Target adds Baby Essentials to Cloud Island

This week Target announced the expansion of their baby private brand Cloud Island into essentials, including diapers, wipes, toiletries and feeding products! Since launching in May 2017, the brand has become a customer favorite, known for its stylish and affordable nursery décor, bedding, bath and layette products, all created by Target’s very own design team.

It remains to be seen how this will impact Targets mega NBE brand Up&Up however it seems unlikely that Target needs two private brands in baby essentials. If the expansion of Cloud Island shrinks Up&Up it seems likely that other categories may be moved to other Target brands. HBC and office are obvious categories to shift away from Up&Up and into a lifestyle brand. The move could also be a foreshadowing of a strategic shift in consumables across the Target portfolio. It should be interesting to see how it impacts Archer Farms and Market Pantry.

“With all of Target’s new brands, we think about ways to expand upon the original idea,” says Mark Tritton, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer, Target. “As we talked about Cloud Island, the essentials category was always there. The idea was around better-for-you, dependable, affordable and accessible products that are good for your baby and your family. Now, building on the success we’ve seen with the brand over the past year, we’re bringing that idea to life.”

As for what to expect, the expansion of Cloud Island includes 30 affordable, baby-essential items that never compromise on performance or durability. It’s available in all Target stores and on at prices ranging from $0.99 to $21.99, with most items under $10. Another thing that sets the brand apart? Target worked with hundreds of parents to create the assortment, so it’s Target customer tested and approved.

Target’s A Bullseye View chatted with Robin Beck, a chemist at Target who helped create the line:

What was the process like to create the new Cloud Island products?
Target’s internal team, which includes engineers and chemists, like me, created the line from the ground up. We held in-home interviews, focus groups and shopping trips with hundreds of parents to better understand what they’re looking for in baby essentials. We also worked with pediatricians and dermatologists to verify the product claims so parents can feel confident when purchasing these products. It’s been quite the process—over two years!—but ultimately we accomplished exactly what we set out to do.

How did Target come up with these specific items?
As a mom myself, I remember shopping for these types of products when I had little ones and often had to choose between quality and affordability, so I know from personal experience that there’s a need that isn’t currently being met for parents with young kids at home. We knew Cloud Island was already a beloved guest brand, so it was a natural fit to expand the line to include better-for-you baby options. Through conversations with hundreds of parents, we were able to pinpoint the core items and attributes our guests are looking for most in a line of baby essentials.

What sets these products apart from others on the market?
The collection is benchmarked against premium brands based on the ingredients used in each item. The best part? It’s around 30 to 40 percent less expensive but just as effective. Wipes are ultra-thick and made with 99 percent water and plant-based ingredients. Toiletries are dermatologist-approved and made without phthalates and parabens. Feeding products are also phthalate free and made without BPA and PVC. Diapers offer 12-hour leak protection and feature the exclusive Tri-Wrap fold with no middle crease, giving them a better fit than standard offerings.

In your research, what did you learn from guests that made its way into the collection?
Through conversations with our guests, they shared over and over again that they are looking for premium, high-quality baby products at affordable prices, so we set out to create just that. We also went a step further to understand what attributes to prioritize in each product. For example, parents told us they use baby wipes all over a baby’s skin, including face and hands, so we added moisturizing organic coconut oil to make the wipes effective and extra gentle. This collection really was a team effort between Target and our guests!

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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.