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Denver Business Owner Making His Mark With Llamas

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Ira Johnson (credit: CBS)

Ira Johnson (credit: CBS)

CBS4 and the Denver Business Journal are teaming up to profile companies that are “Making Their Mark” in Colorado communities.

DENVER (CBS4) – One Denver company is using an unusual marketing plan to win over customers — the company’s president is making his mark with the help of llamas.

“I was raised on a llama farm in Iowa. My grandpa raised llamas. At one point we had about 100,” Ira Johnson said.

Johnson’s printing company is called the Happy Llama Company.

“Llamas represent the promotion and the marketing and the business side of things,” he said. “I went through branding and marketing companies … I went with something that I thought was fun and entertaining as a marketing tactic that people wouldn’t forget.”

So far his off-brand marketing plan is working. The Happy Llama Company is the official project management provider for the Cherry Creek Arts Festival , the Taste of Colorado, Concerts for Kids, and countless other events.

“They know we’ll fix it, so we’ll all stay happy, and it’s good. I didn’t want grumpy people around me in my world.”

He was asked how important it is for business leaders to make their mark in Denver.

“I think exceptionally. I think even for young professionals more so than a lot of other cities. We were just ranked number one for attracting young professional talent. We are ranked number one for entrepreneurial and small business opportunity,” he said. “For YPs to come in and make their mark in that environment is phenomenal.”

Whether it’s Denver Hospice or Habitat for Humanity, it’s not a question of “if” he should give back — it’s automatic.

“I think that should be everybody’s responsibility is to help, no matter where you are on that scale or where you are in the food chain, I think we all have an obligation to help the one right below us and right above us. And that’s what gives us the opportunity for everyone to move forward.”

LINKS: Denver HospiceHabitat for Humanity

denver business journal Denver Business Owner Making His Mark With LlamasRead more on the website of CBS4 partner the Denver Business Journal.

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