Target’s Triple Threat

You know how walking through Target makes you want to buy all of the things? Three reasons why, articulated by this 2004 Harvard Business School article:

ONE: DOPE ADS

This “cheap-chic” strategy enabled Target to become a major brand and consumer-shopping destination, articulated around two main interrelated branding activities: designer partnerships and clever, creative advertising.

Seriously: Have you ever seen a Target ad that didn’t make you want to buy something?

Also:

Wal-Mart spends 0.3 percent of its revenue on advertising. Target spends 2.3 percent.


TWO: DOPE DESIGN PARTNERSHIPS EXPLOITED IN THE BEST WAY

Although many retailers have design partnerships … what matters is not that you have some exclusives with specific designers, but rather how you exploit them.

Target’s current design partnerships are called “The Shops”—they’ve partnered with five “mom and pop” shops around the country and have installations (with such great branding) throughout the store. Pretttyyy things in prettttyyyy packages.


THREE: CLEAN AND PRETTY STORES

Target avoided competing against Wal-Mart head-to-head and was perceived as outperforming it on specific dimensions: cleanliness of stores, shopping environment and experience, and shorter waiting time to pay.

Also: I’m pretty sure I’ve been exposed to 50% fewer crying children in Target than in either of the marts. And the lighting right? They’ve got great lighting.

PS None of this sorcery worked on me this weekend, and I got in and out without a purchase. Thank you, thank you.

Photo: flickr/zooboing

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