Red Balloon’s Naomi Simson talks happiness.

Red Balloon’s Naomi Simson talks happiness.

Imagine running a business based on happiness – that’s what Naomi Simson decided to try when she left a serious corporate career to set up online experience retailer RedBalloon in 2001. Since then RedBalloon has sold 1.8 million experiences and has been named a BRW Great Place to Work four times running. Naomi received the 2008 National Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation and the 2011 Ernst and Young Industry Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Not a bad little effort, huh?!

Here’s what we covered in this fireside chat I had recently with Naomi:

  1. Why did you decide to start a business based on happiness? Were you incredibly unhappy at the time?!

  2. I come across few small businesses that set out to own a word. How do you ensure Red Balloon owns happiness? With customers and staff?

  3. Tell us about those early days of getting Red Balloon off the ground.

  4. Was there a point where you thought this is way too hard?!

  5. Tell me about that moment when you thought, huh, this is gunna be big.

  6. Can you put some numbers around it now – turnover, staff #, traffic, suppliers.

  7. How do you market Red Balloon? What works best?  What role does social media play?

  8. What keeps you up at night?

  9. You’ve built a strong personal brand. You are a regular keynote speaker and you blog at  – what is your strategy behind this?

There was plenty of marketing gems in this interview, however my three key take-aways were:

  1. The power of a business owning a word.
  2. Social media is not a silver bullet.
  3. Blogging can be sued to catalogue your thoughts.

PLUS in this episode of the Small Business Big Marketing show, I have a whinge about three things that annoy me with email etiquete, share the hot topics that are being talked about in the Small Business Big Marketing Forum and read some listener feedback (there’s plenty coming in, let me tall you!).

If you’ve got something to share about the show or marketing in general, be sure to leave a comment below.


Links & Resources Mentioned In This Episode.

Netregistry – Check out these three exclusive packages for SBBM Listeners. Each one designed by myself and Netregistry to help get your online marketing sorted.

RedBalloon website and RedBalloon blog.

Naomi Simson’s blogAKA her thoughts catalogued!

The Small Business Big Marketing Forum – Chat with me daily about your marketing conundrums.

The marketing keynote I gave was similar to this one, although it went for an extra hour!

Here’s my new website promoting Tim Reid as a marketing speaker.


Join the marketing discussion beyond my podcast …

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I’ve personally created these marketing training products in response to listener feedback …

Site Boost – Discover the characteristics of a successful website.

Spotlight – I create an exclusive podcast episode solving the marketing challenges of your business.


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