Woman-owned business Mt. Moriah Farms successfully launches new brand identity with support from SBDC

Mia Scott turned to Troy University's Small Business Development Center for help establishing her new brand, Mt. Moriah Farms. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)

Mia Scott turned to Troy University's Small Business Development Center for help establishing her new brand, Mt. Moriah Farms. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)

In the heart of the Wiregrass, Mia Scott’s Dothan-based Mt. Moriah Farms exemplifies the dedication to quality in its family-owned farming business, specializing in goat-based products. 

Mia Scott with her Number One Goat that helped start Mt. Moriah Farms that specializes in goat products. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)
Mia Scott with her Number One Goat that helped start Mt. Moriah Farms that specializes in goat products. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)

Yet, despite its excellence, the farm grappled with challenges common to many burgeoning businesses: brand recognition and differentiation. This issue was accentuated by the similarities in branding and aesthetics with a partner farm that specialized in cow-based personal care products and meat. Sharing tent space at events and similar brand colors led to confusion among their clientele.

Juliana Bolivar, Director of the Alabama Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Troy University, swiftly identified the need for Mt. Moriah Farms to establish a unique identity. She envisioned a brand that stood out not only visually but also in how it communicated its value to customers. 

To address this, Bolivar crafted a comprehensive plan focusing on distinct branding and effective communication strategies. 

“The goal was to not only visually distinguish Mt. Moriah Farms but also to refine Mia’s sales pitch, ensuring she could clearly convey the unique benefits and qualities of her goat-based products compared to the cow-based offerings of her partner farm,” she said.

The SBDC team jumped into action. Collaborator Advisor Catelyn Blackmon developed a straight-forward SWOT analysis, allowing Scott to clearly grasp her businesses’ strengths and areas that needed improvement.

“This analysis laid the groundwork for targeted improvements and helped Mia understand the significance of distinct branding and clear communication in her business growth,” Bolivar said.

Collaborating closely with Mia, SBDC Marketing Advisor Yadira Colon-Lopez began redefining the farm’s branding and marketing strategy. She assisted Scott in updating the business card design to better reflect the new branding strategy, ensuring that the unique qualities of Mt. Moriah Farms were effectively communicated.

Colon-Lopez’s role extended to the planning and revision of the farm’s logo. Through detailed research on fonts and design elements, she guided Scott in creating a logo that captured the essence of the farm’s ethos. 

“Her involvement was pivotal in the comprehensive brand review during face-to-face video-conferencing sessions. Here, Yadira meticulously assessed the current branding elements, aligning them with the farm’s strategic direction and discussing the long-term benefits of a thoughtful logo redesign,” Bolivar said.

A significant step in the rebranding process was the revamping of Mt. Moriah Farms’ online presence. Colon-Lopez guided Scott through the process of relaunching the farm’s website with a more professional presentation, including the acquisition of a dedicated domain. This move was crucial in establishing a strong digital footprint and enhancing the farm’s online visibility.

The transformation journey extended beyond virtual meetings. Blackmon and Bolivar made a special visit to the farm to help Scot create stock content for her social media and website that reflected her identity and story, as well as leveraging the University’s assets such as the photography team. This hands-on approach ensured that the digital portrayal of Mt. Moriah Farms was as authentic and engaging as the products they offer.

“The collaborative efforts of the SBDC team catalyzed a remarkable change for Mt. Moriah Farms. The farm’s new branding strategy significantly boosted its recognition, and customers began to recognize the distinct qualities of Mia’s products,” Bolivar said. “This led to an enhanced market presence and a noticeable uptick in sales.”

The team also played a role in the management and bookkeeping aspect. Through an expanded role, SBDC Clerk Kerstin Stokes provided what Bolivar called “essential support” with light bookkeeping and advising Scott on QuickBooks. Stokes created a simplified, user-friendly system for tracking financial transactions for Mt. Moriah Farms utilizing a custom Excel spreadsheet.

“The practical, hands-on assistance in bookkeeping and QuickBooks that Kerstin provides to business owners such as Scott provides them with valuable skills for managing their day-to-day financials,” said Bolivar.

Scott called her TROY SBDC experience life changing and credits the team with helping her business succeed in the marketplace.

Goat-based products are the mainstay of Mt. Moriah Farms, a woman-owned SBDC-assisted business. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)
Goat-based products are the mainstay of Mt. Moriah Farms, a woman-owned SBDC-assisted business. (TROY photo/Clif Lusk)

“I am absolutely blown away by the kindness of all the advisors. The time they have taken to answer the smallest of questions has astounded me,” she said. “Their Small Business Class was 100 percent the best time investment I have ever given for my business. The SBDC has changed my life as a small business owner and I am so thankful to be a part of the program.”

During 2023, more than half – 52 percent — of TROY SBDC’s clients were women-owned businesses, and statewide, 49 percent of the 2,903 one-on-one clients are women-owned businesses. Women accounted for 56 percent of the 4,700 attendees to SBDC training events during the year. TROY’s SBDC helped 23 new businesses get off the ground accounting for 90 new jobs created last year.

Through its SBDC in the Sorrell College of Business, TROY serves a 10-county area in Southeast Alabama and consulted 158 clients one on one. For more information about the services the TROY SBDC, visit them on the website at troy.edu or call 334-808-6793.

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