Staying On Target

cropped-target.jpgStaying On Target!

Some companies last and last, others simmer through the years. Target has a strong company brand and does a good job of dealing with keeping up their image and having little controversy. In order for a brand to withstand years of business they must change with times and keep a good relationship with their customers.

Target is fortunate that they have a strong foundation as a company and can handle any problem that arises. Target hasn’t had many problems with controversy in the past but as long as they keep to their values and continue to handle controversy well they should be able to keep their image as a quality discount store.

Due to Targets wide variety of products they are able to appeal to all audiences. As Target grew in the past they added a grocery sections. Today they are focusing on style and satiability. Thinking about how times are changing and what customers are looking for is very important to Target stores success. Target needs to continue to think about their customers and what people want.

Good quality and a low price is important to people. Wal-Mart is a major competitor and the biggest difference is the image of the store. Wal-Mart tends to be crowded, packed isles, and long lines. Target is more spacious, well lit, and short lines.  Another big part of image that Target does better than Wal-Mart is staying out of negative news. Wal-Mart is in the news more often for a person being injured in their stores which gives the store a bad image and customers are drawn away from their stores.

One thing Target needs to work on is growing to other countries. So far Target has not had great success in their expansion to Canada. In order for expansion I think Target needs to do more research about the places they are expanding to. Target explained that they stock their stores for what is popular to people in that area. In Canada they placed more hunting and fishing things and in Florida they have beach accessories all year long. More than knowing what products people in the given area want to buy, they need to know what products will sell best so that they can have large quantities of those items in their stores at all times.

Overall Target just needs to keep up what they are doing to make it through the next fifty years. As long as they remember what their beginning goals were; to sell quality products at a discounted price, and keep doing this customers will be happy to shop in their stores. Target is truly an iconic brand and will be able to succeed in the coming years.


Target Trending

Target pic2Social media is all about who is following you and who likes your post. I have a Twitter and a Facebook account and I would say I have many friends on Facebook and a decent amount of followers on Twitter. When I looked at the Facebook for Target Stores they had 22,443,541 likes. Now this makes me look like I have no friends, not to mention this is only one of their four pages I found. Twitter is the same way. On their main Target Twitter they had 964,481 followers. Based on just this observation I would say Target has a great foundation in social media.

When I went to Targets corporate website I looked for information on social media. I noticed the icons were located at the bottom of each page but I also noticed them throughout the page as I looked closer. There are news stories about the stores and employees and under each one there is a place that you can like the story or tweet about it. I think this method is smart because someone can read the article and just click the button to share it on their Facebook. Also the numbers of people who have liked the post or tweets show up next to the icon so that can draw in readers if a story has a large amount of likes.

Target pic1Target uses Facebook as not only a marketing tool but to show their history. On the Target page, readers can go back to 1967 (which we know there wasn’t Facebook back then) and look at the company history and how it has changed with logos and locations. More resent post include free give a ways and special peeks at exclusives.  There is a page for Target Canada and Target Australia which are similar to the Target page but with information about the Canadian or Australian stores. Another page is for Target Style which also has history showing their first designers and collections. More resent post have to do with current events like daylight savings time and the upcoming weather. These posts are placed with a picture showing a watch from Target or an advertisement for their winter coats. Target Style is not only about clothing, it has home décor, makeup collections, clothing, and more.

Target has Twitter pages for all of these categories as well. Looking at the pages I think they do a good job at varying the content but also having some overlap for sales or advertisements that would be store wide.

I think Target social media strategy is strong. I follow them on Facebook and don’t feel that I am getting bombarded with post, and the posts that I do see are usually appealing to me. I think social media is important to Target to stay current and up to date with technology but Target is also such a well known brand that they don’t need to use social media to boost sales, it is more of a way to connect with customers outside of the store.

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Good, Bad, or Average?


