For many, seeing that red bullseye on the side of a building is a sign of comfort. You are about to walk into Target, the epitome of a middle class woman’s dream. I personally have fallen victim of the $100 shopping trip at Target. You go in for one thing and come out with 60 other things you don’t need. Their cute clothes and adorable fall decorations always catch my eye. And I mean come on people… THERE IS A DOLLAR SECTION. How could you resist the beautiful $1 items?
So what does Target have to do with IMC?
Well, I would say everything. Target has a typology that is completely cohesive and consistent, meaning their brand and messages match their audience and the audience responses.
According to their website, Target was created to, “differentiate itself from other retail stores by combining many of the best department store features — fashion, quality and service — with the low prices of a discounter.” Target was created for the same purpose as Wal-Mart, except with a higher quality and more well-known brands. At its creation in 1962 (which is 10 years after Wal-Mart’s creation), the store was fairly simple and local in Minnesota. However, soon after its creation, Target turned into a national icon and the bullseye started popping up in cities all over the country.
To talk about the appeals of the brand, middle and lower class families were in the market for affordability and quality. Target reached these appeals by providing low prices for higher quality brands, just as they promised in their original mission statement. This is one of the first stores to appeal to a market that typically wouldn’t be able to afford it.
Higher class families wanted organic and earth friendly products and Target stepped up to the plate and provided organic produce and meat, as well as their own line of organic, Earth-friendly apparel: Made-to-Matter Clothing.
In the 1990s, Target truly set itself apart in terms of quality. Not only did Target create its own brand: Archer Farms and Market Pantry, it also collaborated with many other well known brands to set the bar of quality at a higher level. Some of the most well known collaborations started with Sonia Kashuk, Cindy Crawford, Tom’s Shoes, and of course Lily Pulitzer. These brands are now available for those that can’t typically afford it, creating a high quality lifestyle for all economic situations. Target didn’t differentiate from the inclusion and created the term known as “cheap chic.”
Target also made strides in matching their community support with what customers want to see in a corporation. Being one of the first corporations to get involved with charities and selling products that give back, separate them as an organization that not only has high quality products, but also high quality employees and customers. Customers feel that they are making a difference when they are able to purchase Tom’s Shoes or a Market Pantry organic produce. Their website shares stories of their charitable donations and the employee efforts to give back to the community. Customers of Target want a corporation that gives back and Target stepped up to the plate and took on community giving in a way that is inclusive to the customers and employees.
While I may seem a bit biased toward Target, from an IMC standpoint, Target is doing everything right in its efforts to keep a cohesive typology. From the values that they support, to the products they put on the shelves, Target has created a high quality market for all.