When Pamela Houston, a former CEO and respected operations manager within the leisure and travel industry told her husband she wanted to open an Alpaca farm, he went for a long lie down to gather his thoughts. Less than 2 years later, Cranfield Alpacas are going from strength to strength. They engaged Fourteen Forty to help them continue their upward trajectory by developing a new e-commerce website for their charismatic business, and helping them attract more customers to picturesque Cranfield, nestled in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains.
A great start quickly highlighted key limitations
When Cranfield Alpacas first opened their doors in December 2019 there was a considerable buzz in the local area. Requests to come and visit the alpacas and news of a great new experience started to spread outside of the local region. Messages from the public started to come in and they built a website to help promote and manage the business.
As their reputation grew and demand increased, it became harder and harder for Cranfield Alpacas to manage the administration effectively. They had quickly outgrown their diary planner and their off-the-shelf website was causing more issues than it solved. They were spending hours emailing customers about dates and availability, something they had hoped their website would do for them. In fact, the existing website did little to support the booking experience, causing considerable buyer confusion and giving a poor first impression to new customers hoping to visit.
It became clear very quickly that an off-the-shelf solution was not going to help them win customers
A smarter, automated web solution to free up more time and increase revenue
Cranfield Alpacas were aware that they were losing customers to new competitors because of this poor user experience. They knew they had a winning formula once customers arrived, but they were unsure how to convey that sense of joy and excitement online, whilst also making the booking experience seamless and hassle free.
Following a detailed discovery process, we were able to scope out a bespoke solution that would make it quicker and easier for customers to purchase not only tickets, but merchandise and customised gift vouchers as well. This has enabled Cranfield Alpacas to greatly increase their revenue by converting more website visits into actual sales. Customers now enjoy a seamless, hassle free booking experience and key information is delivered automatically to the customer. This has freed up countless hours of administration, reduced the number of repetitive questions being asked and given back much needed time and energy to the entire team, so they can focus on managing other aspects of their booming business.
Speaking the language & looking the part – Developing the brand to make a bigger impact
Cranfield Alpacas had full confidence in the experience they were delivering to customers once they arrived at the farm. They knew what people enjoyed and why their experience made people happy. The next step was to bring their brand to life online so they could sell and market their experiences more effectively, and increase the number of people booking tickets. Due to our experience in the sector, Cranfield asked us to help develop their website, but also their brand, their brand strategy and their messaging toolkit. By working closely with the Cranfield team, we were able to understand who they were targeting, where to target them and what to say to engage them. The result is that more of the right people know about them and more people want to buy from them.
Writing words that work for different types of customers
Creating a messaging toolkit that targets specific personas has allowed Cranfield Alpacas to increase their sales to new demographics and spend advertising budget more effectively. Cranfield Alpacas offers a variety of experiences, so a one message for all approach wouldn’t work as effectively or deliver as many sales. What you say to a Grandparent to make them want to buy a ticket is very different to what you say to an Instagram loving 17 year old.
By creating insightful messaging, perceptive copy and clever advertising language, we have helped Cranfield Alpacas to create a buzz and increase sales to a variety of audiences. The toolkit also contains messaging for key calendar events such as mothers day and Christmas, meaning it will continue to give confidence and help Cranfield to grow for many months to come.
Bringing the brand to life online
Cranfield Alpacas is a delightful place to visit. The views over the mournes are stunning and the welcome a customer receives is always a vibrant one. We wanted the new website to deliver the same bright personality whilst being extremely easy to navigate and use. Our design and UX team worked closely with Pamela and Peter to develop a website that was professional, but not corporate or soulless. After all, visiting an Alpaca farm is a cheerful experience, the website should feel the same way too. Our UX team ensured that the customer journey was effortless and that information was delivered in a coherent way.
Put it all together and it becomes a very powerful tool for growth
Now that the project is completed, Cranfield Alpacas have the right brand messaging and toolkit to successfully market their business. They have a brand-led website that tells people who they are and why they matter. And they have a bespoke booking system that saves time, hassle and energy for both staff and customers. All of these things will compound to help Cranfield to achieve their business goals of creating one of the most loved tourist experiences on the Island of Ireland.
In summary – What we did
We created a bespoke booking system that saves countless hours of maintenance and management. We developed persona-based messaging for different target audiences focussing on what matters to which customer. We built a brand-led website that tells people who Cranfield Alpacas are and why they matter.
- We wrote it
- We designed it
- We built it
- We created the messaging to promote it
We took a lot of pressure off the team at Cranfield so they could focus on the countless other stresses of running a business. They trusted us to deliver this project for them on time and on budget. We have helped their business be seen by more people and we have helped them to sell more tickets to wider audiences from farther afield.
The Fourteen Forty team is brilliant. My new brand and website are perfectly tailored for my business and have not only saved me hours of administration, but it looks amazing and has more than doubled my sales and helped my business grow.
They adopt a holistic approach to your business, focusing on what you want and how best to deliver it whilst building and enhancing your company.
I recommend you put your trust in them, you will not be disappointed!
– Pamela Houston / Cranfield Alpacas