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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on December 2 2015. This is a backup of Wikipedia:RedBalloon. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/RedBalloon, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/RedBalloon. Purge


RedBalloon is an online experience gift retailer based in Australia. They are considered the pioneers of experiential gifting in Australia and New Zealand [1] and have been ranked in the Top 50 Employers by Business Review Weekly from 2009 to 2013.[2] In 2012, they were No. 2 on Business Review Weekly's list of the 20 most popular places to work in Australia. [3]


RedBalloon was founded in 2001 by Naomi Simson. Simson began the company out of her house with a $25,000 personal investment.[4] She grew the company to forty six employees by 2011. The business concept was to sell experiences and memories rather than gifts. Simson launched the company from her home in Balmain, New South Wales.[5] It was at the end of the dot-com era and she had a difficult time signing up businesses to list with the company.[4] It was a total of two months and four days before the company sold its first experience gift, which resulted in a profit of $9 for commission on the sale.[4]

RedBalloon Offices in Pyrmont, New South Wales

The company began to grow six months after launch when they were contacted by Fuji Xerox about using the experiences available on the website as an incentive for its sales force. Companies such as Telstra, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, and Qantas signed up shortly thereafter.[4] The success of using the experiences for incentives led the company to create RedBalloon Corporate in 2004.[6] For 2001 through 2012, it was reported that the company sold more than 1.7 million gift experiences. The company also reported a 40% growth in their 2012 financial year for overall transaction values.[7] The company also sells experience gift cards in offline retailers such as Target, Big W, and Myer.[8]

The company migrated their online infrastructure to cloud-based Amazon Web Services in 2013.[9] The move was to manage peak traffic load which included $1Million in sales on Christmas Eve 2012. Prior to that time, the company used caching and had extra servers on standby to deal with peak loads of traffic to the site.[10] The company also made its first external board appointments in 2013 when they appointed Richard England as Chairman of the Board and Scott Farquhar as a non-executive director.[7]

Naomi Simson was CEO of the company until 2011 when she took a step back from the operational side of the business.[11] In October 2013 RedBalloon delivered its two millionth experience.[12][13] In 2015, Nick Baker was hired as CEO of the company and Ken Boundy became Chairman of the Board.[14][15] RedBalloon went through a re-branding in late 2015, updating the company logo and website.[16]

Awards and recognition

RedBalloon has received numerous awards and recognition including being named one of The Great Places to Work by Business Review Weekly[3] from 2009 to 2013[2] and also receiving recognition on the BRW Fast 100 list from 2004 to 2009. The company has also been a regular on the Deloitte Fast 50 for Australia, beginning in 2006.[17] In 2015 it became the first Australian company to be named on the WorldBlu list of Most Freedom-Centered Workplaces.[18]

  • 2011 - Australian Human Resources Institute HR Practitioner Of The Year - Awarded to RedBalloon Employee Experience Manager Megan Bromley.[19]
  • 2011 - Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award - Awarded to company founder Naomi Simson (2011 Eastern Region winner for the Industry category).[20]
  • 2010 - Hewitt Best Employers - One of only six companies to receive recognition.[21]
  • 2008 - Nokia Business Award for Innovation - Presented to Naomi Simson at the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.[22]
  • 2005 – 2008- Hitwise Award for the #1 website in Australia and New Zealand in category flowers & gifts.

See also


  1. Relentless focus on people leads to Hewitt Best Employer accreditation for experiential gift retailer. Hewitt. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Walsh, Bridie Lee (24 September 2014). "How unhappy staff taught RedBaloon's founder Naomi Simson her toughest leadership lesson". The Growth Faculty. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Smith, Fiona (7 December 2012). "Australia’s 20 Most Popular Places To Work". Business Review Weekly (Australia). Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SMHNSIgnle
  5. "Red Balloon's Naomi Simson Talks Happiness". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  6. "RedBalloon’s Online Training And Sales Efforts Rise Up With GoToMeeting". Citrix. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fitzsimmons, Caitlin (22 February 2013). "Gifted Atlassian Founder Scott Farquhar Boosts RedBaloon Board". Business Review Weekly. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  8. Ham, Larissa (7 February 2011). "RedBalloon Still Flying High". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  9. Barwick, Hamish (20 March 2013). "RedBalloon floats into the cloud with Amazon". Computer World. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  10. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ComputerWorld1
  11. Tay, Liz (29 August 2013). "I Will Care For Your Baby: RedBalloon’s First Corproate CEO On Taking Over From Naomi Simson". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 8 December 2013. 
  12. Ricki (4 December 2013). "RedBalloon launches new campaign to promote its experience gifts for Christmas via Match Media". Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  13. "Match Media Works With RedBalloon". IBB Online. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013. 
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named BuisnessInsiderAUstCEO
  15. "Former Tourism Australia marketer Nick Baker appointed CEO of RedBalloon". Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  16. Kingsford-Smith, Andrew (16 October 2015). "RedBalloon Reveals New Brand Makeover for the Silly Season". Bandt. Retrieved 20 October 2015. 
  17. "Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Australia 2006". Deloitte. 2006. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  18. Smith, Fiona (20 May 2015). "RedBalloon named one of the world's most democratic workplaces". BRW. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  19. "AHRI Recognizes HR Excellence". HR Daily. 18 November 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  20. "Michael Is Going To Monte Carlo". Ernst & Young. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  21. "RedBalloon Supports Push For Flexible Work Hours". Tech Trader. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  22. "Ambitious Alumnae Take Telstra Business Women’s Awards By Storm". University of Melbourne. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 

External links