Are You Struggling with Target’s New Sustainability Goals?

We can help you satisfy Target and share the benefits with all your retail partners and consumers.

This year Target released its “Future At Heart” Corporate Responsibility Report.  It lays out Target’s extensive plans to improve its own operations to make it environmentally friendly and sustainable as well as safer and healthier for consumers.  It also spells out challenges for its vendors.  Regardless of whether your operations and products are sustainable (or otherwise environmentally friendly), you will need to 1. Get there and 2. Communicate that you are there. 

We can help you to communicate your environmental advantages in ways that are Target-compliant as well as beneficial to your marketing communications. 

The basic challenges behind any communications effort are to understand the following about what you are trying to say:

  1. Does the target audience understand your message?
  2. Does your message matter to them?
  3. Is there anything confusing or unbelievable about your message?
  4. Will your message compel them to take action?

Let’s think about these in the context of Target’s call to action.  You now need to start labeling your products.  You will need to communicate that they are sustainable, recyclable, made with fair labor practices, etc.  (Actual requirements vary by product sector.)  You could just put some statements or symbols on the back or bottom of your packaging.  But that buys very little.  It might not be noticed.  If you don’t care about the message based on its placement, consumers will think it’s not important.

So let’s assume you want to comply with Target while also maximizing the credit you get from consumers for your environmental stewardship.  You want to change your label.  Maybe you’ll select green colors or a green photo or drawing to imply nature.  Maybe you’ll come up with a headline or tagline to communicate your new green positioning.  Maybe you’ll come up with a collection name or rename the product entirely.  Maybe you’ll add text to the packaging explaining all the ways you are being responsible. 

Easy right?  All finished?  There’s only one problem.  Everyone else needs to do the same thing right now too.  Don’t make changes just to meet compliance needs.  Make changes to surpass compliance needs and to further your brand equity with your consumers..  (You may or may not be able to make the best claims in your category, but you can and should make the best possible changes for your own benefit.)  Vet your changes.  Test them with consumers to make sure you are conveying what you’ve done and getting credit for it.  If everyone else is going green now too, you need to do a better job than they do to win shelf space and market share.  You need to not just comply but to accelerate your growth.  Not sure?  Think about the list above and ask yourself if your new messaging will pass all those tests.  If you’re not sure, let us cost out running your new positioning and creative past your consumers-your consumers who shopped in Target (and other stores) in the past six months for your specific product category.   Make sure your plans hit their Target!    Call or email us today!