Brand marketing specialist Wild Thang named Business of the Year at the Liverpool Chamber Innovation in Business Awards 2022. Tony McDonough reports
Wild Thang founder Andrew Dwerryhouse has spoken of the “special moment” the business scooped the top award at the Liverpool Chamber Innovation in Business Awards.
Held at the World Museum in Liverpool city centre, the event saw multiple awards handed out. Other notable winners included Liverpool John Lennon Airport which which won the Customer Excellence Award.
Claire McColgan of Culture Liverpool, who masterminded Liverpool’s campaign to secure the Eurovision Song Contest, was handed The Chair Award.
Founded 26 years ago, Bootle-based Wild Thang won the Business of the Year (over 30 employees) award sponsored by Lexus UK. It was a proud moment for the whole Wild Thang team and Andrew, who launched the firm with a £1,500 Prince’s Trust grant.
He said it was a “really special moment in Wild Thang’s 26-year journey”. He paid tribute to the “hard work, innovation and creativity” of everyone at the business.
“It was an incredibly special moment, in fact one of the biggest and best in Wild Thang’s history to accept The Business of the Year award on behalf of our entire team,” he added.
“Real success is never built by one individual or one department, but the whole team which is what we call ‘The Wild Thang Way’.
“It was a truly spectacular night which the team was delighted to attend. Big congratulations to all the winners and category nominees. It was just as fantastic to see lots of clients we deal with being recognised during the evening.
“We would like to say thank you to the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce for hosting such an excellent awards ceremony and the World Museum for providing a special venue to host the evening.”
Wild Thang operates from a 20,000 sq ft headquarters in Bootle. It oversaw a £2m-plus upgrade of the premises during the pandemic. Demand fell during COVID-19 but has since come roaring back.
It manufactures and supplies a full range of branded marketing materials. Blue-chip clients include Vimto, SkyBet, McDonald’s, Princes Foods, LJMU and Paddy Power. The firm also does work for a number of Premier League clubs including Liverpool and Everton.
Headcount has grown by 25% to 46 over the past year. This year Andrew expects the business to grow by up to 25% and wants to create more jobs.
At the beginning of November Wild Thang launched its range of Christmas merchandise. This includes an ‘eco range of sustainably-made products. It includes promotional gift packs and a range of confectionary treats.
“Over the past year we have continued to overcome many challenges as a company,” said Andrew. “This has included completing the world class development of our HQ, COVID, Brexit and economic uncertainty.
“However, we have continued to move forward as a company, increasing our staffing levels and turnover over the past trading year by over 20% and growth for the year ahead is projected to be 25-30%.
“We have recently won the biggest contract in our history which involved an incredibly complex merchandise solution with international distribution from our UK and Ireland warehouses.
“We have never been more excited about the future as a team, it really has given the company a huge boost and hopefully this top accolade will help us create even further momentum over the coming year.”
Winners of the awards were selected using a combination of an expert judging panel and public votes.
Paul Cherpeau, chief executive of Liverpool Chamber, said: “Wild Thang are worthy recipients of the Liverpool Chamber Award for Business of the Year.
“The combination of the public vote and independent judging panel recognised the outstanding performance of the company and its wider impact upon its customer base and area.
“Innovation has been at the heart of Wild Thang’s improvement journey over the past decade. Their success in our awards are a testament to the quality of that achievement. We are delighted to celebrate their achievements.”
Full list of Chamber Awards winners:
Business of the year Over 30 employees innovation award – Sovini Trade Supplies & Inciner8
Business of the year Over 30 employees overall award – Wild Thang
Business of the year Under 30 employees innovation award – In-House Legal Solutions
Business of the year Under 30 employees overall award – iiCON at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Responsible Business Social and Governance innovation award – The Sovini Group & Mashbo
Responsible Business Social and Governance overall award – Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Responsible Business Environment innovation award – Avrenim
Responsible Business Environment overall award – Booker Flowers and Gifts
International innovation award – Hexsor Scientific
International overall award – Inciner8
Skills & Employability innovation award – Mott MacDonald
Skills & Employability overall award – Torus
Young person of the year innovation award – Stuart Irvine
Young person of the year overall award – Marino Faggionato & Olivia Doyle
New Business of the Year innovation award – Quirky Digital
New Business of the Year overall award – Finer Engineering
Customer Excellence innovation award – PINS Social Club
Customer Excellence overall award – Liverpool John Lennon Airport
Chair Award – Claire McColgan