Once shearing is behind you, and you’ve taken some time to breathe, you may find it worthwhile to review your branding strategy for the coming year.
As we’ve discussed before, it is important to understand and use different branding strategies to achieve success. From choosing and photographing your products, to exploring different avenues of social media marketing, now is the time to reflect on the messages you hope to communicate to your potential customers. Most farms could not be successful without patronage by their local community members, who look to them for alpaca products, educational information and opportunities to engage with the animals. The way that you brand yourself can make you a more visible authority on all things alpaca, driving your influence in your local community.
How can you put this into practice? A good example is the recent interest in “pet” alpacas. It is wise to have educational material posted at booths and farms to dispel rumors or myths in the first place. However, once you receive such an inquiry, rather than alienating the potential customer who is interested in a “pet” alpaca, invite them to visit your farm and explain how alpacas operate within a herd. You can invite this person to return to visit your happy herd in the future, while (hopefully) discouraging them from acquiring one as a pet.
Did you miss our Downloadable Poster on Alpaca Myths? Head here to download a full-size version to post at your farm store!
In addition to becoming an educational resource, strive to become an active member of your local community. Don’t forget that your farm itself can be an important community space, as many alpaca farms have begun offering their site as an event space for fitness activities like yoga and private events like weddings. Consider reaching out to local portrait photographers to see if they’d be interested in using your property as a shoot location! While you may already participate local market events, think about other ways to increase your brand recognition through community engagement. Go to local events with alpacas, even out of market season, and remember to keep your social media active!
Here are some other ways to get involved:
-Donate a product to a local charity auction/raffle
-Sponsor a youth sports league
-Volunteer at a local event
-Visit schools, hospitals, or retirement communities
-Partner with another organization for a special project
Creating memorable branding elements can raise greater value or equity in your brand, by raising recognition among your customers and local community. Your brand name, logo, any slogans you may use are just a few examples of branding elements. These elements should be unique enough to set you apart from your competition, while being relevant to your role as an alpaca farmer and producer of alpaca goods.
Your brand name, in this case your farm or farm business name, should ideally be easy to pronounce and spell, and unique but not over the top. It should resonate with potential customers and signal to them who you are and what you do.
If you’re in the process of branding your farm many individuals take into consideration their name, their location, and the qualities of their alpacas in creating a name for themselves.
A logo is an important tool to use across your marketing collateral: on business cards, websites, labels, and market booths, as a form of identification. Like your brand name, your logo should tell your story to the public. It should be simple, yet also relevant and communicate information about your brand. Consider also the color of your design elements, which can change the overall feeling of your brand.
For this article, we came up with a fictional Alpaca Farm to give an example of one route to take:
Sure, it seems like a lot to take in, but there’s no better time to begin considering your brand! Start small by filling out a branding worksheet, many of which can be found online. Good Egg Marketing’s Brand Identity Worksheet is a great example of a worksheet designed to help you gain valuable insight about your brand.
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