Pie Face was established by the former Citigroup operative Wayne Homschek and his partner, Betty Fong, in 2003. Given that there was no national brand doing the classical Aussie Pie they noticed a gap in the market place and decided to move from the fashion industry to making pies.
Pie face now has over 47 stores nationally with a vision to open up 300- 500 stores in the country before expanding globally to America, England and other countries world wide. It has been featured in BRW Fast Starter 2007, 2008, and 2009, BRW fast franchises and won The Cool Company Award in 2010.
We spoke with Co-Founder Wayne Homschek to find out how he has been able to build Pie face to an Australian brand many have experienced and are now familiar with.
How did you come up with the name Pie Face?
Me and Betty were sitting around one night trying to come up with a killer brand. We worked on it for three months and could not come up with anything. It wasn’t until we signed our first lease, that night we came up with the name by starting to draw faces on the napkins at the restaurant we were dining at.
When creating a brand name, what do you believe is most important?
This all really depends on the essence of your brand and what your brand stands for. For us we wanted something Quick, quirky, fun and memorable.
You have a very unique style of branding? How does this appeal to the market place?
We come from the fashion background so we know about branding and standing out, being original and not following others. We strive for being relevant and starting trends within industries. Most of the food brands in the country are following someone else. It’s all about being original.
In your eyes what would you classify as a brand and what is the importance of brand management?
Your brand is the DNA of your business, it’s the way the business is run, how staff look, packaging, the way the store has been designed. It’s the way you do things and run your business from the ground up.
Your approach to marketing is very creative, how has this helped in building your brand and how important is it to be fresh and unique in your industry?
Well look at all the big brands around the world; not many of them are not unique or creative. We like to concentrate at doing things that are outside the box and creative.
They say that in branding it is more so about the experience your clients have with your brand than it is about your product/service, why is that?
I think the word that would best answer this question is: Experiential. The product its self is just part of the experience, it’s also about how they are served, how they feel when they walk out of the store, what the vibe is all about. It’s not just the food it’s also about the service.
What emotions are behind your customers purchases? How important is it to know this?
We want our customers to feel original, this is at the heart of our brand essence. Our tagline is: “Individual pies for individual people”. We want customers to feel special when they go into a pie face store.
If you could offer one piece of advice to any business owner who is looking to franchise their business model and create a compelling brand what would that be?
Simplicity is always great. Franchisees always like things that they can understand. The more simple the franchise and brand model the greater impact you will have in your employees, shareholders, customers and franchisees.
Something that has a mass market appeal and not something that is niche; it also must have a clear execution strategy so that you can tell your franchisees clearly what is required to be successful.
Interview by: Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd. A Business and Sales Advisory firm partnering with Australia’s largest and fastest growing companies to further increase their revenue. Visit www.RIDC.com.au for more details)