To meet Tory Archbold today, it’s almost impossible to imagine her anywhere else but leading TORSTAR – her uber-successful brand communications agency with global reach.

Sixteen years after launching TORSTAR as a one-woman-shop with a single client on the books, Archbold now leads a team that attracts multi-billion dollar brands and helps them become market leaders.

Success has led to TORSTAR competing against big global ad agencies, but Archbold says her company continues to win and grow business because “it’s all about the bottom line”.

“We attract and work with category leaders who are at the top of their game,” says Archbold.

“They want to tap into our experience, our knowledge and our unique brand of expertise. More importantly, we help them achieve their goals and KPIs.”

Ignore The Big Picture at Your Peril

The seasoned CEO says it wasn’t easy reaching this point, but admits that the key factor in driving her company’s success was to always to focus on the bigger picture.

“I learnt early on that it’s good to make mistakes because it means you never repeat them,” she says.

“You need to be aware of everything that surrounds you: your peers, your competitors, the brands and companies that you aspire to work with, all of it. If you’re not aware of the bigger picture, you risk becoming too narrowly focused on what’s happening right in front of you.”

MYER, Miss Universe and Global Success

Adopting a too-small view is something that Archbold, whose fifth client happened to be retail giant MYER, has never struggled with.

When she began working with MYER, for instance, one of her first moves was to launch Jennifer Hawkins, then newly crowned Miss Universe, as the face of the brand. “I was the first person to pitch to MYER that they should do global events – at the time, they hadn’t staged anything outside of Australia,” Archbold says.

She quickly spirited Hawkins off to New York for a series of fashion events that “had a huge global impact”, she says.

TORSTAR adopted a similar ‘big picture’ view when they lead the global strategy to leverage the latest Seafolly campaign shoot, featuring international model of the moment, Gigi Hadid.

“As an agency we travel extensively and have a strong insight into the global footprint of so many large brands, that our team has unique ability to tap into that and elevate the brands we represent,” Archbold says.

“If you look at what you can do on an international scale, there’s just no limit.”

Become the Brand – Master the High Street

The brands and campaigns that Archbold has collaborated with – including the likes of Nespresso, Mulberry and Forever 21 – benefit from plenty of face time with the innovative industry leader, whether they’re based in Sydney, London or Los Angeles.

“TORSTAR is visible in many global markets, which has allowed us to build valuable long-term relationships and partnerships,” she says.

Her team’s tendency to immerse themselves into their clients’ every-day operations is yet another reason why she believes TORSTAR has been able to develop its enviable standing as a high street industry leader.

It’s a reputation that was cemented this year, when TORSTAR became the first Australian PR and communications agency to launch five international high-street retailers in this market: Zara, Topshop, Next, Shopbop and Forever 21.

Honesty Will Always Build Trust

“Our team has been to brands’ factories, to their creative design rooms, to their production rooms; we have even been a mystery shopper in-store,” Archbold says.

“These insights help us present the facts and figures that mean the most to C-Suite executives and deliver to the bottom-line. There is nothing fluffy about what we do – we win business for our clients.”

She adds that we are not afraid to tell clients ‘that’s a really bad experience, and this is what we could do to make it better’.

“They really appreciate the honesty and they trust our recommendations – and also most importantly, they allow us the creative freedom to deliver,” Archbold says.

“Ultimately, we do things differently and we achieve different results and my ambition for TORSTAR is to continue to represent all of the top performing brands on a global scale.”