From setting your brand apart to doing things that matter in the real world, Sheena Crowie talks brands, strategic design and the future of marketing

Focusing on trust. Making others feel included. And ensuring it works in the real world. Design Infestation production coordinator Sheena Crowie shares her insights on brands, strategic design and winning people over to your cause.


Before becoming the firm hand on production in one of Cape Town’s most unique brand marketing agencies, Sheena Crowie grew up in the city’s Northern Suburbs. Moving around a lot at a young age didn’t stop her from enjoying sport, music and dancing all throughout youth.

But by far her fondest memory of childhood is growing up in the world where she could gather her friends from around the neighbourhood and safely play outside in the streets for hours on end. Something that seems a luxury today.

sheena, crowie, production, coordinator, studio, design, infestation, who is, about, info, discover, meet, brand, pro, marketing, brand, branding, cape town, professional, south africa, brandpros, strategy, agency, content, print, online, digital, publishing, advertising, media, company, professionals
Team spirit: Sheena (middle) with Design Infestation team members Palmer Mushonga & Christo Maritz

Now, she might tell you that she didn’t strictly have production experience before joining Design Infestation. But she did work at a printing company while studying. So, when she joined our agency in November 2013 (in reception) and set her sights on growing into a role in production management, you know it was good as done.


With nearly 7 years’ experience in balancing the demands of the studio’s creative side with ensuring clients get what they need, when they need it, Sheena is one of the champions that help ensure our teams’ creative visions are actually executable in the real world. And that means playing both sides and leveraging a base of broader industry contacts almost every day.

sheena, crowie, production, coordinator, studio, design, infestation, who is, about, info, discover, meet, brand, pro, marketing, brand, branding, cape town, professional, south africa, brandpros, strategy, agency, content, print, online, digital, publishing, advertising, media, company, professionals

But she relishes every new challenge: “With production in brand marketing, no two days are the same. Every project has some unique new elements to it that force you to think and explore new ways of getting things done. That’s what drives and motivates me,” she says.

Today living in the Cape Town suburb she most fondly remembers as a real home from her youth, Ruyterwacht, with her husband and daughter, Sheena Crowie shares the production perspective on brands, strategic design, content and digital transformation.


media, marketing, paid, owned, advertising, promotion

Why is building your brand so important in business?

Your brand is the thing that consumers and stakeholders can most relate to and connect with around your business. It’s what strengthens trust in you and what you do, which builds the good relationships you need to succeed. 

And which local SA brands do you admire?

I’d have to say Nando’s, Vans and Pick n Pay. Mainly because they’re truly original.

What recent client brand work did you really enjoy?

From a branding perspective, it’s always great if you can actually execute creative both digitally and in the real world. So I really loved that we could build actual interactive exhibits on the V&A Waterfront plastic-free campaign

And then from a brand strategy execution perspective, one of my favourites is the global launches we did for 361 Degrees.

And do you need a professional brand agency to execute your strategy?

Yes, because it helps to have fresh eyes to look at your brand from a different angle. And then, agencies like us have the industry contacts and marketing expertise to know what’s next, what you could potentially do with your brand. So it’s a very real way of ensuring you marry your ideals with what actually works and makes sense in the real world.


design, brand, graphic, marketing

Now, what is brand design, and who needs it?

Brand design is like creating an “outfit” for your brand to wear that shows off its personality. Now, remember that personality, your brand, is what interests and engages your audience. So, of course, every brand needs it.

How important is it to get more strategic with your design?

So, strategic brand design is creating a visual language for your brand that helps ensure that everything you do in the public space is easily identifiable as yours and immediately resonates with your audience. It’s vital, because even a single piece of creative out there that’s not 100% crafted to speak to the exact right person or people don’t identify with it, then it could result in a loss for the company. In time, money, opportunity and even negative attraction. 

What is the design thinking process your team follows to ensure a design really works for a client?

We always start with really trying to understand the purpose and intentions of any creative. Then, you go to the audience and see from their perspective, to be able to understand their needs, matching it with what the brand needs. And then – this is usually my department – we make sure that it’s actually practical to execute – done in the best possible way at the best possible cost, so you get real value. 


content, marketing, brand, design, creative, business

How is content marketing similar or different to what we’re used to?

Traditional marketing was always largely about informing people of what you’re selling. But with content marketing, you’re actually sharing current and relatable content that helps build a relationship.

Is it an important strategy these days?

Of course. People want to feel like they are a part of something. 

Will Smith recently said something very interesting. I’m paraphrasing, but it was along the lines of: Before social media, actors needed to maintain mystery to keep people wanting to go watch their movies. But now it’s changed. People won’t go watch your movie if they can’t connect with you every day. People want to feel like they’re friends with you. And the same goes for brands.


digital, marketing, online, advertising, design, media

Speaking of the socials, what’s the value in investing in online marketing?

Well, most importantly it’s a more in-depth brand-related form of marketing. It’s more building relationships than directly pushing sales. But that has its own benefits: If people feel like they really “know” and can trust you, they’re way more likely to use you or recommend you, which leads to real-world sales.

And should you be paying to distribute your content and investing in your own media space?

Ideally, both. What’s the point of having an online presence (web, social presences, email) if you’re not going to optimise it to the max? At the same time, though, to get to where you need to be, you might have to buy some media space to reach a bigger audience.

Last one: Is print dead?

Absolutely not. In a time where you can access almost anything digitally, print items are exclusive and valuable. They demand your attention. And, in my opinion, it seems that despite everything people still trust print media more than they do online media. 


Interview with:

Sheena Crowie
Production Coordinator and Account Manager at Design Infestation

Launch in a new area, boost sales growth and up your competitiveness. Unlock the power of simplexity with our award-winning brand agency.



Get even more pro marketing insights with senior graphic designer Anton Pople. And discover all of our brand experts.


You might also like…

Amazing results with any budget? Of course you can. See some of our most recent social media success stories. And get all the big lessons from marketing in July.

Get new inspiration for your branding with our marketing ideas this week and see our COVID-19 guide to help your business survive the virus.

marketing, ideas, this, week, fresh, creative, new, latest, news, trends, inspiration, campaign, innovative, promotional, local, unique, for, business, teams, south africa

Plus: What did you learn while marketing during lockdown? Check out these unique marketing ideas from April and the best of marketing in June.

marketing, ideas, april, trends, news, marketingideas, pros, brandpros, experts, insights, 2020, month, easter, covid 19, coronavirus, lockdown, quarantine, brand, videos, social, media, advertising, print, online, digital, strategy, planning, calendar, spring, autumn, design, infestation, cape town, south africa, global, indonesia, dubai, china

Showcase your true value with full-service brand strategy, coupled with strategic brand design.

And explore new possibilities and owned-media (in any format) with publishing and content creation.

Brand Strategy

We’re super proud of the brand positioning, design and marketing we’ve done for amazing brands around the world. See some examples of Design Infestation’s work.

Connect and share your journey with us
Facebook  | LinkedIn  | Instagram  | Twitter