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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