Welcome to the new Online Retail Brand Reality
Fair to say for most retailers the journey towards refining an effective brand strategy that integrates their online and offline is taking alot longer than anyone ever thought it would. We’ve shifted from a reality where the web site was just an online catalogue with store locator – to the new reality where online added additional layers of complementary brand experience – to paradigm V3.0 where a retailers online presence is seen as both separate and integrated at the same time. The evolution of consumer behavior online, offline and ever-more increasingly in that blurred space between the two has not decelerated, and so the journey to mastering this element of the marketing retail mix has become excitingly endless.
Target in the US is a brand who continually show a real appetite for surfing the gnarliest edge of the new wave of online retail. And their latest seemingly no-brainer move is in fact one masterstroke in the brand picture they are painting for their customers.
Target’s latest move sees them creating a number of brands that are only available through their web site. Target recently launched the six new lines with a wide assortment of product ranging from home décor to ready-to-wear apparel, Target is looking to draw a wider demographic to its website and create an online destination for its ownsake.
Target’s divisional manager Theresa Schmidt says about the strategy:
“We’re excited about these new brands and how they’re helping us further differentiate Target.com from other online retailers. We know our guests are increasingly connected and are shopping online more, so we wanted to offer guests something new, unique and unexpected.”
The six online-only brands include a home décor line designed by Blu Dot, called TOO (pictured above), Labworks, Room 365, Zutano Blue, Mudhut, and Boho Boutique. The Blu Dot collection will play-out in a different manner to the rest of the ranges. Debuting in Target’s five city stores, the TOO collection will be on display for consumers to view, but not purchase in-store. Interested customers can scan the qr codes on product tags, find out more about the products and buy the product on their smart phones.
What defines these brands is the quality of the offer. There are no knock-off, made in China, low value products here, but aspirational brand offerings that have the potential to create real consumer interest and activity. Whether fashion, homewares or furniture, Target has clearly understood the role of design quality in pulling together these ranges, when design integrity is the ingredients so often missing in the execution of this type of strategy.
We tip our brand hats to the project team at US Target – Nice work guys.