Promoting success Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2008

Nicole Loftus was working as an executive in the promotional products industry when she realized the inefficiencies in the way the industry conducted business.

The standard business model was to view the customer through a territorial lens, discouraging any contact between the corporate and end customer and the manufacturers and importers closest to the products.

She knew that she could create a better business model and formed Zorch in 2002 to realize her vision. By emphasizing the branding and merchandising capabilities that Zorch could bring to its corporate customers and de-emphasizing the middle-man role that distributors have traditionally played, the company can be a better partner to its corporate customers. Zorch can deliver a more efficient, responsive order process as it facilitates communication between vendor and customers, it can bring higher levels of sophistication to the merchandising and design decisions and serve as a corporate “brand guardian” as well as deliver lower costs.

Loftus bootstrapped the company with loans from her parents and put up her house as collateral to guarantee bank loans to the business.

As her business model was most applicable to large customers with significant promotional product spending budgets, she faced scrutiny from large Fortune 500 purchasing departments. Nevertheless, through force of will and a compelling customer promotion, she was able to land a major insurance company as her first customer. Now, she has several of the largest companies in the nation as her clients, most of whom source their promotional products exclusively through Zorch.

HOW TO REACH: Zorch International Inc.,