Thomas Pigeon, Canada’s Legendary Brand Builder and Storyteller, Looks to the Future

Jul 9, 2024 | blog

In the late Seventies, Canadian Thomas Pigeon launched into a mission to redefine model design in Montreal.

Recognizing a niche within the native marketplace for distinctive package deal design, he seized the chance to determine his firm, Pigeon Brands, as a world pressure that may change the trade endlessly.

He realized there was just one route to go, and that was to maneuver ahead.

“Anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” mentioned Pigeon, who served as founder and CEO of Pigeon Brands for practically 5 a long time.

Armed with a strategic imaginative and prescient and dedication to excellence, Thomas Pigeon remodeled his company right into a powerhouse, partnering with prestigious manufacturers equivalent to Catelli, McCain, Kraft, and Tim Hortons. His foresight and willpower laid the inspiration for Pigeon Brand’s repute as a trailblazer, setting new requirements for creativity and effectiveness in package deal design.

Thomas envisioned manufacturers that might journey by way of numerous communication ecosystems, introducing the idea of “brand traveling.” This method led to the creation of built-in campaigns for a few of North America’s main entrepreneurs.

“As my life progressed, my career was cobbled together by amazing mentors who constantly showed me doors to go through,” Pigeon shared. “I was never nervous about going through those doors to see what was on the other side. In our early days in ‘package design,’ brands were utilitarian in their style and communication: big logo, big photo, then call it a day. I knew there was more, and there is more.”

Thomas Pigeon Turns Pigeon Brand Into A Branding Icon

Over the a long time, Thomas Pigeon expanded Pigeon Brand’s footprint throughout Canada and past, from Montreal to Toronto and finally Mexico City, serving markets in North America, Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Pigeon’s affect transcended borders, contributing to the success of iconic manufacturers like Tim Hortons, Pfizer’s Viagra, and Kraft’s peanut butter, cementing its standing as a world chief in model constructing and design.

“Brands are stories, and consumers are emotional in many of their brand choices,” he mentioned. “I knew if we developed a skill in emotional brand storytelling, we could do something that hadn’t been done before. I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most creative people on the planet. The design, production, and client service team, even the admin team, had a unique zest for life that got me fired up every time I walked into the office. Clients who became believers entrusted me and my team with incredible mandates with incredible responsibility, and the best of the best let us do what they paid us to do… tell brand stories and drive sales through the roof.”

Thomas Pigeon on the Future of Brand Building and Design

For 46 years and 10 months, Thomas Pigeon led Pigeon Brands to unprecedented heights as its founder and CEO earlier than he determined to promote his firm in late 2023 to pursue new goals and objectives. He’s forging a brand new path as a high-level branding and advertising advisor in North America and Europe. He’s additionally a sought-after speaker and visionary who works with high enterprise executives from across the globe.

When requested about his imaginative and prescient for the way forward for model constructing and design, Thomas shared insightful views and recommendation for aspiring entrepreneurs within the area.

“Technology risks dominating the scene,” Pigeon defined. “Bigger, higher, sooner, cheaper has grow to be the mantra of many modern companies. AI and AR are thrilling instruments. But instruments they’re. Speed to market and pandering to a board of administrators versus specializing in customers’ wants and needs dangers diluting the magic that the nice entrepreneurs who created these manufacturers dropped at the desk – highly effective threat takers like Harrison & Wallace McCain, the Irving brothers, Ron Joyce, and Daniel Servitje. I had the pleasure of working alongside or for all of them.

He says new entrants into {the marketplace} have to hearken to the knowledge of the previous.

“Data is important; it’s become essential today, but the magic comes from a mix of data and gut instinct,” Pigeon shared. “The magic is in your heart and spreads through your soul. Undying belief in brands and vision is what made the innovators successful, fueled by unbridled passion.”

As Thomas embarks on this new chapter, his wealth of expertise and deep understanding of the intricate stability between know-how and custom positions him as an authoritative determine for the subsequent technology of name builders.

His story exemplifies the enduring significance of ardour and imaginative and prescient, emphasizing that whereas know-how could advance, the basic rules of name constructing are anchored in human connection and creativity. Pigeon’s dedication to sustaining the magic in manufacturers continues to encourage folks, urging entrepreneurs to merge knowledge with instinct and lead with conviction and coronary heart.

Thomas Pigeon Says ‘Hard Work Trumps Luck Every Time’

One of probably the most vital challenges Thomas Pigeon confronted whereas main Pigeon Brands was believing in himself. Upon relocating from Montreal to Toronto in 1991, Pigeon shortly realized the stark distinction within the aggressive panorama.

“We were the big guys on the block in Montreal,” Pigeon recalled. “But upon arrival in Toronto, it was immediately apparent we were at the bottom of the pile.”

Determined to make a mark, Pigeon invited the heads of each main branding agency to their workplace on King Street East. To his shock, everybody confirmed up, curious to see what this younger entrepreneur from Montreal needed to say.

Pigeon took this chance to advocate for an finish to “speculative design”—the follow of no-fee pitch work. “Everyone with a glass of wine in their hands nodded and said, of course, we’ll stand together,” Pigeon remembered.

However, one after the other, all of them broke rank. Despite this preliminary setback, Pigeon’s resilience and unwavering perception in his imaginative and prescient set him aside.

“Of those twenty firms, only two are standing today—Pigeon is one of those,” he famous.

Pigeon’s private {and professional} values are deeply rooted in respect and integrity.

“Hard work trumps luck every time,” he emphasised, reflecting his perception within the energy of dedication and perseverance. He advises youthful generations to “avoid shiny objects and focus on the long-term plan. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Save for tomorrow,” highlighting the significance of endurance and strategic pondering.

Thomas Pigeon Is A Trailblazer in Design, Branding, and Marketing

Among his many achievements, Pigeon takes nice pleasure in being the primary non-American elected to the NYC-based Package Design Council International and constructing Canada’s premier package deal design and branding consultancy.

These milestones spotlight his dedication to excellence and talent to interrupt new floor in his area.

As Thomas Pigeon continues to encourage the subsequent technology of name builders, his story stands as a strong testomony to the transformative energy of dedication and creativeness. From his beginnings as an area entrepreneur to changing into a world trade chief, Pigeon’s journey illustrates that with willpower and imaginative and prescient, the probabilities are limitless.

Reflecting on his achievements, Pigeon defines success as “respect, first and foremost,” noting the significance of recognition from friends and superiors. He believes that success can also be about having pleasure in life, being passionate, believing in oneself, and sustaining a optimistic focus whereas avoiding distractions. “Don’t be distracted by the negative, work hard and believe in what you do,” he provides. “The money will come.”

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