a Suri Farm, ltd.

Fine Peruvian Alpacas in the Heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country!

a Suri Farm, ltd. - Logo

May 01, 2017

FIRST IMPRESSION

The Importance of Your Farm Name, Logo and Website

We all know the importance of a good first impression. And the alpaca business is filled with wonderful examples of both good and not-so-good examples. As you enter this new and exciting industry, you should consider several things beyond the quality of the alpacas you purchase.

We encourage you to search the web and publications such as Alpacas magazine and the AOBA Farm and Ranch Guide for examples of what others have done. It is not possible to visit every alpaca farm in the United States. But while you scan these tools, look with a critical eye at what draws your attention. Is it a unique farm name? Perhaps it is a particular font or type style that you find pleasing. How about a website that you find informative, attractive and easy to navigate? All of these things should be considered as you develop your business plan to enter this competitive marketplace.

When choosing our farm name, we thought about how our name would look in print, where it would appear in an alphabetical listing, and how it would reflect our farm goals. We knew we wanted to focus on Suri alpacas exclusively. So, we went back to the aforementioned publications and looked at just Suri farms. We thought about where we lived and should we include our geographic location in our name, Pennsuri Alpacas, perhaps. Finally, we settled on a Suri Farm, ltd. because it just felt right. Our simple goal was to breed the highest quality Suri alpacas. The “a” at the beginning would surely move us to the top of the alphabetical list. And when working on our logo, we decided that it would be unique and look good in type to use a lower case “a” and “ltd.” It was short, sweet and to the point – just what we wanted to portray.

Our logo design process was the next step. We hired a very qualified graphic designer to put our ideas down in print. Many farms we know have drawn their own logo designs. Neither of us has the skill of a graphic designer. We were able to use the cost of logo design as yet another tax deduction. So why would we want to risk our first impression by using our own box of Crayola™ crayons and craft paper?

We knew we wanted to have our logo reflect the beautiful Pennsylvania Dutch country where our farm is located. We liked the idea of using a hex sign. So, we set out to learn more about the hidden meanings in the world of hex signs. If you look at our logo at the top of this page, you will see what we think is an attractive, clean design. But did you know all of the hidden significance of this first impression? Well, we’ll tell you. The outside edge of our hex is a scalloped line which indicates smooth sailing in life. The two Suri alpacas in the center are close together and facing one another. This, in hex lingo, signifies God’s creatures in harmony. The heart at the center has a white rim around it, two colors meaning – double the love. And finally, the daisies – those who know us well know that Dennis lovingly refers to Monica as, “little daisy.” And in return, she calls him “Big Daisy.” So, we began our farm with one male – the Big Daisy in the middle and four females – the little daisies in the pasture.

Website design was probably the most important business decision we’ve made, short of selecting our foundation herd. As with our logo design, we made a conscientious decision to hire a professional. And again, we were aware that many alpaca farms have chosen to design and manage their own sites. If that works for them – that’s great. But again, neither of us has the time or knowledge to handle this vital component of our alpaca business. Trust us; we had many kind offers from friends and family who said they’d be willing to get us on the web. But we knew when we entered the worldwide, electronic market place, we wanted to put forth a professional and polished image. This was no task for a weekend computer pro.

We interviewed several professional website designers. It was a frustrating task because we found ourselves spending more time explaining alpacas TO them than learning about website design and function FROM them. It was while attending and Empire Alpaca Association seminar on marketing that we met the dynamic duo and phenomenally talented team of Hazen Reed and Susan Muther a.k.a. BreedWorks (please note the significance and spelling of their company name).

Our work with BreedWorks began with a test – well, it was more of a survey but it felt like a test. Susan and Hazen use this tool to learn more about how we see ourselves, our farm and how we wish to have others see us – the all important FIRST IMPRESSION. They asked us things that would help them in designing not only the look of our site but also the functionality of it. Dennis, for example, wanted a clean layout that was easy to navigate. Monica gets annoyed when things are “flying” across the screen or popping up unannounced. These were both considered during the web design process and are reflected in the final product.

Working with a professional firm was both enjoyable and worth every penny, which by the way can be written off on your taxes. We say this because we know folks who have not planned a marketing budget to include the cost of web design. They make the unfortunate decision to spend as little as possible and as they say, “you get what you pay for.” The cost of our web design project was about the cost of attending two alpaca shows. The other bonus of a professional firm vs. a family friend doing the site is that you can avoid the problem of not wanting to hurt someone’s feelings. If you don’t like something, with a professional – you have a conference call and iron out the discrepancy and if you choose to use a friend for site design – you have that sinking feeling of not wanting to offend their efforts or living with a site you don’t like which is a no win situation. Think about it, would you enlist the help of a friend or family member for your other profession?

We cannot put into words how pleased we are with the end product of our website design. But we can tell you that it portrays the exact FIRST IMPRESSION we know is paramount to our success in the alpaca business. It says who we are and what our farm is about. Simply put, it is a Suri Farm, ltd. online!