Retail Brand Target at Risk of Customer Disengagement
Target’s choice to select a seriously thin model to feature in their recent integrated campaign to launch the new collection from designer Dion Lee is drawing the ire of the market. Whilst no-doubt trying to build fashion cred for their ‘mainstream’ retail brand and excitement around the launch of their collaboration with Lee, Target have made a serious misjudgment. The campaign has quickly drawn a response online that has the stirrings of a significant consumer campaign of discontent.
Whilst there’s no doubt the model used by Target in the shoot is a stunning women who may be as healthy as a Mallee bull, as the petition started this weekend on Change.org points out; her body shape reflects an unattainable and generally unhealthy aspiration for young women. My own teenage daughter expressed disbelief that the industry’s voluntary code of behavior in the use of unhealthily thin-looking models could have been so obviously ignored by target.
From the time I began writing this post until the finish the petition grew at a rate of around two concerned Australian consumers every second. By the time this post is published, the number of potential target customers adding their weight to this petition and their comments to the forum will most likely be in the tens of thousands.
Online petition site; Change.org is proving to be an effective lightening rod for expressions of consumer dissatisfaction with brand behavior.
Consumers use the forum for expressing themselves either just by signing a petition of by adding a further comment. The site represents an opportunity brands must take advantage of to stay in touch with market sentiment.
In a tough retail climate where every act of brand needs to engage intuitively, this type of error of judgement can turn-out to be a very costly one.