Know Your Customer’s Sweet Spot: Lessons from Lenny the Chocolate Moose

I love chocolate. Especially dark chocolate bark, nonpareils and any kind of dark chocolate with raspberry filling. So, when I saw an ad for a Maine candy store featuring Lenny the Chocolate Moose, made from 1,700 pounds of chocolate, I told my husband that we had to see him on our way home from vacation last weekend.

Lenny is certainly worth the visit, even if he’s made from milk chocolate. And he has two friends, small black bears made out of dark chocolate. They live in a fenced display that’s kept at a steady 70 degrees to prevent melting, which has preserved Lenny since he was created in 1997.

The store, Len Libby Candies, is an attraction, too, stocked with every kind of delicious handmade chocolate and confection that you can imagine.

But we never would have bothered to go there if it weren’t for Lenny. Which, of course, got me to thinking about how well Len Libby understands its target market and how to draw in tourists.

I’m sure that people in and around Portland, Maine, know about the store, because their candy and service are excellent. But how to attract unsuspecting visitors?

Playing with Brand Identity
Lenny is a fanciful, novel tourist attraction that ties directly to Len Libby’s core product line and brand identity. The wordplay of his name is a fun way to promote chocolate as well as to locate the store in Maine. Lenny’s grand scale peaks your curiosity—how did they do that? what does he look like?—and toys with America’s love for kitschy, oversized folk art on the tourist trail.

The ad for Lenny was a full page at the beginning of our Portland tourist guide magazine, illustrated not with a photo of Lenny—because that would spoil the surprise—but with a cheery cartoon drawing. It included a pitch for the store’s candy selection and a small map.

Clearly, this is a business that knows how to reach new customers. Not only do they fully understand their target audience. Best of all, they have a sense of humor and were willing to make an investment in a unique promotional tool that turns a visit to a candy store into a family outing.

And I’m glad they roped me in. We’re still working our way through the chocolate and loving every bite.

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