Celebrating 25 years

It's our Silver Anniversary

It's our Silver Anniversary
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Our 25th Anniversary

So here we are, January 2023 and yes BBI Brandboost is celebrating its 25-year anniversary as a trading limited company. Congratulations to the team and to our long-standing clients.

And what a 25 years it has been for this digital marketing agency. From our first tentative steps into the uncharted wilderness of the nascent World Wide Web, all the way to our modern-day status as leading digital marketing experts, it’s been quite a journey!

In the beginning

January 1998 – Business to Business Internet Limited traded for the first time as a separate limited business, but wait that’s not the actual beginning of our story.

The start of our journey was in fact in 1995 when the managing director of the marketing agency MPS International had the vision that the Internet was about to change the way businesses market themselves and sell their products and services to one another - and so with this vision formed the operating division of MPS International called, “Business To Business Internet”.

Our original Business To Business Internet logo

In 1996, the operating division of Business To Business Internet signed its first client in the automotive industry (Fleetlease) and then added further clients in the construction and education sectors. The sales process was interesting to say the least back then (yes, I was one of the team right at the start of the journey and have been here ever since).

I remember visiting boardroom after boardroom to present all manner of seemingly outlandish facts and figures about this fledgling technology known as the World Wide Web. I would explain why their company should register a domain name (at least for brand protection) and then pitch to them the radical idea that their business should have a website. This – I spelled out to them – would be a place online where their company brochure could be read by absolutely anyone in the world (with a computer) which meant their marketing budget would instantly become about a million times more efficient!

We had some positive responses from many business leaders who saw the Internet for what it was and would become; they jumped at the chance to be early adopters even if we had to use their fax line just to dial out on a 14.4 modem to show them the wonders of the Internet! We sometimes complain about page load speed now, but back in the mid to late 1990’s, images would appear line by line - it was far from the speed we now expect from the information super highway!

We did also have the ‘dinosaurs’ who would dismiss the WWW as a fad “I have a phone and a fax, why would I need this internet thing!” – Yes, they did exist and yes, we were asked to leave to never to darken their doorstep again on more than one occasion!

Throughout those early days, we used Henry Ford’s most famous quote to keep us motivated. After bringing the Model T Ford to the world and creating the automobile revolution, this pioneer and innovator remarked that had he asked people what they wanted (before his production lines started to roll) they would have said faster horses.

We knew the internet age had arrived, even if not everyone we spoke to could imagine it replacing the fax!

We had learned to walk, now we began to run

The operating division grew in 1996 and 1997 to a point at which the then MD decided to launch BBI as a separate limited company in January of 1998.  In the launch we rebranded our logo which as you can see is more in keeping with our 2023 iteration.

The evolution of the BBI logo to one more recognised today

The late 90’s saw further growth and new clients which included developing “UK industry search” where we created and managed industry portals for the contract hire and vehicle leasing industry, alternative healthcare and Training & Enterprise Councils. With this key vertical market focus, BBI was the leading agency for TECs in the UK until they were abolished by the government of the day.

As the nineties drew to a close, we had the millennium bug to worry about. Ultimately a lot of fuss about nothing, this media-driven, dystopian dread-fest gave those businesses who had been looking to embrace the World Wide Web cause to pause and take stock.

It was only a brief pause though, as once those world-famous gongs from Big Ben had finished heralding the new millennium – and we all emerged from behind our sofas to discover no DVD player had risen up in rebellion – demand for websites went through the roof! Every business suddenly wanted one, as they realized a website was a 24/7, 365 sales person who does not take holidays or sick days, and who never complains about the traffic jams around the handy cross roundabout!

Expansion and innovation

DirectEdit Pro was an R&D innovation from BBI allowing clients to edit their websites via a simple to use WYSIWYG editor

In the early noughties the BBI team was an R&D hub, launching SERT in 2002 (our search engine ranking tool) - which guaranteed first page rankings on Google or your money back(!) - as well as DirectEdit Pro, launched in 2003, which was at the time a state-of-the-art website content editing tool.

DirectEdit Pro was so good its use continued up until 2011.

DirectCMS was the next generation in managing a website - moving from a content editing tool to a full content management system

In 2003 DirectEdit Pro was at the height of its popularity. We decided at that point to expand on its functionality to take it from a content editing tool to a content management system. That technological advance would require some serious internet building blocks and so it was then that we adopted open-source methodology. Through a great deal of brilliant development work by an extremely talented team, we created DirectEdit Pro’s big brother DirectCMS.

