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Is Target Test-Marketing Its New ‘Threshold’ Brand?
By: Ron Romanik
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The Target company is notoriously secretive about its internal marketing, branding, and product rollout strategies. The company even reprimanded an employee for sharing too much about its consumer research policies with an author, as reported in the New York Times.

That’s why it’s surprising that at a quarterly conference call with analysts, the company revealed a major rebranding effort well ahead of its rollout. The already well-established Target Home brand will become Threshold, starting with some new releases in the fall.

The company is calling this the “biggest rebranding effort in Target’s history,” so what’s the point in talking about it now? It’s hard to fault any of Target’s branding strategies, as they’re on a run of successes like few other retail brands. Their Shops at Target seems to have been a success, as have their temporary Pop-Up stores. They even recently dropped the Target name from their logo, proving its iconic status.

But one has to wonder why this time the company is letting the cat out of the bag early. Is it because they’re unsure of the Threshold name? Even during the rollout, they’ll be testing it out only on new items in the “entertaining essentials” category. The company also announced a big expansion of its Shops at Target in September. More likely, Target’s new advance marketing policy has everything to do with the wildly successful rollout of Missoni for Target rollout last fall.

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About the Author
Ron Romanik is principal of Romanik Communications, a brand consultancy outside Philadelphia founded with a mantra of “Authentic Stories. Resonant Tones. Sustainable Brands.”
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