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I participated on a business owners panel last night for the PricewaterhouseCooper Private Clients area. Russel Howcroft asked each of the panelists questions about what we’d learned and how we viewed the economy.

Each of us reinforced the importance the people around us. To have a successful brand it is determined by our people moment by moment. All of the panelists were retailers – and each of us knows that our people are our brand.

There was some concern about social media and the negative impact that customers can have on a brand. I think this century it is about giving up control. We have never been able to control what people say about us – now it is just much more public. Stuff happens in business – it’s how we deal with it that makes the difference. Responding authentically and transparently to customer concerns immediately will speak volumes about that organization.

But also how employees speak about their employer demonstrates the integrity of the business. Employees are just as important as customers in this equation. As I keep saying ‘Employees are the New Customers.’

Apparently there are 10 million people world wide working in call centres. Each of them is the voice of the brand which they are working on behalf of… no matter where they are. I just hope that each of them is having a good day. That’s a lot of people who could really effect the persona of the brand – very quickly.

I recently did this interview (below) for Business Essentials which is a monthly audio magazine, my topic: ‘Taking fun seriously.’ We spend so much of our lives at work  – you’d wanting to be enjoying it.

I’ve always thought ‘if we’re having fun at RedBalloon then so will our customers’.


Reader Interactions


  1. Hello Naomi, let me just say congrats on your success and vision. I am a former director of Mortgage First and Human behavior and business mentor. I am beginning a new company called Mortgage 500. We will be utilizing RedBalloon not only to reward our staff quarterly in 4 categories. Highest Settlements and Customer Satisfaction / Most Improved / Personal Best Performance / MD’s Award.
    We are also going to promote Experiencing Life to consumers. So not only saving money off their home loans but what new experiences are you going to have because of the savings. Every 50th and 500th person that joining our mailing list are going to win a redballoon experience. The 50th clients wins a $50 experience or gift and the 500th client wins a $500 experience. We should be able to place alot of work your way and I’m proud to support a great Aussie business. Congrats again:)

  2. Hi Naomi and team,
    I tucked my 16 year old daughter into bed tonight and she commented- "so is that Nicole Simson lady your role model now?", "Its Naomi," I mumbled, "well yes she is".

    We had both watched Naomi on the Secret Millionaire . Afterwards I decided to do a Google search on her. We read about her and I watched You tube info on Naomi to which I expressed excitedly to my daughter…."Wow, she does the awful things first in a day"… "she believes happiness breeds more happiness"…"it took her a few months to get her first customer"….."she takes responsibly when something goes wrong"…."she feels people work better if they are having fun".

    Thanks Naomi, we are truly inspired by you, Anna and Kira

  3. Hi Martin,

    Congratulations on your new business… and thank you so much for including RedBalloon as part of the journey… it is so appreciated. One by one we are changing gifting in Australia forever and your support gets us one step closer. Thank you.

  4. Hi Anna and Kira,

    Thank you for touching base… I have always believed that ‘if it is meant to be it’s up to me’ – resilience and responsibility have held me in great stead.. something that I work with my 13 year old daughter too

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  • Who's that? @whomagazine spread feat. Dexter 🐶 on sale today! There's even a peek into my closet - you'd never guess what my favourite colour is... here's a hint: it's not red. Any ideas?
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It's a question I get asked by many people and I know how hard that task can be. I have had many challenges as I've scaled my businesses and I have found that there is no set and forget. I am continually learning and developing ways to improve. That is my journey and I am not sure of yours… but so I can remain customer focused, I'd like to help you. 
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  • In business they may well call this a pivot... in my view it is the small adjustments that a business owner makes each day as they listen to customers and respond
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