Target Advertising Strategy Essay

In 1962 history was made. An employee of Dayton Dry Goods Company named John. F. Geisse thought of the idea of an upscale discount-relating store. The Dayton Company used Geisse’s idea and opened its first store in Minnesota called “Target,” currently owned by Target Corporation. With more than 1,934 stores across the country, Target has grown into a household staple brand. In fact, Target mega-brand is second only to Wal-Mart. It’s amazing how successful Target has become in such a short period of time, but the question on everyone’s mind is how?

What makes Target so successful? Do they scam their everyday shoppers or are they genuinely that good? Whether it’s the colors or the adorable dog as their mascot Target is doing something right. Before even stepping foot into a the store people know what to expect. Whether they heard from a friend or saw the hundreds of advertisements that Target participates in each day through the computer, television, or even on the newspaper, people know what’s to come. The first impression a new customer has on target is crucial.

Within the first minute of someone walking into the well advertised store they’ve made up their mind. Walking into Target is like walking into a new world, people discover things they never thought they’d want and don’t actually need but buy it anyway, this is all because Target knows what’s up. Target knows what kind of people they bring in and how to make them keep coming back. The moment someone walks in the doors they can smell the freshly popped popcorn from the over priced cafe and right in front of them is the “dollar” section.

One thing to know about this dollar section is it’s not actually a dollar! Don’t get me wrong there are some things are actually listed as a dollar, but the name brand things that kids would actually want, like Hello Kitty, are actually three dollars. Target does this because they know some people have to bring their kids into shop. So what’s worse than a child screaming for a Hello Kitty paper basket that they will break within the first few sections of purchase? The answer is nothing.

Once the battle of getting out of the dollar section with all the self-restraint a person can have, they’ve already spent a good five dollars. The next way Target reels a customer in is that they have everything! Household items, clothes, electronic, toys, and even food! The way that the store is set up is that in order to get to one of the necessities of life, food, a customer must go through all of the unnecessary objects Target sells, like their bright plastic seasonal cups that we all know will break within the first month, but get anyway.

This is all a part of their plan to get customers to pay for overpriced items that probably cost less than a dollar to make. Next is their electronics, recently Target has done a bit of remodeling with their electronic section to look exactly like one very particular successful store. The section has grown and is spaced out and I can’t help but notice that it looks very familiar to Best Buy. The reason behind this is because Target is trying to be the ultimate super store, without having that title, and trying to knock out any competitors.

One of Target’s ultimate strategies is looking classy despite their lower prices. To reiterate, Target uses higher class brands for a lower price, this attracts customers that wouldn’t typically shop in discount retail stores. Although Targets clothes may be at a lower price their dressing room policy is strict. In order to get a dressing room one of the employees must count your clothes and unlock the door instead of just letting customers do as they want. This creates a mistrust feeling between the customer and workers because of their strict policy.

Target has gotten the bad rep in recent articles because of their gender labeling in sections like toys, homes and entertainment. Many people find the labeling between genders unnecessary and unfair. Over the past year thousands of customers have complained and Target has finally come to an agreement. To avoid controversy and losing loyal customers Target has officially decided to take down all gender signs, except in the clothing sections, to let their customers know that they are listening and that they care.

Making this statement is a big step for Target because almost every store gender labels, doing this has made it well known that Target is willing to change for the better and that they still want to attract the same crowd. After all of the controversy Target’s target customers are still the same which is middle-class suburban people. The customers they want to attract are obvious because of the locations they choose and the ads they put out. Chances are that if a person were to go into a well populated suburban area a Target will be there.

They attract young families by putting a grocery section, clothes for all ages, and a pharmacy in their stores for their customers convenience. In recent visits I have noticed that their target customers are on point. The typical customer I saw there was in fact, middle to upper middle class and either middle aged or younger. The age was obvious on the customers, but what social class they were in was harder to spot. Judging by their clothes, the amount of money they spent and the cars they drove a person can assume that they were a typical American household. During the process of checking out I noticed three things.

First, their customer service wasn’t of the best quality, some of the workers don’t make eye contact and some don’t even bother to greet their customers. This conflict makes Target look bad, treating customers with little to no respect is not what their mission statement is all about. In Target’s “about us” section they talk about wanting each experience in the store to be the best a customer has ever had, but with the rude customer service their quantity of the items doesn’t make up for the quality of the service. The second thing I noticed was the amount of items a person could buy at checkout!

One day the lines were moving so slow and because of the amount of time a person had to wait to be checked out they ended up getting more things like the gossip magazines, candy, soda, and gum. I believe Target does this because they know that some days the lines are so long that people will want to catch up on the latest drama or buy an overpriced soda because they’re that bored. Finally when it was my turn to check out I noticed that Target now has a credit card system where a person can buy a credit called “my redcard” and use it with every Target shopping experience to get five percent off of the total purchase.

Overall Target is a good store for any person who is looking to get great deals, but also spend a lot of money on random cute things they have around the store. Target seems to stick to their word on their mission statement aside from the fact that their customer service majority of the time is lacking. But, because of the convenience of the store it keeps bringing the customers back and reeling in the new ones.