James Layfield: The Lounge
Focus: Marketing for 18 to 30-year-olds
Company: The Lounge
Layfield ran Richard Branson’s D3 and realised that there was another way of understanding the youth market than, as he says, “wearing swanky jeans and getting a trendy haircut”. Consequently, with Sarah Gill, he created The Lounge, an experiential marketing company for companies wanting to reach the 18-30 age group. With Virgin as his first client, it wasn’t long before the likes of Microsoft and Samsung signed up, helping Layfield generate a £1.5m turnover. Just a year into its creation, Layfield is looking to apply the same concept to a PR firm.
Layfield continued to run The Lounge successfully until 2012 when he exited the business, having already started his next venture, Central Working – a London-based hub for start-up companies. Central Working has since grown to three sites across London and is expected to help 22,000 digital businesses grow over the next four years.
Find out more about Central Working in our guide to the best coworking spaces in London.