choosing to leave a legacy to Cancer Research UK through their free will service. Further schemes they’ve been involved with this year is the Alzheimer Society‘s Dementia Friends initiative, Derby Family Fun Run and the 2019 Legal Walk. These amazing achievements are just some of the reasons why we have recognised Timms Solicitors for their amazing contribution to the community.
For those business meetings that require really great coffee and great surroundings (plus free Wi-Fi and parking), the BackYard is our coffee shop of choice every time. Our MD Rob is in there more than he probably should be, and swears by their americanos – especially the ices ones, black with sugar-free syrup. We love to grab a coffee there as a team to get out of the office sometimes – any excuse we have to pop down!
After a long, hard week in the office, we can’t wait to get our hands on a cocktail – and The Palfrey couldn’t be a better fit! Just thinking about their cocktail menu is getting us excited for Friday night drinks! Not only do they have some golden oldies such as Solero and Silent Saint, but their very own Palfrey Punch. What’s more, if there’s a drink you’re craving that’s not on the menu, their bar team will do their very best to make one for you – now that’s what we call customer service!
The Book Cafe in Derby offers a quirky, chilled environment – with a faded, dimmed character theme reminiscent of an old library. The building is Grade II listed, and was originally built as a bank back in 1879, but it’s not just the building that we love – their food is just as incredible. Their food is freshly made and locally sourced, with everything from rustic ciabattas and handcut sandwiches to jacket potatoes and fishfinger baps. We think it’s the best place to grab lunch in Derby, well worth taking some time out from your busy schedule to visit!
If you’ve ever done an escape room, you’ll know the amount of teamwork and communication it takes to find the clues and escape. It’s the best activity to get your workforce together and blend challenge with a bit of good old team bonding. Make Your Escape have even teamed up with a coaching and leadership training expert to create an ultimate business team building experience. Not only does it get your brain in gear, it’s a lot of fun too!
What better bar for a work social than one where its normal to dance on the benches? Stein Strasse is a German themed bar that not only offers the best atmosphere with live music and entertainment, but also some pretty tasty cocktails! We love the vibe this bar brings to Derby, especially when the big sporting events are screened – like the World Cup last year and the play-offs. It’s so much more than a bar, definitely a place to try if you haven’t already!
Where have we been spending a few too many of our summer evenings this year? In The Dragon’s beer garden of course! Based outside of the centre of Derby, in Willington, The Dragon backs onto the Trent and Mersey canal. As they say so themselves, “there is nowhere quite like The Dragon on a sunny afternoon”, and so we couldn’t think of anywhere to be better recognised as the best beer garden for work drinks!
If you fancy a beer after work, Suds & Soda is the place to go. Based on Friargate, Suds & Soda is a craft beer bar and shop. They have Derby’s largest selection of beer from local, national and international brewers, meaning they’ve got a drink for just about everyone! Rob and Liam have been craft beer lovers for years, so to have a vibey bar round the corner from the office, it couldn’t be a better fit!
If you’re from Derby, you’ve probably heard about Bunk’s delicious chicken wings – but have you tried their cocktails? Our team loooove them – they have so many different ones to try, everything from woo woos and gin brambles to parma violet and drumstick lolly cocktails. Even better – if you go between 5pm and 10pm on any day of the week, they’re only £5. Gotta love happy hour!