February 26, 2019
Target Aims Right at Kids for Winning PR
For years now, Target has been focused on becoming the go-to big box retailer for stylish Millennial and Gen X moms. This effort has involved bucking certain longstanding retail norms. The campaign has largely been successful.
The brand hit it big with its Cat & Jack kids clothing line, enticing parents who want inexpensive but more stylish clothing for growing children. But some shoppers complained of gaps in the store’s children’s clothing lines. Cat & Jack was great and all, they said, but not quite hip enough.
Target is working, now, to close that perceived retail gap, starting with its “trendy” clothing line “Art Class,” which the company says will soon market clothes for toddlers. The move is crucial to the stores long-term success plan, because the company knows parents will almost always spend more in their stores than single people.
But, is there really a mass market for “trendy and edgy” toddler clothes? Target believes there is, and they are trusting in the demographic research that is driving their newer campaigns. That research says people are having children later, and that they are having fewer children, which translates to two things: One, more disposable income, and, two, the need to make more off each child.
That means the brand needs to target parents and entice them to buy items that are more expensive than they may traditionally select for younger children. It’s a risk, but there’s also opportunity. Lesser-funded competitors in the trendy kids clothes space are folding. Toys R Us and Babies R Us are out of business, Gymboree filed for bankruptcy again, and several other national children’s clothing brands are in trouble or shuttering stores.
So, what can Target do to woo the families that were not shopping enough at those stores to give a big box retailer a shot at earning their business? Well, they need to give those customers what they were accustomed to seeing at trendier stores.
That leads to the next step in the program: actually getting those mall-shopper parents to come into Target. The brand needs to define exactly who these people are, and they need to determine the best communication routes to connect with them. Once that’s determined, they need a multi-pronged message, and it looks like they have it.
Target, apparently, plans to market both convenience and style. They are tapping into consumer trends that cause people to try to multitask during shopping trips, getting more at a single store, and they want to grab hold of the growing, celebrity-inspired trend of dressing the little ones up in matching outfits with mom and dad.
Whether or not this campaign will work is yet to be seen, but Target has a plan, they have a market, they have a message, and they have an opportunity. Now, they just have to hit the mark.
-5WPR CEO Ronn Torossian