Brands That I Would Miss: Target

Brands That I Would Miss is a blog series that focuses on brands that emotionally connect with their audience and would be missed if they were to disappear. The blog series will conclude at the end of the FUSE conference in Miami, where our co-founder and managing principal, Aaron Keller, will be speaking on what a world would be like without brands. Follow along with Aaron, Kitty, and Maddi as they explore the trouble statistic "Consumers would not care if 73% of all brands disappeared" on the FUSE in Focus blog.

“Consumers would not care if 73% of all brand disappeared.”

When we were brainstorming what we should blog about for FUSE this year, this quote was something we all came back to. Which coveted brands would make it on the 27%, and why?

I’m 22 years old, so yes, I’m a millennial. And yes, I don’t trust brands. I have an ad blocker because I have grown up in a world where the same terms used by advertisers are used in war. I’m constantly “targeted” or “bombarded” by “campaigns”. The more advanced technology gets, the higher demand there is to know your audience completely. The lines between privacy and “really good marketing” become more and more blurred, and apart from deleting all my social media profiles and moving to the middle of the woods, there’s nothing I can do about it.

However, when it comes to Target, my skeptical feelings melt away. There have been more than a few times when I see a retargeting ad on Target for a product I was not looking for and was not considering buying, yet I find myself thinking, “you’re right, Target! I absolutely need that ceramic flower holder AND that weird lawn gnome. You know me so well.”

Why is that? I’m not sure. But when I started thinking about what my 27% of brands would be, I remembered an experience I had at Target a few months ago.

I traveled with a good friend of mine to her hometown, and in typical fashion, we stopped at Target for a few items. Although I was several hundred miles away from my usual Target (in the enemy territory of Wisconsin no less), as soon as I stepped in the Green Bay Target the all-too familiar feelings of comfort greeted me. I felt home.

As trivial as that sounds, I take immense relaxation in Target. It’s one of the few brands that has been involved in my life since I was young and there is an extreme feeling of nostalgia tied to it. As I graduated high school, went to college, moved to another state, and returned home, Target has always been a staple. I have spent countless hours wandering around the aisles for everything from school supplies to groceries for my first apartment meal - and now, as I’m on the threshold of real, actual adulthood - wedding gifts and baby clothes.

Needless to say, I would care if Target disappeared.

I’m sure there are other brands I have similar feelings for, but none of them come to mind as easily as Target does. So, for the next few weeks leading up to FUSE, I am on a mission to find out what my 27% of brands are. I’ll be posing challenges for myself every week, and I invite you to join me.

This week, I am going to keep a list for two days straight of which brands I see throughout my day. This includes visual and auditory language: from everything to billboards, Instagram ads, conversations with friends, etc. Next week, I’ll post my observations of which brands I didn’t mind seeing and which ones I did, along with my speculations on why I did or did not welcome them.

So Target, thanks for designing experiences that have made an emotional impact on me. You’ve set a high bar.

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