I love Target. No need to fluff it up by calling it "Tar-jay". Nope, it's just Target and I love it. I like to never run out of stuff. Six rolls of paper towels? Check! Four bottles of shower gel? Check! I buy home stuff there to experiment with color and style before I commit to buying something more expensive. I buy t-shirts and sweats (I went to college with that Mossimo guy so it's a little weird to buy his stuff but good for him). Batteries, garden hose, chewing gum. Check, check and check! Being smart enough to not pay too much is kind of a point of pride for me and aesthetically, I can't stand Wal*Mart so Target is my place. I can spend hours in there. I can go in for one thing and walk out after spending some serious cash.
In the past, I've noticed that they really showed some understanding of their target market. You could tell they were not only focused on people on a tight family budget but also on weirdos like me. They added "good sweats" and lots of exercise clothes to their clothing departments (it's like they know me, I swear). Hey, if I wear a target t-shirt with my Lucky Jeans and my Ann Taylor jacket, who is going to know?
They just started to renovate my local Target. According to the gal at the check out lane, it won't be finished until November, but one thing that is complete? The Starbucks inside the Target. I kid you not. I can grab a grande, non-fat, sugar-free vanilla latte while I am indulging my cheapness and fear of commitment to decor choices. I'm sure there are some market research people at Target (and Starbucks for that matter) that can tell you all about the phsychographics of people like me. Feel free to speculate as to what they call my customer segment. Hah! Yeah, they figured out that everyone that visits Target might not want a greasy hot dog and a slurpy (though it seems that is still available). And that if I am sipping a coffee drink, I might spend more time wandering around picking up things other than that one thing I came in for. Good on you Target and Starbucks! Two great things that taste great together.
Speaking of coffee, I just received an e-mail notifying me that a Peet's Coffee has just opened in Redmond. Oh happy day! It is interestingly close to the soon-to-open Whole Foods Market (a food store that doesn't stock sugar-free anything....so doesn't really get my coffee money), but does draw people that are willing to pay more (significantly, in my opinion) for quality. If I were Peet's, that would be a customer base I'd be looking at. I've mentioned my everlasting love for Peet's (mocha java...mmm). Now I won't have to pay for shipping.
When it comes to consumer marketing, I think that the coffee companies (well, some of them) are getting it right. OK, every now and then, there's a goof. Maybe the market didn't love those music stations or the hot granola. But by-and-large, I think that the coffee companies, given that the market has expanded so much over the last 10-15 years (I think I became aware of Starbucks in the early nineties) have had a huge opportunity to either shine or stink up the place. While consumer packaged goods, from a retail marketing perspective, may have been the place to be in the past (and don't get me wrong, I love that there are about 12 different kinds of Swiffer available), I think that Starbucks and Peets (in some sense, the anti-Stabucks and there's room in my heart for both for different reasons) are showing those other companies how it's done in the retail space.