When looking online for information about how Target Stores are received internationally I found it hard to find many sources in general. My thoughts are that company’s especially large ones with the resources to do so will bury negative news articles about their company from employees. In order to keep stores running smoothly, large companies like Target need many employees to work for them and many happy customers to succeed. Having negative reviews from current or past employees on websites where people can find them easily could be a reason people choose not to shop at Target. The other side is that Target doesn’t have many negative reviews about its American stores but the new stores opening in Canada have had many negative things said about them.

A source I found was for employees to review and comment on their experience with the company. This website is not associated with Target Stores; however most of the comments were positive and spoke highly of the company. The people who posted comments were from all parts of the United States. In order to read the reviews I had to login to their site. I wouldn’t have normally signed in but I thought that maybe I would be able to see more negative reviews if I did. I still did not find many negative reviews in the many pages I went through.

Some of the positive reviews were that “upper management really tried to make the environment fun and friendly,” and “the team culture is continuously fostered making it an enjoyable work environment.” Many of these comments are from former employees and that for one can say a lot about the company in my eyes. If someone can leave a company and have good things to say about the stores I see that as being a place I would like to work.

Some of the negative reviews were “during slumps the unrealistic goals of the upper management demoralizes the team” and “can be long hours, always being called to see if you can come in to cover a shift.” As in any large company I think these are comments that differ from store to store so it is not a good overall look at the company.

Since Target has only just expanded outside of the U.S. it is hard to know if they will do well in other areas. There was a lot of excitement around the opening of the first store in Canada and many customers were left underwhelmed. I think one of the biggest factors in people being unhappy is that the Target stores replaced a discount store and the two companies are just different. As Target opens more stores in Canada we may get a better idea to what Canadians think of the company and if it can be just as successful internationally as it is across the U.S.

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Appealing to All

Do you ever get that feeling when you look at something and you just know it is from a specific brand? Quite a few times lately I have thought, “Wow this could totally be a target commercial.” Then at the very end the Target logo comes up and I laugh. To me a company that can convey their brand without even telling the audience what their brand is, has a very successful brand. The thing that gets me about target is that their commercials can vary so much and still I can tell it is a Target commercial.

For example one of Targets most resent commercials from September 2013 is simply a woman picking up her house. Guest came over and they look like they are having a good time. The point of the commercial is to sell the Target home décor brand Threshold.  The apartment in the commercial is modern yet homey. The people in the commercial are an age that isn’t too young for older audiences to relate to but not too old that it doesn’t appeal to young crowds. Target prides itself on low prices and good quality projects. This commercial gives the feeling of class and a place where people would like to gather.

Target has commercials that appeal to specific audiences. Like their back to school commercials every year. The commercial gets kids excited because of the bright colors and fun music. Parents hear the song and it gets stuck in their heads as a reminder to go to Target and do their school shopping. Target also has commercials directed to young adults who are into style. There are multiple versions of the commercial advertising the clothing sold at Target. They used words like; embellished, tailored and B&W to highlight what they wanted the viewer to see. There are different versions of the commercial to appeal to different audiences. There is one of all women, one with all men, and one that is a mix of the two.

Another Target commercial is about how Target is sustainable and helping others. Target has a line of products made by Feed. Feed helps give meals to people across America. The commercial shows how the bags, clothes, and plates from Feed all give a certain amount of meals to people when sold. This commercial appeals to a completely different group than the commercials listed above. There is also multiple version of this commercial where a boy is the main character and then a girl is the main character but the two story lines run together.

Overall Target has a very large audience so it is important for them to market to all of those audiences.

Below are links to many different Target commercials.

Target Hits a Bullseye













The Target Company has a very strong store brand. I would say just about anyone could identify a Target advertisement, whether it is on television, in a magazine, or online. The thing that makes these advertisements stand out as Target ads is not because of the content, because that is always changing based on what they are selling. It is not because of the song in the background of a commercial or a certain celebrity endorsing the company. What makes Target so easily recognized is the simplicity of the bullseye symbol.

