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Thriving despite a crisis

Thriving despite a crisis

Starting off this round of our Backing British Businesses series is Bonbon Balloons; a creative luxury balloon company in South East London.

Created by Rebecca Thomas ten years ago, Bonbon leads the way in the movement for design-led balloon creations combining unique products through a creative design aesthetic ensuring a natural defensive niche against competing products.

Gone are the days of basic balloons; and there’s no need to head to Clintons for your birthday balloons any more. Bonbons products come in a rainbow of coloured and confetti filled balloons. Each balloon has a beautiful decorative string that has been hand crafted offering a gift for any occasion. On arrival it will float up out of the box and the strings will carry your own specially personalized message.

Bonbon manage events for some of the world’s most prestigious brands & venues have commissioned us to create balloons to bring their visions to life including Baby Dior, Soho House, Net-a-Porter, Kate Spade, Bobbi Brown, and Anthropologie. Bonbons have adorned the walls of some of the most renowned venues in the capital including 5-star luxury hotels Claridges, Shangri-La located as well as fashion destinations Selfridges and Liberty. Most recently they have worked with Google on the launch of the new Pixel 4A 5G phone.

Then came Covid…

Like so many businesses, the Coronavirus greatly impacted the business and many business activities ground to a halt and created a general sense of anxiety and fear. Support staff could no longer work alongside the management team as they needed to isolate as many had to support elderly and inform friends and family. The shift in terms of demand presented new opportunities and gave some optimism that the business would continue to grow and thrive.

Throughout the pandemic Bonbon had all pre-booked events cancelled but witnessed a huge surge in online demand for their retail product ‘Balloons in a Box’ as people were keen to send a gift to friends and family resulting in increased sales online.

This shift in demand and adjusting to a new working environment presented some real challenges but with support from Newable’s Social Impact Team, Bonbon have thrived during the crisis expanding their channels to market by offering corporate gifts as well as developing new product ideas resulting in increased sales. Newable help business owners to reconfigure their business models so they can successfully adapt to a climate of socio-economic uncertainty.

How we helped

Bonbon’s adviser, John McNamara offered advice and guidance on a range of issues. The major support focused around analysing the business model and identifying the critical pain points that were holding the businesses’ growth back and supporting the implementation of solutions. Introductions to potential partners for creative collaboration and cross selling opportunities have also been of benefit.

“I received a very welcomed call from John during deepest darkest lockdown asking if I needed help and support with my business. I first met John right at the start of my business journey 10 years ago! He understands how my company operates and myself and has helped me find a path to navigate through this very unpredictable time. At the same time he has helped me focus on the future and how I will get my business to the next stage.

Thank you, John for all your guidance and time invested in supporting Bonbon Balloons”

Rebecca Thomas, Founder