Target Global Teams Partner to Bring Good & Gather to Life

Members of our Brand Design Lab in Bangalore, India (left) and Minneapolis, Minnesota (right) developed the branding and packaging for Target’s newest food brand: Good & Gather.

When Target customers reach for their new favorite Good & Gather private brand products—from vanilla almond milk to organic tortilla chips—they see affordable products bursting with quality and flavor inside great package design and branding. But behind those bags, boxes and cartons is a team that came together across time zones and continents to bring Target’s new flagship food brand to fruition.

This past week the official Target blog A Bullseye View presented a look inside those efforts from the retailer’s design team which includes members in Bangalore, India and Minneapolis, Minnesota—who lived and breathed all things Good & Gather leading up to the brand’s launch in September.

So, first things first: Target has an in-house creative team called the Brand Design Lab (BDL), responsible for the naming, design, and packaging of most of their private brands. Think OpalhouseEverspringGoodfellow & Co and more. Today, members of BDL work hand-in-hand across the globe—but that wasn’t always the case, says David Hartman, a senior director who leads a team of 25 within Target Creative at the Minneapolis HQ.

David Hartman

“Over the past decade, our team has developed an extensive partnership with Bangalore that supports the packaging execution process,” David explains. “But during the past year, with a lot of planning and in-person conversations, our work evolved to offer true design and production capabilities with the launch of Good & Gather—the first time we engaged this particular team to partner on the development of a food brand.”

And that’s a really big deal. Because Target’s food private brands operate in a highly regulated environment that requires input from partners in nutrition, labeling, sourcing and even vendors to accurately bring packaging to life. To help take on the scope of Good & Gather, David and his team had to know the partnership with the design team in India would be one of mutual trust and collaboration. As a result? “Standing up a team to support such a large volume of work—the Bangalore team alone designed packaging for about 400 individual products—required us to develop new processes, new tools and new ways of working on both sides,” David adds.

Steven Jockisch

Even with a new workflow, the reality of day-to-day tasks can get a little tricky when one team is 10.5 hours ahead of the other. “It means a lot of early mornings and late evenings for both teams—so it’s a compromise,” says Steven Jockisch, senior manager and associate creative director. “But we also leverage frequent and in-the-moment connections, so we don’t miss out on any information sharing.” To kick off the team integration, Steven’s Bangalore counterpart, senior manager Shweta Mohare, describes how the teams came together in the beginning:

Shweta Mohare

“We had team members travel and spend time with the Brand Design Lab team during the kick-off as well as the first few phases of work,” she shares. “This helped us to not just get the context to understand the brands processes, but also helped the teams in India and Minneapolis connect and drive an extremely collaborative way of working, this was key to our success. This would not have been possible without both teams integrating in a seamless manner.”

The (Organic) Juice Is Worth the Squeeze
“One of the advantages we found working with a global team in a different time zone is the ability to turn around assignments while we sleep. Sometimes this meant we could brief our partners in India in the evening and see works-in-progress from them the next morning in Minneapolis—a huge opportunity for us to help accelerate project timing,” David says. And of course, the “overnight” turnarounds could be delivered to Bangalore from the Minneapolis team as well.

With a brand of this scale, there are bound to be challenges, particularly when it comes to working with a global team. “Not everything ran smoothly all the time,” David shares. “We learned that working this way required extra planning on the part of everyone to ensure our Bangalore counterparts felt like a natural extension of our Minneapolis-based team.”

Well, was it worth it? “Without us working across both locations with a truly global mindset, this work [for Good & Gather] would not have been possible,” Shweta answers the question for us. “We shine as a team and not as individuals. As individuals we each played a part, but success would not have been possible if we had not approached it as one team. At the end of the day, it’s the team that made it all possible.”

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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.