Oh Target, even after you lost my credit card number to what I envision as pirates or armed thugs, I still love you. I’ve actually visited you twice since the incident. Yes, I paid with cash the first time, and yes, I used my secondary credit card the second time, but I still think you’re pretty great.
Seriously though, the fact that Target can make such a major screw-up and still retain my love says a lot about their brand equity.
How did I get to love Target so much in the first place? I always remembered going to Target on occasion when I was much younger. It was a nice store but nothing like the store I am obsessed with now. I remember things were always more expensive there, and the store felt pretty clean but I wasn’t that excited to go. Most Targets had a cafe, the smell of popcorn was always tantalizing, and some even had a Starbucks, which was different. Again, nice…but not the store that people literally get excited to shop..
Little by little over the years, Target went from clean, slightly more expensive store to the place where you intend to buy one thing and leave with ten. I think the dollar section is what came first. This wasn’t cheap Dollar Tree stuff, these were higher quality little items. They were fun. A way to treat yourself. Only a dollar! Target had taken its first steps towards becoming the place where self control melts away and you feel happy despite the fact…
Then over the years they began to gradually add fashionable clothing, designer kitchen appliances, delicious Archer Farms food and really tightened up their cosmetic section. Target may have cost more, but when paying 10% more led to a 50% boost in quality (I’m estimating here, don’t question my numbers) many of us began to realize it was worth it. Middle class heaven, right there.
Target has a mass-niche target market, in my marketer opinion. What does that mean? I mean they are a store that sells on a mass scale, but they aren’t trying to be everything to everyone. Their target market is slightly higher income (but still very accessible,) I assume female-skewing, and generally fashionable people who seek a the fusion between form and function. That might sound a little specific but that still is a gigantic wedge of the marketplace. I’m convinced I’m not the only Target shopper who has thought “why buy a black spatula when I can get this amazing turquoise, polka dotted one for 25 cents more?”
I will end with that thought process, as it perfectly sums up why Target is one of my favorite brands.