Although DirectCMS was good, it was a short-lived product as .net Nuke’s offering enveloped what DirectCMS was all about and became the now well established DotNetNuke (or DNN for short) and expanded its offering as one of the best (if not the best) open-source content management system available.

Nailing our colours to the .Net mast

Championing DNN as the open-source content management system of choice, we created our DNN specialist division of DyNNamite (you can see where we got the name) in 2006 creating skins (themes) available on the DNN market place of Snowcovered as well as custom DNN modules for our clients then and still to this day.

DyNNamite – DNN Specialist Division

Our designs were so popular that over the years we have had over 8,000 websites using our skins and themes with some of them best sellers.

We continued to see uptake of our CMS offering of DotNetNuke grow with the DyNNamite team at the helm, and we soon established a reputation as one of the leading DNN specialists here in the UK – this is still the case in 2023!

This rise to stardom within the DNN community would culminate at the end of the decade with the DyNNamite team winning the coveted “Official DotNetNuke Design Challenge Award” which was all the more impressive for being a global challenge award!

Another new addition

In 2008, digital marketing was moving forward rapidly and a holistic approach to online marketing was one we wanted to get across to our clients and prospects.

We felt we needed a brand which defined the digital marketing offering and one which would complement our website design, hosting, management and custom website development services.

This culminated in the launch of our on-line social media marketing service: Brandboost.

Brandboost was our one-word product that covered a plethora of individual digital marketing services, which could be tailored to each and every client requirement.

More growth? There is an app for that

The second decade of this millennium (or 10s for short) saw further growth and development. In 2012, we developed our first client mobile APP for both Android and iOS which centered around a measurement converter. We have developed many mobile Apps since then, however 2012 was our first and the app itself is even more memorable as it is available from Google Play and the Apple Store to this day.  

One name to market them all

In 2014, Brandboost became not just a product but an overarching theme of our operation.

We had known for a while that a website alone was no longer enough to present a company online. Successful businesses made sure their presence on the web was optimised and promoted, and they were keen to show their brands as interactive and accessible.   

BBI Brandboost logo as used today

There was no longer any reason to see the website design and build projects of BBI as separate from the online marketing activities of Brandboost. The dividing line between those two silos had been worn away, and an integrated approach – far bigger than the sum of its parts – had been born.

It was then that we changed our name to BBI Brandboost.

With the change of business trading name in 2014, the synergy between website development, online marketing and social media services became a key part of our company ethos and allowed us to create a service offering which is as strong today as it was in 2014.

In fact, while our business values and beliefs remain unchanged, our service offering has become wider-ranging and our level of expertise almost immeasurably deeper; for example, we have recently introduced a full video production suite of services, which includes in-house Green Screen and Sound Booth studio.

Recent years – the best and worst of times

The latter part of the 10s saw both an expansion into the B2C market place (2017) as well as the largest year on year growth (2018-2019), which placed the business in its stronger ever position.

This growth, combined with our quality of service and the broad range of our client base proved to be a solid foundation for the business, when shortly after the end of 2019 we moved into the blur that is the Covid years of 2020-2021.

I was and am to this day proud of the team and how we as a business handled the pandemic for ourselves and our clients.  We were and are lucky enough to be able to fully work from home with immediate effect and during those tough years we looked after all our clients from our respective laptops, kitchens, lounges and home offices.

Those two years were not easy for anyone, yet as a business we did not furlough any staff but made sure that we doubled our efforts for our clients.

We made the decision to help clients who were affected beyond their control (some after all had to close their doors for months on end) and we suspended contracts and billing for those worst-affected by lockdown, but kept their marketing activity ticking over. Covid was not any of their doing and we wanted to support our clients as best we could, so that when they were able to start trading again, they were in the best place to restart on the front foot.

This then brings us to the present day – January 2023, the past 25 (or so) years has been a rollercoaster of emotions, great highs and some lows; but we are still here with a team I am truly proud of and a digital marketing offering from BBI Brandboost which is among the best for business. 

About the author

Managing Director

As MD of BBI Brandboost, Andrew heads up our award winning team of Online Communications & Marketing Specialists, which provides an extensive suite of website development, application development, online marketing, SEO and social media services to local, national and international businesses.


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01494 452 600


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207 Desborough Road
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