Based in Cape Town, Pigeon Pie is a creative business design company, and Sasman told HumanIPO website design forms a priority part of creating a brand.
He said: “No matter what the brand strategy is the online component always becomes an important component. Every single project, every single entrepreneur that I’ve taken on required work on the online space.”
In terms of using freelance workers, he said: “If I had to look at priority of who I should
hire first, second and third, on top of that list would probably be a web programmer because its so common.”
Although web development plays an important role in building a brand, application development, in Sasman’s findings, is secondary to a website. “With most of my clients, a dedicated app, like something you download onto your iPhone or Android device is normally a very long term thing and most of the time... they’re at the website stage.
“A lot of the entrepreneurs I work with are looking for a home base (website) and dedicated apps [for mobile] become secondary.”
Social media also has its place when creating a brand. “When we build a strategy for what they need to do online it will include what kind of content you should be sharing on Twitter if you’re in that space and if its Facebook, what kind of content will you be sharing there,” said Sasman.
He believes entrepreneurs should also be careful with how they use social media, so as not to turn it into spam.
“In the future I’d like to bring on social media managers that can actually do the social media management for them (the entrepreneurs),” said Sasman.
However, he believes social media has the potential to be more powerful if the entrepreneur in question handles the management themselves, because they are passionate about what they are doing.
Pigeon Pie is a unique name for a company involved with creating brand strategies for other businesses, and Sasman explained to HumanIPO the meaning behind the name.
“Pigeon Pie comes from a story my parents used to tell me. My parents and grandparents grew up in (the historical) District Six.”
Being a small community, Sasman said the people within the community always shared with each other.
“My grandad used to make pigeon pie [and] I think he used to do pigeon racing. I think the pigeons that were not so fit for racing got turned into pigeon pie. He’d cut off a few slices and he’d always share it with the neighbors,” said Sasman.
“That’s the kind of community we need in the entrepreneurial space. It is that culture of sharing, which is extremely important.
“The whole idea behind Pigeon Pie was that I wanted to share all of the skills that I’ve built up over the years with people who don’t have access to it. Particularly with entrepreneurs who don’t have access to these kinds of things.”
Sasman believes a decent brand strategy includes design, art direction, copywriting, web development, “things where you get full spectrum of [the] services [to] build a brand”.
He believes boutique web-designing shops do not necessarily offer complete brand strategies and all the services that amount to building an effective brand strategy would be extremely expensive and inaccessible if done through a web-design boutique or an advertisement agency.
Pigeon Pie integrates all the services that constitute a good brand strategy. In his findings, Marwaan has discovered entrepreneurs currently “get someone else to write the copy, they get someone else to do the website, someone else to do the photography and all of a sudden its so disconnected that they don’t build a very powerful brand”.
Sasman believes building an effective brand involves much more than a simple logo, business card and letterhead. An effective brand will feature a certain tone of language, either casual or normal.
Sasman uses the examples of Google and Microsoft to describe the difference between a causal brand and a formal brand, Microsoft being the latter.
When setting up Pigeon Pie, the most challenging aspect involved finding a “wealth of clients”.
Almost three years down the line, the challenge is quite the opposite. Sasman says he has enough work to keep him and his team busy, but the challenge now is finding the right kind of client.
“I’m very strict with the type of entrepreneurs I take on, they need to be dedicated and passionate,” said Sasman.