Alpaca – Who? Where? Why?
As you all well know, nothing happens without a reason and there is a perfectly good explanation for everything.
The history of Primend alpacas
It all started back in 2020 when one fine day, Heikko Kukk (Head of Dev team) felt that the background of our webinars was a bit dull and needed something to spice it up. Long story short, he proposed that if we were to source a few alpacas and have them hanging around in the background, the problem would be solved.
From a marketing point of view this made perfect sense. We all know that using cats and kittens in advertising is a foolproof way to get the most reactions, likes and followers. So why wouldn’t it work with some cute alpacas?
The only snag was that the Tallinn office was on the 10th floor at that time, and getting alpacas as office pets was therefore not a feasible plan. However, that did not stop Heikko from sharing memes and photos of alpacas at every possible team meeting, and soon enough everybody else was doing likewise.
By 2021 alpaca themed polls and Kahoots! became a natural part of every single team meeting, so the only logical step from there was to create our own alpaca. Marketing briefed our agency and explained the need for an alpaca that we could use for stickers, in presentations and so on. The first sketch proposed looked like this ►►►
(Not bad in a daring and slightly scary way, but to be honest it looked like an angry llama and nothing like what we had in mind.)
The brief was updated with: cartoonishly cute alpaca. From there, it didn’t take long before we received a new sketch that looked exactly like what we had been looking for. A perfectly cute alpaca complete with a cool pair of shades was born and replicated in all the Primend brand colours – orange, turquoise, brown, grey, yellow and blue.
From that point on, our alpacas took on a life and a story of their own. They are present on every PowerPoint presentation, whether in-house or for external use, and they are on all our dashboards, including the one that shows how well each team is performing: this is also the reason why our alpacas have names.
On the dashboards, a turquoise alpaca stands for good and an orange one not so good. Soon enough, news reached the marketing team that the orange alpaca had a negative reputation, which of course was unheard of. An urgent marketing meeting was convened, and an image-building campaign was launched to restore the orange alpaca’s positive standing among Primendians.
As a first step, we ordered 1.5-metre-high orange alpaca cutouts to our Tallinn, Riga and Vilnius offices. This was followed by naming the orange alpaca Miki. The name was bestowed by the marketing team, for whom this makes perfect sense, but let’s not get into that now.
The campaign was a huge success as Primendians kept using Miki stickers on their laptops, took selfies with the cutout and our herd of alpacas continued to thrive.
By autumn of 2022 we felt that it was unfair that only Miki had an actual name while the rest of the herd wondered around namelessly; so, the official “What’s Your Name” campaign for alpacas was launched. Everyone proposed names, followed by a final round of voting in which we all had a say in the final choice. Each name sponsor who made the final was honoured with a godmother/father diploma, which is also why the seventh alpaca (pink) was added to the herd. More on that soon but first meet our alpacas:
Grey – Slim Shady (Godfather – Kert)
Turquoise – Tupaca (Godfather – Mardo)
Blue – Bob (Godfather – Tõnis)
Orange – Miki
Yellow – Sunny (Godmother – Kaidi)
Brown – Coco (Godmother – Kaidi)
Pink - Lily (by Lily)
As mentioned earlier, the godparents each received a diploma. Tõnis took his diploma home because Bob is also the nickname of one of his children, his son. The next morning, Tõnis came to the office and stated that there was an urgent need for an additional diploma featuring an alpaca named Lily. Taking every request seriously at Primend, a diploma with a pink alpaca named Lily was created, and so our seventh alpaca came to be.
Since alpaca Lily is based on an actual little girl called Lily, we had a unique opportunity to ask Lily what she thinks alpaca Lily was like. This is what she said:
"Lily loves flowers and she is always happy. Since Lily is rather friendly and helpful, she also has a lot of friends to play dodgeball with. Besides flowers, Lily enjoys summer because she can rest a lot and during the holidays, there are always so many activities that it is not even possible to count them all."
The dominant character traits among the rest of our alpacas is a whole new story for our next blogpost.
Why the alpaca resonates with Primendians
An easy answer to that is – we have a lot in common, and we can prove it. Here are some facts about alpacas:
- They are herd animals and live in family groups.
- They can become depressed if isolated from the herd.
- They are naturally curious.
- They hum when curious or happy.
- They are super friendly unless when they feel threatened.
- They like to sunbathe.
- They are accustomed to harsh weather conditions – from very hot to -35 °C.
- They have a universal understanding to communicate with different cultures or languages.
- Their gentle nature and adorable appearance make them appealing to many people.
By comparing the above with our own characteristics, we saw we met each single fact.
One of our core values is Together is Better, and a recent survey on remote work by Employee Experience team concluded that over 80% of Primendians prefer to work mostly from the office.
Alpacas are curious and Development Inspires is another core value of ours. It is also a known fact to us all that in Recommy results the word “friendly” gets mentioned a great deal.
We sing when it’s someone’s birthday, and we hum along when a good song is playing (this one’s for you Priit T).
Harsh weather conditions and sunbathing are things we can all agree on, and 100% of Primendians are multilingual and accustomed to working with different cultures.
And finally, the gentle nature and adorable appearance – don’t believe there is a single person in the world who would dare to argue this fact.
All in all, alpacas and Primendians are like two peas in a pod. That’s why we are so fond of them and continue on our delightful journey hand in hand with our herd of alpacas.