Through writing this blog and learning more about the Target Corporation, I have learned a lot about the store and their brand. As I watch television I see advertisements that I think to myself, “wow. That could be a great ad for Target; the music, the colors, and the people and their spirits. It all looks like what I see Target to represent.” Then at the end of the commercial the bullseye symbol pops up and I think of course this is a Target commercial. Why am I surprised?

Target has worked for a long time to build their brand. I believe the fact that they do not need to say Target or put Target in huge letters across their ads for customers to know it is them, says a lot about the strength of their brand. Targets’ most famous image is their bullseye logo.  The simplicity of the logo is all it takes for customers to recognize the brand. Target uses the bullseye logo to their advantage in many cleavers ways. Some examples of different ways the logo is used are: having a woman in their commercial wear bullseye earrings, making the wheels of a car look like the bullseye, and simply stretching the circle into an egg shape to advertise Easter. Target also uses their logo by making minor changes to incorporate it into the ad in different ways while still being noticed as the Target logo.


Target does not work to sell one specific product in their advertisements. Target sells an experience more than anything. When Target isn’t using their logo to identify themselves they use the color red. Many of their ads are in mostly red and white.  The Target dog is also used as an image of the company. When there are events like red carpets the dog is a way to promote the Target brand without having an actual advertisement.

Overall Target utilizes their bullseye logo very well. They have branded themselves so that the bullseye is a symbol directly associated with their company.

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The Storm Passes


If anyone knows how to deal with controversy it is Barilla Pasta, just kidding. However, Target does know how to deal with controversy as it has had to over the last few years. Without looking anything up about Target and how they deal with controversy I would say they do a good job dealing with it because I haven’t heard of anything like the Barilla Pasta scandal. When I did look up how Target handles controversy I was able to find a few examples of how controversy is handled when it happens.

One of the most resent events that Target has had to deal with is with celebrity chef Paula Deen. The controversy is over Paula Deen’s use of the n-word. Target sells Deen’s merchandise in their stores and had to choose how to deal with this scandal. Target did not want to be associated with Deen after her use of a racial slur so they took action like many businesses associated with the celebrity did. Target stores choose to sell the remaining merchandise on their shelves but would not be replenishing their inventory (Molly Snyder, NY Daily). Target handled this scandal well and I think they were successful in handling it.

A controversy that Target is better known for is a donation to a legal campaign group that backed seven candidates in the 2010 Minnesota Governor elections ( This was the first election in which businesses could donate to political campaigns through independent expenditure groups. The reason that this was controversial is because one of the candidates that the donation backed aired a TV ad and was linked to anti-gay marriage. This may not have been a big deal because the ruling that allowed businesses to donate, and did not require them to disclose who donated to the groups. However Minnesota legislature voted to require discloser making it public knowledge that Target was one of the businesses backing the advertisement.

Target dealt with this controversy for many years yet did not see any major impact on their business. When the news first broke they got letters and petitions from gay rights advocates.  Target was not the only business being protested because of the advertisement but because of their past with supporting gay rights they received a lot of backlash. Two years later Target decided to sell T-shirts to raise money for a group working to defeat the gay marriage ban in Minnesota (Fox8Live). I believe target was using this as a way to get their image back but others don’t like Targets approach. Some want Target to just stay out of social issues. I think they had some success in dealing with this controversy because their business did not suffer however I think there are still many people upset with Target and want them to just stop trying to fix it.

The video above is the advertisement that was made with the money donated from Target and other businesses for the 2010 Governor election.

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Bulls-eyes and Bull Dogs

For as long as I can remember shopping at Target, I cannot think of anything major that has changed. The stores still have the same basic design, color theme, and company values. What I noticed was more about updates and improvements to their strong foundation from when they first opened.

The first large change in the Target Brand was there expanding stores. In 1990 Target Greatland was opened in Apple Valley, Minn. Target Greatland was fifty percent larger than the average Target store. The new store came with new technology like ATM’s and faster checkout lanes. Another change to in the Target Greatland Stores was the adding of groceries, photo services, and a pharmacy. This is a major change for the company because it took them out of the department store category and placed them in more of a one stop shop category. In 1995 Target opened their first SuperTarget in Omaha, Neb. Super Targets include a grocery section with fresh produce, dairy and meet. In 2008 Target opened its first food distribution center in Lake City, Fla.

