Little Black Book: A digital rebrand, a decade of growth

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Thirteen years after founding Little Black Book (LBB) and quietly building a UK-headquartered business with a global footprint and £3+ million turnover, CEO Matt Cooper recently revealed a new digital archive for advertising agencies, production companies and businesses in the creative industries alongside a carefully planned UX redesign of the online platform.

Matt Cooper, LBB Online

Founder and CEO Matt Cooper is a digital pioneer who captured the zeitgeist of the internet and adapted it as a tool for archiving and celebrating creative work globally.

Little Black Book

LBB is the first company to have brand, agency, post production and production companies promoting their businesses on a level playing field.

The platform offers them guaranteed coverage of their creative work and business news, control of their public profile, the ability to host and expand on their archive in one place, and the chance to enter their best creative into a globally respected awards show (The Immortal Awards).

The business is backed by a number of industry heavyweights who act as shareholders including Sir John Hegarty, Steve Parish and Sir William Sargent.

Sir John Hegarty, Co-founder and Creative Director at The Garage Soho & The Business of Creativity, said: “Like any great idea LBB seized the future. It understood the value a digital first strategy would deliver. Whilst their competitors were struggling to reconcile the past with the future, LBB was already in it.

“Any great leader must deliver clarity and focus. And do so with energy and enthusiasm. Matt delivers those in spades. Articulating LBB’s opportunities and it’s future course.”

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LBB: A sound business idea that took off under Cooper’s steer.

Sir William Sargent, Chairman Framestore, said: “The business plan made sense – off the back of a track record of supporting the industry with relevant sales related events – and Matt embodied what was on offer and I believed he could deliver.

“The same qualities continue with Matt, added to by an ability to pivot as the business model needs to reinvent itself.

“Relevance is at the core of LBB and today’s amazing offering – not just to companies – but now equally importantly to individuals in a fundamentally freelance community – is unique and reaching further by the month.”

In November, following a year of record turnover in 2022 – 2023, LBB re-introduced itself with a major glow-up, offering more time-saving tools, more value and a free-to-view archive.

The new build was driven by customer usage and is forecast to see the business turnover approx £4m in 2023 – 2024.

“Bit by bit, over about 18 months, we connected approx 2.1 million credits which had been submitted to our platform over the course of the last 15 years”, Cooper said.

“Previously these credits were inactive text but post-connection they now link back to the profiles of 300,000+ creative people. Since launch in November this database of individuals is growing by 10,000+ people a week.”

Right now, LBB reports continued growth in business in the UK and an acceleration in growth internationally with increased business in the USA, Canada, Australia, India and Germany.

Reflecting on this growth and why he founded Little Black Book thirteen years ago, Cooper nodded to building something to address what was a dramatic shift in the business of advertising. Something he feels has contributed to the platform’s recent success: “When we launched in 2010, there were over 1,000 publications across adland – all autonomous and local – and to keep up with the business globally you had to be on top of them all.

“We created this platform with the belief that agencies, post-production and production companies would all change and evolve the way they do business (and that brands would interact with them differently).

“We saw that they would need one place where they could see what was happening to the industry globally AND locally. They would need a single place where they could tell their story and be found by potential clients.

“That is something every company is telling me they need right now and is undoubtedly the reason we are continuing to grow so quickly.”