POST #3: I went in for mascara, and 50 bucks later…

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Tar-jay is one of my worst weaknesses. It’s one of the only places that I can run in for one thing I know I need, yet can’t seem to escape its doors without filling a basket and spending less than 50 bucks (clearly the mascara doesn’t cost that much). Part of this may be my inability to distinguish between wants and needs; but it’s also the draw and comfort I feel after walking through the doors. The sense of comfort stems from the devout dedication to Target as a brand.

Many folks can vouch that when you think of Target you don’t just think of the brick and mortar. Words that come to mind when I think about Target include: red, bulls-eye, dog, innovation, creativity, style, and value.

Target’s variety of consumer engagement, marketing techniques, and sense of brand distinguishes this company from its competitors. Target has found a way to leverage multichannel tools and strategies to set themselves apart while recognizing segmentation needs – product mix changes based on cultures represented in each store’s community.

The “Expect More, Pay Less” tagline (or perhaps better stated, brand promise) delivers a broad and strong message to its guests. It may not be considered the cheapest place to go for all of your needs. However, you do have a sense of getting what you pay for after bringing home your booty.

A big-box store with boutique qualities, Target provides its guests with a unique and ever-changing experience. From designer partnerships (starting with Michael Graves, Proenza Schouler, Missoni, and just recently Phillip Lim) to annual in-store events (e.g., Global Bazaar), there is always something different. Holiday 2012 even had product cross over with Neiman Marcus – both they and Target selling similar merchandise. The partnerships allow the guest to feel like they’re getting a great deal without emptying their pocketbooks.

Target creates an emotional relationship with their guests, which is highly visible via a variety of social media venues. Multiple Facebook pages cater to specific aspects and interests of Target’s guests (e.g., Target Baby, Target Style, Give With Target). Target’s social media strategy/presence is well established, extending from Facebook to Tumblr, to YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and even their own blog (Pulse).  (Check out to see a broader social media list with links to individual web locations.) The two-way communication that Web 2.0 provides, allows direct interaction between companies and the consumer.

So, I guess the long and the short of it is that I’m stuck like glue on Target (and was long before I ever began my career there.) I’m a lifer.

***As an added bonus – one of my fav-or-ite commercials***

6 thoughts on “POST #3: I went in for mascara, and 50 bucks later…

  1. Amy,
    I appreciate how you identify the emotional relationship that Target creates. This speaks to how Target focuses on connecting with their consumers to offer a quality experience at low prices, rather than just a warehouse experience at low prices. I think both strategies work as target markets are most likely different.

    Like you, I can never go into a Target spending less than $50. Sometimes I go just to browse because you never know what you might need…….

  2. Thank you so much for all this information. Even though I worked for Target for a period of time, I had no idea how socially involved they are. I too am a Target lifer. As I stated in my blog I think you either are loyal to Target or you go to the other guy.

    • I love this. Target really is all about the “experience” and you do develop an emotional type relationship with it. My son on a daily basis ask me to go to target. All of your needs can be met there. When ever I go into target I ALWAYS spend more than intended. Most of target shoppers are loyal Target shoppers.

  3. I love how you titled this post… so clever “went in for mascara, and $50 bucks later.” I think any and all Target shoppers can related to that, definitely draws readers in finding out more on what else happened. Good use of a drawing in curiosity. Target is definitely not cheaper compared to its other big competitor, but it’s more so with the experience of shopping there, the design and colors of the white floors and use of redness around the store. Target definitely sells a great shopping experience, and I think that’s why customers keep on coming.

  4. Amy:
    Very nice job telling stories of your personal experience, the target experience, and the excitement that’s built on both. You offer encouragement through your consumer and employee insight. It’s also helpful for those that are apprehensive about shopping for they may have heard is a “corporate monster” better grasp Target’s connection to community. I like what you’ve done here, and if anyone should inquire about Target or “the experience”, navigate them directly here.

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