Notes from Naomi Simson Part 1 – Insights

RedBalloon For Business

Join us as we talk with our Founding Director, Naomi Simson, to discover much more about the ‘why’ of RedBalloon; getting directly to the heart of the business. In the first of this series, she discusses how trust and listening to customers are the cornerstones of success.

The act of giving is one of pure generosity and thoughtfulness. As Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

But when you do present someone with a gift, you want to make sure that they’re going to like it. Hopefully even love it. Otherwise, really, what’s the point?

Being able to control this aspect of giving is what I think marks one of the biggest benefits of partnering with RedBalloon. When it comes down to it, it’s all about trust. It’s like having an insurance policy – a backup plan.

Having someone you can count on.

It’s one thing to say “Oh, let me give you a massage”… but how do you know it’s any good? Or “Let me give you a hot air balloon ride”… but how do you know they’re going to be there in the morning!? I remember once we had a trapeze supplier on the Gold Coast and one day they just weren’t there… they’d gone and moved their business to Fiji! But at least the customers had someone to call, and we could arrange a different experience.

It’s like having an insurance policy – a backup plan.

In the early days of the company, I did most things myself. I was so incredibly busy. But one thing I always made sure of – that I knew was imperative from the very start – was to really listen to my clients. And in that listening, I understood my job was to build trust. Not just for my business, but on behalf of and for my corporate clients. So that they could just trust in us, and they didn’t have to think about it.

Companies know they can depend upon RedBalloon because we’re proven. We’ve helped nearly five million customers to date. And those sorts of numbers reveal the power of the crowd, and the power of review and recommendation.

Knowing ‘great’ from just ‘good’.

The truth is, after all these years we know everything that’s great in this country and we know what people love to do. And that means if you’re a corporation and you’re wanting to buy a gift for someone you know it’s going to be fantastic.

People may not necessarily realise this, but we have an eight-point programme of supplier sureties to make sure companies have the correct insurances etc. It’s sort of our ‘secret source’. We don’t tell people what the eight points are, those requirements for being a supplier for RedBalloon, but clients can have that confidence that they’re good – that they’ve been through a process. They’re not ‘People may not necessarily realise this, but we have an internal quality checklist on becoming a supplier to RedBalloon. It’s part of our ‘secret source’. So customers can buy with that confidence that they’re good – that they’ve been through a process and we rate them.

It’s the same in personal gifting. If you’re giving a special gift, you want to know it’s great; that it’s easy to use and that the recipient has plenty of time to use it. Our vouchers are valid for five years.

Being seen as an authority also builds trust.

So, because of our depth of knowledge and because we know everyone in the industry and we know what the most amazing experiences are, people (quite rightly) expect us to tell them what’s out there and what’s great. That’s in a sense, our remit. I think that that authority is really important for our customers and it reflects really well on the RedBalloon brand.

And as I said, building that trust, and building that reputation, came from listening to customers.

I’m still listening, and it feels great to know that the trust I hoped to foster is very much there and growing with each passing year and with each individual experience that’s given, no matter how big or small it might be.

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