From setting up in a boiler room to Love Island campaigns – the rise of Zeal Creative
A Manchester marketing business which was formed just four years ago in a boiler room is to open its first London office with a target turnover of £7 million.
Zeal Creative, which is based in MediaCityUK, delivers promotional and marketing campaigns for some of the UK’s biggest brands including Nestlé, Kellogg’s and Pringles.
Most recently, it helped to launch a partnership for Kellogg’s with Love Island, giving fans of the ITV2 hit programme the chance to win poolside tickets to the show’s final.
Zeal Creative has gone from strength to strength since it was set up in 2014 from a boiler room near a bus station after securing a £10,000 low-interest loan from the Government-backed Start-Up Loans Company (SULCo).
The agency saw its revenue double in the first two years and now the business has moved to a new 3,500 sq ft office to accommodate the ever-expanding team, which now stands at 42 full time staff.
The business which has a current turnover of £4.9m is also about to open a London office to help service increasing work from Nestlé HQ in Gatwick.
Stewart Hilton, 46, and Robert White, 45, the agency’s co-founders, decided to pursue their dream of starting their own marketing business after working together for 20 years.
Although they had the expertise and contacts in place to grow a successful business, they lacked the capital to kick-start their venture.
In 2014, they approached SULCo and used the low-interest loan to buy office equipment, cover recruitment fees and travel expenses to attend client meetings in the initial stages.
The money was crucial in allowing them to meet with 21 potential clients in the first three months, leading to eleven secured projects.
Stewart Hilton, Co-founder of Zeal Creative said: “Since launching our business in 2014 from a small boiler room, we’ve not looked back.
“After only four years, Robert and I have managed to attract some of the world’s biggest brands and we’re confident that our new office in London will open more doors.
Joanna Hill, managing director of the Start Up Loans Company, added: “It’s been fantastic to watch how Zeal Creative has grown in such a short space of time.
“It’s a great example of how a start-up loan can really support and encourage people who have a dream of starting their own business.
“The company’s client base is impressive, and the fact that Stewart and Robert will now have an office in London as well as in Manchester, is testament to their hard-work and dedication.”