As you can no doubt already tell, things are looking a little different around here. We are no longer the same marketing agency you used to know – we are now Castle!

This major rebrand is intended to reflect the enormous changes the business has seen since the start of 2020. During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we trebled in size!

Our rebrand is also inseparable from another transformation that we’re excited to share with you – our brand-new office on Castle Street, a prestigious location in the historic heart of Liverpool city centre.

Our decision to rebrand as Castle was a way for us to reflect these rapid transformations. It will also help us to pave the way for the future. After all, we’re only just getting started!

A white computer monitor displaying the homepage of the Castle website.

An unprecedented year

2020 was a tumultuous time, to put it mildly. It was a year of great sadness and loss, yet it was also a year in which we saw everyday people displaying enormous courage and solidarity. It was a true turning point. Looking back, we will no doubt speak of a pre-and post-COVID world.

Unfortunately, it was a particularly difficult time for businesses, especially small businesses and those in the hospitality sector. A Goldman Sachs report suggests that nearly two-thirds of the UK’s small businesses saw their revenues decrease. What is more, 44% of businesses cut staff numbers. The BBC recently reported that a tenth of Britain’s restaurants have not survived the pandemic.

That’s why we’re proud to say that, through the course of 2020, we’ve been able to support our clients in weathering this troubled time. Indeed, many of our clients have seen substantial increases in revenue during this period. For instance, one of our clients, the British homewares brand Swan, saw a 361% increase in sales from the previous year.

Fresh faces

As a result of this success in supporting our clients, 2020 was a year of massive growth for us. At the beginning of the year, we employed just 15 staff. By December, this had grown to over 40. And 2021 has seen no slowdown. We have added new members in the affiliate, SEO, content, and web teams this year already.

To some degree, the scale of these changes wasn’t immediately clear. They were disguised by the fact that many of us were working from home. Indeed, many of us had never even met our new colleagues face to face! But as we began to see a little light at the end of the tunnel, it became clear that the company was no longer what it had been only a year before.

As exciting as this change was, it also presented us with a significant and pressing problem. As lockdown began to ease, it quickly became apparent that our existing offices simply wouldn’t be able to contain all of the fresh faces. It was past time to find ourselves a new base of operations.

A view of the interior of the Castle office, with white pillars flanked by tall green ferns in grey plant pots.

Making a move

Looking for new offices is never easy. And doing it in the midst of a global pandemic adds in a whole new set of challenges!

Nevertheless, after some patient searching, we struck gold. Castle Chambers, at 43 Castle Street had a spacious, modern office available. Moving to this prestigious location, right at the heart of the city’s commercial district, was the perfect way for us to take a big step forward.

And the 6700 square feet it offered for our significantly expanded staff didn’t hurt, either.

We were able to secure a 10-year lease on the office, and quickly began the laborious process of having it designed and furnished to our specifications. After all, this was a major investment in the future of the business. It was important to start as we meant to go on.

As work progressed and we looked to set a moving date, all the excitement began to get our minds whirring about how we could commemorate this huge change.

As the office was being prepared, it became clear that, by the summer, our expanded workforce would soon all be able to get together for the first time. This was an opportunity for us to redefine who we were, what we stood for, and where we were going.

It was time for a rebrand. And luckily, we didn’t have far to look to find inspiration.

Jack Doran, Castle's E-Commerce Account Manager, sat at a desk in the Castle office.

A crash course in castling

Castle Street, the location of our new office, is not just sought after for its central location and striking architecture. It’s also a significant part of Liverpool’s long and storied history.

Castle Street was actually one of the seven streets that formed the city of Liverpool when it was initially founded in 1207, through letters patent issued by King John. In the 1230s, the eponymous Liverpool castle was built on the north-east corner of the street. The castle was intended to protect King John’s newly established port. It ultimately stood until the mid-18th century.

This history is not only a fascinating glimpse into the world of medieval Britain – it’s also rich with symbolism.

The medieval castle was more than just a fortification. It was the heart of the community. It represented unity and stability, providing a base not only for defence but also for administrative functions and communal celebrations. Even the architecture – the battlements and drawbridges so familiar to us all – were elaborated with rich motifs by medieval masons. It was as much a form of display for the nobility as it was a means of defence – even a kind of Renaissance marketing!

It quickly struck us that this relationship between security and community perfectly represented our goals as a business. Our clients can trust us to protect and safeguard their businesses, and our community spirit ensures that all of our staff members work closely together in service of our main goal – maximising revenue for our clients.

This ideal conjunction of place and ethos offered us a simple, elegant solution to the prospective rebrand. We would become Castle!

Tristan Folkard, Managing Director of Castle, standing in front of the glass doors of 43 Castle Street.

The future starts now

And at last, the day has finally arrived. Our rebranding as Castle coincides with the move to Castle Street, and we could not be more excited to see our whole team ready to get back together. Or, in many cases, to meet for the first time!

Even in advance of the big move, response from our staff was overwhelming. A survey revealed that 96% of staff members were excited to be back working with the rest of the team again, and 89% were excited about the new office.

Indeed, the office move represents not only a dedication to moving forward as a company, but also a commitment to the wellbeing of staff. In the same survey, 80% of respondents reported that they missed working in an office environment. This reflects national trends regarding the mental and physical impact of enforced home working. A survey by the Royal Society for Public Health, for instance, indicated 67% of people working from home due to Covid felt less connected to their colleagues as a result, and 56% said they found it harder to switch off.

So, with our new brand launching and our new office open and ready for business, it’s time to lower the drawbridge and welcome everyone to Castle. We’re excited to see what the future holds!