Hive Five – Ketchup

May 2019 will see The Hive’s 5th Anniversary, as we approach that landmark, we thought it would be a good time to hear from our tenants (old and new) and learn more about them. Ketchup have recently taken more space with us…

Introduction

Offering a big dollop of creative support, Ketchup is far more than a condiment and goes much further than a traditional communications agency (or indeed a teeth-torn-open sachet of the red stuff). As well as developing creative concepts and campaigns, Ketchup – in cahoots with sister company Tiger Global – can also source sustainable materials, get products manufactured and physically get them to market if required. This is one Weston-based firm that’s punching way above its squeezy red bottle.

Meet Steve

Steve is Ketchup’s longest-serving member of staff. He’s worked with MD, Pete, for many years. Hard to capture in a few-word job title, Steve does many things simultaneously but the word Account Manager probably best hints at what he does, for every day is different in Ketchup world. From one coffee break to the next, Steve’s To Do List could have him developing a creative concept, sourcing sustainable materials for a crowdfunded invention, or devising a brand strategy for a startup. Steve oversees projects and client relationships with innovative brands like Core150 and Batteryfree.com (behind the kickstarted success, the Million Mile Light); local café startup Good&Proper; Weston AFC; and household names Yamaha and Honeywell.

What does Ketchup do?

“Ketchup helps people take new and innovative products to market. It grew out of the increasing number of requests made by innovators to our sister company, Tiger Global, with people seeking not just manufacturing help, but all kinds of other support. This included everything from branding and marketing advice to website design and build and assistance with crowdfunding, e-commerce and customer service. Ketchup’s experienced and talented team now offers all of these things. We like making genius ideas happen and aren’t averse to investing in them ourselves, either!”

Why The Hive?

Ketchup used to be based in a rural location in North Somerset which had its pros and cons. A major drawback was the internet speed.

Steve explains, “Larger files had to be uploaded overnight, meaning that staff sometimes had to return at 2am if servers timed out when deadlines were looming. When the business then began to grow further, space was also of the essence. We needed more room, for more people to do more work, which would inevitably lead to even bigger strains on the three existing internet connections. It was time to grow to keep ahead of the competition and to be taken seriously on the global stage.”

They moved to The Hive enabling the team to double in size and giving them a more polished business address. Thanks to the flexible and low-risk nature of renting office space at The Hive, when Ketchup outgrew their first unit they simply moved into a larger space in 2018. With work not renovations being their priority, Steve says;

“It was great to be able to move office while keeping everything else the same. In the region, everyone knows where we are when we say we’re based at The Hive, so it was nice to retain that continuity. For clients based further afield, ‘just outside of Bristol’ pretty much sums it up. We loved being out in the sticks but it wasn’t necessarily a place we could invite our clients. The Hive sends the right message.”

Something Steve and team Ketchup really appreciate is the help offered by The Hive’s in-house staff. He says,

“There’s always someone on reception to help field visitors or gatekeep callers for us. Rob and the team are also great at booking meeting spaces or dealing with mail and product sample mailings. Although we’re just paying rent on an office unit, we feel we get much better value for money plus the help of a team, rather than it being just us.”

Hive horizons

Steve and Ketchup’s MD, Pete, met through the bar trade and therefore love a good social, getting people together and generally having a good time. Cake Wednesdays, networking events with charitable twists, the ‘Christmas jingle mingle’ and after-work drinks on a Friday at the local were mentioned as great opportunities to meet other people based in the building.

The prospect of more social and networking events at The Hive is an exciting one for Ketchup. They’re already working with another firm in the building on a Kickstarter project which will involve the marketing, manufacturing and export of the finished product. With so many innovative companies under one roof, more collaborative opportunities like this could emerge once companies integrate further. Bring on the socials…

Steve’s ‘Hive Five’ highlights

  • Connectivity. The 100MB up and download speed is vital.
  • Security. Good to see robust measures in place.
  • Professionalism. Clients take us more seriously.
  • Reception. Staff are great, managing calls, visitors and post.
  • Parking. For clients this is fundamental.