The Target of Cool
You won’t find any of these Target branded clothes at the discount retailer’s stores, but the chain is hoping that the buzz around the newly introduced high-end Target Couture clothing line will further stake out its position as a cool place to shop.
Brand Central, the consulting firm that paid Target to license its bull’s-eye logo, is hoping to rollout the line of Tar-zhay merchandise at department and specialty apparel stores across the country. The merchandise got its formal introduction when it went on sale at Intuition, a hip boutique in Los Angeles.
The merchandise in the Target line is decidedly un-Target like. According to a report by The Washington Post, items in the line go from $140 for a pair of jeans to $3,185 for a diamond necklace with the bull’s-eye logo.
Marshal Cohen, a senior analyst with NPD Group, said Target is less concerned about the actual sales of its licensed products than with the reinforcement the upscale line gives to its image as a cool retailer.
“I think they’ll be tickled pink – or in their case, tickled red – if they make money,” Cohen said. “But I don’t think they care about that. What they’re most concerned about is maintaining the integrity of the brand.”
Michael Silverstein, a senior vice president with the Boston Consulting Group, said the new line could ultimately confuse customers.
“People … would say, ‘Well, why is that here?’ They need an explanation,” he said. “And in the world of consumer marketing, explanations cost money.”
Discussion Question: What will the upscale bull’s-eye line do and not do for Target’s image and retail business?