Setting The Example
Robb Report spoke to Example’s Andy El-Bayeh and Rebecca Gibbs about their new co-working space Example House.
When ex-Merivale employees Andy El-Bayeh and Rebecca Gibbs both found themselves freelancing in 2017, they looked to each other for advice – with Andy the resident marketing expert and Rebecca a PR guru they often found themselves needing advice with clients. They decided to set up their own communications agency and almost three years later, they’ve expanded their office space and now launched their own co-working space, Example House.
What made you both take the initial leap into creating your own agency?
Rebecca: Andy had already left Merivale and I was looking at freelance opportunities for myself. We both loved working together so much and we both started looking at ways we could work together and collaborate on certain projects.
Andy: There was a lot of collaboration and we both needed to lean on each other and being PR and Marketing we needed to feed off each other to tell a whole brand story. The crazy idea of starting our own agency popped up and it just felt right to do it.
What do you think Example’s point of difference is?
Rebecca: Andy and I both recognised that getting the right people on board was going to be key to our success – it sounds obvious, but we’ve been blessed with the most incredible people.
Andy: Our point of difference is that we all really know the industry and a majority of us have worked client-side not only from marketing but operational perspective and we understand how product is the shape of what works, and that good marketing is based around having a great product first.
Now to your own product, Example House, do you feel this putting your money where your mouth is?
Rebecca: Collaboration and the idea of bringing together likeminded people with various expertise is what founded example in the first place. We wanted to create something that had true longevity, something that was bigger than us.
Andy: That’s the philosophy around how we built it. We want the space to be a place where our clients can really start to think differently about their business, and we want to be able to pull from their experiences as well so that they can also help our team grow.
How do you think a collaborative mixed-use work environment, like Example House impacts company culture?
Rebecca: This is an ambitious space, but I think the team look at the effort that both Andy and I have put into it and can hopefully appreciate how much we are re-investing our resources into them and into the business. You know we’ve set up all these spaces so that you can use it as you want, like if people want to use the bar they can, that’s what it’s there for.
Andy: We work with a bunch of content developers, architects, chef consultants, basically anyone involved with hospitality. We wanted them to have a space to come and collaborate and work out their own business – it’s easy in an agency to get insular in your thinking and utilise this space to set up more forums and more events and experiences.
And finally – how do you get in involved?
Andy: We have a website in which people can apply and if we think that they will get a lot of value out of us and we can get a lot of value out of them not necessarily on a business sense but more in a sense of people that can challenge us. Our difference that this is very intimate, and we want people that are going to interact with us – but also give them their own space.
Rebecca: Send us lots of Rosè! But really we’re looking for people within our industries of travel, hospitality and entertainment and like Andy says it has to be mutually beneficial.
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