As the company grows its locations grow as well. The first store to go up in Alaska was in 2008 and Hawaii’s first store was in 2009. One way Target has changed with these locations is adapting what they sell in the stores to those areas. For example in Alaska, Target Stores sell fishing supplies and more cold weather gear.
Another change in the Target Brand is the renaming of the Dayton-Hudson Corporation to the Target Corporation. This change was made in 2000 to better reflect the core values of the company. Over the years Target has bought other companies and renamed them to make them apart of the Target Corporation. For example Associated Merchandising Company was renamed the Target Sourcing Services In 2004.

In 1995 Target Stores developed their first credit card named the Target Guest Card. Later in 2001 the Target Visa Credit Card was launched and was the first company credit card to be accepted at major retailers nationwide. In 2004 this card was renamed the REDcard and then again in 2007 Target came out with the Target Check Card. Target is constantly changing and promoting new ways to making shopping easier in their stores.

One thing that is probably the most noticeable change in the Target Brand throughout the years is the logo. In 1962 the Target logo started out as a basic bulls-eye (3 red circles and 3 white circles interchanging). In 1968 the bulls-eye was updated to a red circle with a white and red circle interchanging inside of it. This was more direct and memorable to guest. It wasn’t until 1999 that the Target dog is developed. Target used an English Bull Terrier named Arielle to star in their commercials. Arielle goes on to make appearances on red carpets be a well known symbol for Target advertising.

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What a Let Down

To Americans, Target tends to be a great place to run to for groceries, to get out of the house, or just a casual shopping trip. However Canadians are not impressed with the new Target stores recently opened in their neck of the woods. Starting in 2013 Target began opening stores across Canada. By the end of 2013 they plan to open 124 stores and more when they find new locations. To Americas this sounds great; Canadians can enjoy shopping at Target like we do! I have read in multiple articles that this is not the case. Canadians are not impressed with Target and overall sound like they do not intend to shop at Target Stores.

When I looked up what customers thought of target I figured most would say they enjoyed the stores and that they are clean, organized, and bright. What I actually found was all bad reviews of the new Canadian Target stores. I didn’t even find good reviews of American Target Stores because there were so many new stories about the Canada locations.

A few articles said that the Canada locations have very little in stock, poor quality, and too high of prices. The Canadian Target stores are seen as discount stores and I think this is where the high prices are a problem. In America we understand that sometimes Target is cheaper than other stores but because of the “niceness” of the store it is sometimes understood that the little extra you pay is because of the quality of your shopping experience. Target is sometimes slightly more expensive than Wal-Mart but it is less crowded which saves time so it is work the extra couple dollars. I don’t think this is understood in Canada because they don’t have the stereo types in the same way we do.

Before Target opened in Canada people were very excited about the new business and shopping experience. My opinion is that they were over excited and this could contribute to feeling underwhelmed. One article addressed the issues arising in the new stores and stated that the new stores are learning as they go. It is hard to predict what customers will or won’t buy and how much is needed to keep the shelves full. As the year goes on and the new stores hope to work out problems and get to a good place where they know the customers better and are able to give the Canadian stores the same feel as the American stores.

The video above is the new Target Canada advertisement. I can see why some people could be underwhelmed by the actual store if they see this advertisement. The ad is very inviting and warm, where target stores are very clean and could be looked at as sterile with their bright lighting and white and red color scheme. Hopefully as the store learns about their new customers they will be able to draw them back in and make the next shopping experience a good one.

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We Believe In…



If I were to ask someone to describe Target they would probably say it is a “classy” version of Wal-Mart. Going off of the Target motto, Expect More. Pay Less. I would say that’s about right.  I say this not only because the isles are less crowded, it is brighter, and people don’t go in their pajamas, but because of their values and how they hold themselves to their values.

