New Target TV: The Reaction!


Over the last few weeks I have posted about a number of topics that have drawn significant traffic and passionate commentary from this Web 2.0 world that we live in. I have begun to discover the combination of tweets on Twitter and questions in Linked in Groups that drive traffic and seem to build a Private Brand community.

I have a tendency to agree with many of the comments below about Target pricing in their new campaign, and the potential for it to degrade their brand, but I am also painfully aware of the recent layoffs at Target so the pressure to increase short term sales must be overwhelming, lets hope they don’t do long term damage to their brand in the process.

Below are some of the comments in response to my recent post on Targets latest TV commercial campaign.

From the Advertising Professional Group on LinkedIn

Joel Kirstein
Ahead-Of-The-Curve Shopper Marketing/CPG Creative Director
It makes sense and it puts them more toe-to-toe with Walmart’s tv spots “rolling back prices.”

Nubar Nakashian
President at Gotham Graphics
Interesting strategy, focusing on “competitive” pricing during this time of economic distress. However, this forces them to adapt quickly to market competition if they hope to capture customers who purchase only on price. It doesn’t do anything to promote as a total value retailer.

Marty Kenney
President, Martin Stevens Consulting Group
Over the past several years, Target has done such a brilliant job of building an edgy image within the discount store category that price has become almost secondary. With one of the worst economies in decades, they are reminding customers that they have great prices too. Not that this is totally lost on the Target customer, because they still put out the all-important Sunday circular, which is primarily item-price. Make no mistake…that circular drives their sales, not the broadcast.
I have long thought that Target is the best run discount chain by far with superior marketing and store signage. Broadcasting the price story to supplement the fashion story during a time when people are more concerned about value is just another smart move on their part.

From the Brand Gurus Group on LinkedIn

Mark Prus
Principal at NameFlash(TM) A Product Naming Consultancy
A few years ago, Walmart decided they needed to upgrade their stores and appeal because Target was eating their lunch. Walmart blinked, and they hired new talent and got away from their core “low prices” strategy. It was a huge failure, which they recognized quickly and they undid pretty much everything they had changed… just in time for the economy to nosedive and have consumers start concentrating on low prices again (result = Walmart is one of a handful of stocks that actually gained in 2008).
As you note, Target just blinked and started featuring low prices in advertising. But I see a difference. First of all, they kept their tagline Expect More. Pay Less. which is a reinforcement of their core strategy. And they are not going to “Walmart-ize” their stores, going to a bazaar style of marketing. Target will continue to focus on smart, affordable design…and now they are adding the price level into it. I think it is a smart move, especially since they did it in a “Target way” (the ads are clever, visually interesting ads with lots of Target branding).
In the world of mass retailers, Walmart is winning today but I see Target returning to its former glory later in 2009…but in the meantime, Target needed to remind people that their prices are just as good as Walmart.

Phil Granof
Branding and Design Consultant, Founding Partner of Protobrand
If I were running Target, I would reverse engineer every step IKEA makes and apply it to beat Walmart. Affordable design has always been a core value of IKEA, and they rarely blink. In fact, I think Target could really give IKEA a run for its money.

From the Progressive Grocer Group on LinkedIn

Jerry Pinney
Coach, Consultant, Strategist at Jerry Pinney & Associates and Owner, Jerry Pinney & Associates
I believe some organazations will try to put a new spin on generics and try to use generics to drive sales and still protect the Gross Profit on PL. There will be a greater demand for Low Price and good retailers will find a way to deliver. Many Brands will be slow to react and overall PL will grap a few share points.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.