Lead Forensics

October 2019

MindWorks Marketing celebrates its 21st birthday!

MindWorks celebrated turning 21 in style this month with a spectacular birthday party for colleagues, friends and families.

The company was launched in 1998 by Emsworth resident and former Head of Marketing for the University of Portsmouth, John Harris-Burland, with just two colleagues. Now 32 people work at the agency on an impressive roster of internationally renowned clients such as Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, Suzuki, Ford and Wiggle, as well as emerging regional and national brands.

John said, “Recent research shows that only 36% of all UK businesses make it to their 10th birthday* so turning 21 is a tremendous milestone that gives us a chance to celebrate our achievements and evolution as a company over more than two decades. 

“It is extraordinary to think how our services and our own internal operations have changed since 1998 – going from writing each job number in a ledger 21 years ago to harnessing today’s explosion of digital media, drone photography and CGI. But at the heart of our award-winning success has always been our people. We’re still the same friendly working environment, encouraging creativity and innovation to deliver profitable and sustained benefits for our clients.”  

Close-knit culture is the secret of success

The collaborative culture of the company, named as one of the Top 25 Culture Leaders in a national list of SMEs last year, was the driving force for MindWorks becoming employee owned in 2017. 

John handed over ownership of the company to his colleagues and took on a more consultative role as Chairman. Michelle Leggatt, who has been a Director at the company for 18 years, and is a former national Women in Business Manager of the Year Award winner, became Managing Director.

Michelle said, “We’ve achieved so much over our 21 years, receiving many accolades and helping wonderful clients make a genuine impact all over the world. 

“The rapid forces of change have been exciting to be a part of, but one constant over the years has been our values and culture as a business. This is reflected by the fact that 59% of our colleagues have worked here for over 5 years, with 13 upwards of 10 years. It is also demonstrated by the long-term relationships we have built with clients. Many of the world’s most prestigious international brands and incredibly successful entrepreneurs who first came to us as start-ups have been with us since the start.

“2019 has seen more dynamic clients join us and the development of more new and exciting services. 

“When we talk with other employee owned businesses, a recurring theme has been how they can better engage with their staff. We have created an intranet system for MindWorks with bespoke versions for roll-out to other businesses, allowing them to easily communicate with staff in a user-friendly way. Our software development team has also created two website content management systems, standard and enterprise, including e-commerce and customer process facilities, which are now available to other businesses.”

“2019 is our ‘Year of Inspiration’ and I am inspired every day by the variety of clients and projects that we are privileged to work on, not to mention the phenomenal team that we have created at MindWorks. Here’s to the next 21 years!”


Photo: Back in the day – a 1998 Apple computer from when John Harris-Burland launched MindWorks