Why I moved my marketing agency from Shoreditch to Croydon


By - Wednesday 20th March, 2013

Couch Integrated Marketing
One of the basic concepts of marketing is of course The Four P’s:

  1. Price
  2. Product
  3. Promotion
  4. Place

Ironically, while ‘place’ is the most permanent of the four P’s, it’s also often the most overlooked.

I made a similar mistake when I launched Couch, my integrated marketing agency. I have to be honest, the bright lights of Shoreditch blinded me, I bought into the hype that Tech City was the place to be. So when Couch began, I decided to set up in Shoreditch, invested in an expensive office space and got set to be fully involved in the local community. I met a number of fascinating and creative people and businesses, the kind of businesses and people that you know will do well for themselves and have an opportunity to re-invent the UK economy.

However, I had a certain unease about Tech City. Is it really an incubator for start-ups? Or is it more about foreign trade investment? Or is it a shopping window for the big companies to buy innovation? As I am keen to not make this piece a political discussion, I will leave this to you the reader to discuss and debate.

I run Couch with the following simple principles. Sell creativity, be innovative, stay passionate and most of all remain honest at all times. For me, my clients are most important, and I have to provide them with a service that is par excellence. When it came to looking into recruiting staff/suppliers/partners, I had a lot of difficulties. There was talent, but the talent I met was inexperienced, the talent was not passionate, the talent just wanted to be a part of a ‘hip’ crowd. Needless to say, this was not what I was looking for.

So I quickly decided that the bright lights of Shoreditch where not where I wanted to be, and that the time had come to move Couch somewhere more suitable to my core values. As a business I have to consider many factors before I up sticks and move – it’s a delicate balancing act of a range of factors. So what were the reasons why I decided to move my agency to Croydon?

  • I wanted absolutely great staff, suppliers and partners. Simply put, good wasn’t good enough. As I began meeting people from the Croydon business arenas, I began to meet fantastic people. I could find people with the right skills base for Couch and its clients.
  • The key factor of transport and service infrastructure. Like many businesses I need easy access to good road and railway links. Croydon has this in abundance and this is vital as it ensures that we can meet service or delivery deadlines.
  • Currently I have decamped to Matthews Yard, off Surrey Street. I chose the workspace for a multitude of factors, foremost that the cost and services provided meets my need as a start up. It helps us to stay agile and flexible that reaps its own benefits for our clients.
  • The community in Croydon is thriving, there are so many great initiatives (Croydon Tech City being one of them), and the success stories that are already beginning to come out of Croydon allow me justify my decision to leave the bright lights of Shoreditch.

A number of people I have spoken to about my move to Croydon do not always understand my decision. Croydon, unfairly so, does not always have the reputation for being the centre of business excellence and innovation, and the home of truly talented individuals. I have had many a discussion with peers about my belief in the opportunities in Croydon. I truly believe Croydon has talent in abundance, and I see it as a minefield of opportunity: not only to grow Couch, but to make lasting connections with brilliant business people, employees, and suppliers. Not only that, but the youth in Croydon have a steely determination to improve their skills and apply this to business, whether working for someone else or taking the steps to build their own.

So for anyone out there still in doubt about why I would choose Croydon over Shoreditch, I urge you to do a few things. Firstly, take a look at the businesses moving here – you may be surprised at the names picking a Croydon address. Secondly, I would suggest that you take a visit and come and be part of the various networking groups or initiates that there are. Lastly, I would urge you to ask yourself: why wouldn’t you want to be part of something that is vibrant, ambitious, and enterprising, with an abundance of opportunity and absolutely great people to work alongside?

Ash Rishi

Ash Rishi

Founder and Managing Director of Couch, Ashish Rishi has worked with a number of large multinational agencies such as Ogilvy & Mather and Young and Rubicam. Integrated marketing has been an important part of Ash's career, especially to see how the internet has developed and is using this technology to expand the means and methods of communicating. Ash believes, online and offline marketing when done correctly is one of the most powerful strategies to grow a business. Ash started Couch an integrated digital marketing and communications agency in 2013 and his focus will now be on growing Couch to compete with the best.

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  • http://twitter.com/MarioCreatura Mario Creatura

    Welcome to Croydon Ash! You are just the sort of bright entrepreneur that this town needs and (contrary to perception) is actually very good at incubating.
    We need to talk up our town, we have a lot to offer London and the South East. Yes things could be better, but the way to make it better is through constructive criticism not perception-damaging mud slinging.
    You’re an example to other businessmen and demonstrate that Croydon is open for business with some of the most competitive office rental prices in London.
    The question is, why wouldn’t you move here?

  • http://twitter.com/greencroydon Andrew Dickinson

    I’ll second that Mario. Welcome to Croydon Ash, I wish you massive success with Couch and applaud your move

  • http://twitter.com/trypewriter01 paul dennis

    Welcome to Croydon Ash. You have certainly come to the right place for talent!

  • http://twitter.com/Ash_Rishi Ash Rishi

    Mario, Andrew and Paul, really appreciate your comments. I am 100% confident, I have made the right decision and really look forward to the challenge of making not only Couch grow, but also do my bit for Croydon.

  • Martin Cook

    Well put, we to have just moved to Croydon and was also very tempted by the lights of Shoreditch. The main point for us is technology has changed the game and fast internet connection is all we needed! Perhaps our paths will cross… http://www.orchardpost.com

  • Rani

    Your company sounds like a great place to work! The values mentioned are great.