Bullseye: Why We Love Target's Knockout Branding

Shopping carts are lined up inside of a Target store.

There’s one place on earth about 90% of shoppers can agree is “their happy place.” The wonderland of Target is indeed a tempting place to go. Whether you want to admit it or not, we’ve all gone to Target with the intention of buying a small list of items, and end up leaving with a hefty bill. It’s ok. The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.
Besides the seasonal choices of stylish outfits and great home items, you have to admire the marketing and branding that goes into Target’s astronomical annual sales–$73.79 billion in 2016, to be exact.
Target’s marketing team plays a vital role in the chain’s success. Here’s why we believe Target’s marketing is a “bullseye:”

Engagement starts at the door.

As soon as you walk through the doors at Target you are surrounded by Target’s iconic and vivacious shade of red. Target’s red is incredibly energetic. It is welcoming, fun, and creates an exciting environment. This tone of red reassures shoppers that Target has what they’re looking for. It shows balance, when often times red can be overbearing within other color palettes. Target’s branding is continued throughout the store within their department signage, product tags, shopping carts, and more. The consistency of their branding provides fluidity and allows customers to feel entertained down every aisle of the store.


What better way to welcome customers than with a strong aroma of coffee? Target and Starbucks have been partners since 1999. As of 2016, there were over 1,600 Starbucks stores placed in Target’s across the United States and Canada. Smart move, Target. That strong smell of coffee beans is so helpful when making decisions.


Target spokeswoman, Jenna Rack, says, “Today, when we work with casting agencies, we specifically request for the casting recommendation to include children with special needs,” in order to maintain the brand’s, “long and rich history of diversity,” within their ads.
Target’s Easter commercial reflects their value for diversity and inclusion to a tee. The ad features Sofia Sanchez, an adorable girl who jams out to “It Takes Two” with 3-4 other children, who are all of different races, mind you. Sofia has down syndrome, yet she is no different than the other children who are casted in the commercial as well. We love how Target continues to shed a light of normalcy on topics that have remained “under wraps” or unspoken about within our society.

They know their customers.

It seems like common sense that a retailer would be able to identify their target audience, but Target continues to goes above and beyond in this category. Target is able to lure it’s customers in and identify their consumption patterns based on which products they show interest in, or disregard all together. Remember in 2012 when Target knew someone was pregnant before their family did because of their data-mining processes and attention to detail? Now that’s good marketing.

Human-first strategy.

Target’s Vice President Marketing, William White, said it himself at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2016 Digital & Social Media Conference:
“As a marketing organization, we like to think human-first, not platform-first…I think a lot of brands, with all of the shiny new platforms that are out there, will just chase that, and say, ‘You know what: Snapchat is the big thing, so we’ve got to do something first.’
“But if that’s not right for the idea that you are trying to communicate, or that’s not right for the guest that you’re trying to communicate with, it’s very inauthentic. And so it’s very important that you think human-first, not platform-first.”
“Regardless of what’s in and what’s out … don’t chase the platforms. I think that it’s really important for brands to stay true to who they are and what they stand for. A brand is a promise, and a great brand is a promise kept.”
“We spend a lot of time with our consumers understanding their needs – understanding what’s important to them, understanding what their values are, and putting ourselves in their shoes. We believe that by putting our guests first, the business results will follow.”
… And now we feel the sudden urge to shop at Target. Anyone want to join us?

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