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Diamonds are created under immense pressure, so we put our heads together, made significant changes and did what we had to do to survive!

There’s nothing like a Global Financial Crisis (GFC) to get your blood pumping.

The GFC may have started in mid 2007, but we only felt the brunt of the world economy falling to its knees from mid 2008 and into 2009. Everywhere you went you heard stories of doom and gloom. It was stressful. However, diamonds are created under immense pressure, so we put our heads together, made significant changes and did what we had to do to survive the GFC! Below are the 3 main things we actioned to avert our business closing down.

1. Launched DirectoryCentral

We started the Glenmore Park Business Directory when Debbie first started the business as a way to get design leads and earn some money. We tell the fuller story here. When the GFC hit we thought it best to sell the business and cut our losses – after all, so many of our clients were closing down their business.

Debbie mentioned this to her business coach at the time, Jeremy Carter and he said that it had so much potential – what if we were to expand instead? So we rebranded the business to DirectoryCentral, hired a sales team and hit it hard. After all, businesses needed to advertise to get back up and running. Two years later we were able to sell this business for far more than what was initially proposed. Sometimes you need to zig when everyone else zags.

A few happy snaps from the DirectoryCentral launch.

2. Introducing Brand Personalities

brand personality

If you have worked with us on strategy or branding, you would most likely have been taken through our Brand Personalities system. This system was developed because Debbie identified that when customers came to us for ‘branding’ what they actually wanted was a logo. However, your logo is not your brand and Debbie needed to find a way to educate our clients and bring them on a journey that they could understand and implement. This was a game changer and immediately set us apart from our competitors.

Don’t know your Brand Personality? We encourage you to give our quiz a go.

3. Payment plans pay off

What do you do when clients need your services but are strapped for cash? You think outside the box… Before the GFC we always thought that payment plans were for gyms and memberships. The thought of someone paying off their branding project seemed crazy, and risky and scary! However, this changed how we did business and to this day we still use the same system.


Unsolicited advice #8

Zig when everyone else zags. They saying that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the first sign of madness. Well, my advice is that when everyone in business is doing one thing, that is the perfect time to do something different. Something that will set you apart from your competition. The challenge – don’t be to afraid to fail. Remember, you either win or you learn.



A story of determination

Marie joined WRD 1 day a week back in 2008 as a TAFE graphic design student. She approached Debbie saying that she wanted to get work experience while studying and would happily come in one day a week without charge. Marnie continued to do this during her holidays and proved what a hard worker she was. She did this for almost 2 years becoming a valued member of our team and secured herself a full-time roll with us prior to even graduating!

Marie WRD
WRD Accounts

Welcome Clare

You would have to be living under a rock to not know our amazing Accounts Manager, Clare. Clare joined us in mid 2009 to replace Lillian. She is probably the most creative bookkeeper in the whole of the world! Debbie’s daughter, Jade used to love seeing what colour hair Clare had or check out her fabulous outfits. Not much has changed as Clare still dazzles us with her amazing clothes, quick wit, loyalty and her bookkeeping brilliance.

Mentoring magic

Debbie enjoyed mentoring up and coming young women so much that she signed up as a mentor on the Stepping up program for another year. In 2009 she mentored a power-house called Monique Knight from Active Career College.
Read more >>>

Monique Active Career College

Awards are marketing gold

By now you are probably sick of hearing that we have won more awards. The truth is that this became a very successful platform for us to separate ourselves from our competition. Understanding that competitors were offering $50 logos, free business cards or a $500 websites, meant that apart from the value we were offering, we also needed to demonstrate our business savvy and recognition thereof. Some may see these awards as an ego driven activity – we simply saw them as a fantastic marketing opportunity. Don’t be afraid to give them a try. Whether you in or not, you still have many marketing opportunities. Read our blog with 9 tips on how to leverage off Business Awards whether you win or not.WRD awards

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Jul 6th, 2022