Target Cooks Up A Private Brand with Giada

In this final post on this past week 2011 Fuse conference in Chicago, I take a look at the presentation “Giada De Laurentiis for Target: The Building of the Brand” from Fiona Mitchell and Michelle Mesenburg of Minneapolis based Target. The presentation presented a compelling model for Private Brand growth and development blurring the lines between national brand and private label to create a unique and compelling reason for consumers to choose Target.

Fiona Mitchell

Fiona and Michelle presented a case study of the 9-month break neck development of Giada De Laurentiis for Target from original concept to shelf to guest, complete with a concept pitch to Giada herself. How cool is that. They identified a need to create and build credibility in the cooking and home categories and then targeted Food Network chef and celebrity Giada. “We imagined what Giada’s brand at Target would look, sound, smell and feel like. We captured the essence who she is.”

As a Food Network junkie I can tell you that the brand they created is immediately credible and the products directly support and build on the brand. They are uniquely designed and crafted to fit the female customers hand and provide the quality and value they have come to expect from Target. Nice work.

And then Target supported their new Private Brand with a full array of marketing and messaging including: TV, target.com, print, the cover of 52 million circulars, in store signage\merchandising, and interstitials on the Food Network. Giada also appeared on the daytime TV shows Rachel Ray and Ellen complete with plugs for the new brand at Target.

Michelle Mesenburg

Retailers all across the country talk about differentiation and building customer loyalty and engagement with Private Brands yet they present the same old national brand knock off, that their competitor across the street sells. The lessons of Giada De Laurentiis for Target are relatively simple to say and very difficult for retailers to learn and execute.

  1. The Guest\Customer is at the core of all decisions
  2. Credibility: Without credibility there will be no longevity
  3. Design Differentiates
  4. The Right Partners: Share the vision, and bring experts to the brand
  5. Trust is Everything: Have a vision and bring it to life


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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.