Target believes in; design for all, great guest services, celebrating diversity and inclusion, a legacy of giving and serving, more for your money and a fun and rewarding place to work.

Target aims to offer great guest service both online and in stores. I know that when I shop there I can tell because their employees are good at offering help but not bugging you. In my experience returning things it has always been hassle free and that is something I look for in a retailer. Coming from a bigger city I have noticed it is nice that employees are able to call and check other locations for items they may be out of or don’t sell.

One of the values I think stands out the most is, a legacy of giving and serving. Whenever I see the back to school commercials or their signs for helping area schools I know exactly what it is because it is a part of their brand. Another thing I learned was that ever since the beginning of the company they have given five percent of their income back to the community.

The value, more for your money is another value that I find important to set Target off from other stores like it. All of the super stores are similar and tend to locate themselves next to each other to be competitive. When I go shopping and I am picking where to go I tend to go to target because it isn’t as busy. Since they started their 5% savings program it makes the choice that much easier for me because I see that 5% as a lot even if it is only a dollar or so. No matter where you shop some things are going to be more or less expensive but the 5% savings is enough to make me go to Target when things are pretty even.

Target’s value of celebrating diversity and inclusion is described as; inclusive of all team members, supplier diversity and community engagement. Target works to build teams with people of different backgrounds with different experiences. They create relationships with businesses across the county. They also work with the community to strengthen programs in the community. Either by assisting with programs, giving sponsorships or volunteering.

Overall I would say Target values their community and works to serve their community to the best they can with low prices, great services, and giving spirit.

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A Family Brand

TargetWhile Target is a family brand in the fact that it was run by the Dayton family for over 80 years, it is also a family brand in my house. Target is one of five departments of the Dayton Corporation which include: Dayton’s department stores, Target Stores, B. Dalton bookseller, Dayton Jewelers and Dayton Development Company. I am a triplet and my brother’s names are Dayton and Dalton. Dayton was named after Dayton’s Department Store and Dalton was named after B. Dalton Bookseller both located in a mall in Rochester, Minn., where my dad is from.

When Target’s first president, Douglas J. Dayton, planned to open the new store he wanted to combine great quality with discounted prices. Before creating Target the Dayton family ran Dayton Dry Goods Company. George Draper Dayton was a partner of the Goodfellow’s Dry Goods Company and in 1902 he took sole ownership of the store and renamed the company Dayton Dry Goods Company. He remained a part of the company until he died in 1938 and his son and grandsons took over. The company had great success and decided to expand. The first branch of Dayton’s Department Store was in Rochester, Minn., in 1954.

In 1960 the Dayton Company saw the opportunity to create a discount store. This was seen as a risky move but the Dayton Company was taking steps to turn a family-run department-store chain into one of the nation’s largest discount-store chains. In 1961 Douglas J. Dayton announced the companies plan to create a discount chain store. In 1962 Dayton’s former Director of Publicity Stewart K. Widdess was to come up with a name for the discount store. After discussing over 200 names the group came up with “Target” and the bullseye logo.

The first Target store was opened on May 1, 1962, in Roseville, Minn. By the end of 1962 Target opened other locations in St. Louis Park, Crystal and Duluth, Minn. In 1966 Target opened its first store outside of Minnesota in the Denver metro area. In 1968 Target expanded across the country to St. Louis, Dallas and Houston. By 1978 Target Stores had achieved $1 billion in annual sales. At this time there were 74 stores in 11 states. In 1983 the last of the Dayton’s retired from the Dayton-Hudson Corporation Board of Directors.

Since Target opened it has grown from a single discount store in Minnesota to having locations in every state except Vermont. Target continues to grow in 2013 by opening 124 stores across Canada making their first move out of the United States. Target is a huge supporter of their communities and is devoted to serving their communities. Target has many programs that include sales, donations, and promotions that they use to give back in big ways. This is why I think Target is worthy of being studied.

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