Experience level: 
Intended Audience: 
Frank Thompson, DBA, CEcD, Troy University, Troy, AL

The Miracle of the Moose

Debbie Gaydos is the owner of Shopaholic Home Décor and Gifts, a small gift shop in Enterprise, Alabama. For the past six years, she featured stuffed moose during the Christmas season. The moose have resonated with her customers and the sales continued to grow each year. The first year she ordered 50 moose, and in year seven, she placed an order for 950 of the moose. Mrs. Gaydos believed that every product should have a story, and her customers agreed. Debbie Gaydos incorporated anthropomorphism, priming, and cue to build sales. She marketed the moose through videos and photographs on Facebook, in-store placement, and an adoption program. Debbie made the moose real to her customers by developing stories around the moose from the moment the product arrived. Once a moose was purchased, the customer took over and further developed that moose’s personality by naming the moose, sharing photographs, and sharing comments about their moose. The phenomenon of the moose continued to grow. Two years ago she went public with how she had been donating moose to children in need. Debbie’s concerns going into year seven were two-fold. One, how could she continue to build on the anthropomorphism marketing approach to maintain and expand past sales of the moose? Two, she had a passion for children in need and she was interested in developing opportunities that would provide moose to more children in need. Learning Outcomes In completing this assignment, students should be able to: 1. Identify specific examples of anthropomorphism used in marketing. 2. Identify ways priming is used in marketing and explain the benefits of priming in retail marketing. 3. Develop marketing approaches that demonstrate and incorporate understanding of anthropomorphism and priming. Application The case is most appropriate for undergraduate classes in consumer behavior, retailing, and other marketing classes. Having an existing knowledge of marketing plans will be found to be beneficial. Key Words Anthropomorphism, priming, cues, consumer behavior, retailing, marketing, moose.