I have to admit — I like to spend Friday nights unwinding in the home decor section of Target. It’s truly the place to be. If you haven’t been in one recently, you’re missing out. They recently remodeled and have slowly, but surely incorporated newer, holistic brands to better align with their audience, all while offering it at an affordable price point. But to their audience, it’s more than just the price point. It’s whatever is best for the greater good. And what might that greater good be? A purpose.
As I walked past the mannequins in the women’s department, there was a clear sign of Target’s social purpose. Throughout their merchandise displays, down to their graphic tees, were symbols and phrases of female empowerment. Even their mannequins are of different, REALISTIC expectations of women’s body shapes. My curiosity was piqued when I passed by the girls’ clothing and saw graphic tees with self-empowerment phrases like “Girls Have No Limits” and “Future Chemist” in hues of pink. How awesome is that?
Target’s corporate responsibility to society has been woven into their products as fun, positive messages to even the youngest of their audience. And that’s not all — they have been known to contribute to education through volunteering, donations, and fundraising efforts. Target proves that corporations can build a successful brand story that benefits their employees, consumers, and community.
Okay, But Who Cares?
Today’s consumer cares. Today’s consumer is an educated shopper that is aware of what’s happening socially. Here’s the general 411: society is burdened with inequality. Discrepancies in the political landscape have slowed the progress on a successful plan for fundamental and equal human rights. And if these social issues aren’t solved by “them,” who is going to solve them? Society will. Buyer empowerment will. Buyers get that warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that they helped by spending that $45 on a pair of shoes that buys shoes for kids living in poverty. A study showed that 62% of purchasing consideration is driven by a company’s ethical values and authenticity. Products and services that give back to the community and that align with consumers’ personal values will drive both the economy and sociopolitical landscape.
A New Direction
You can tell when a company’s brand story is dated through their imagery. The social trends have become less of the stereotypical thin, tall models on billboards and magazines and more of what’s realistically achievable and healthy. So, what’s trending? Inclusivity. Consumers sway and drive where companies are headed when it comes to marketing materials. Consumers are more pleased when they see POC, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities used to communicate a company’s message — and they are more likely to stay loyal to that company. Target’s department visuals around the store and online shopping experience implies this, as they speak to the people who once felt marginalized.
The first step to connect with your audience on a deeper level is asking yourself this question: does my brand story successfully communicate our social purpose? It’s simple to answer it as well; be authentic, be conscientious, and mean it. Our team can help, you’ll be glad you did.