Last May, Target announced a new partnership with a premium brand - in this case Missoni (after Liberty in 2010): A collection of more than 400 references in fashion and home accessories that was launched on 13 September. This launch was preceded by an extraordinary marketing campaign that definitely gave the event a certain impact:
- A series of television commercials;
- A blog, All the Way Up Here was started - where the author professes to be a fan of Margherita Missoni… who, in fact, turned out to be a doll;
- This doll - called "Little Marina", 8-feet high, "lived" in the heart of New York at Bryant Park (6th Avenue & 42nd Street) in a pop-up store. Besides the blog, she even had her own Twitter and Tumblr accounts. The buzz is launched in the social media networks.
- This pop-up store of 800 m2 was opened on the occasion of Fashion Week, a week before the official launch of the collection at Target (see it here). Limited edition products were displayed and sold. Success was immediate. As WWD stated: "At a press event that evening, editors and celebrity guests stripped the store bare. Merchandise was replenished for Sept. 8 and Fashion’s Night Out, but didn’t last long. As crowds lined 42nd Street from the pop-up shop to Times Square, shoppers inside asked sales associates to strip clothes off mannequins. One of the most expensive items, a bicycle, priced at $399.99, sold out of all 158 units".
On 13 September, the launch proved to be so successful that the site target.com crashed. In a very short time, products were stamped "sold out".
- some say they have ordered and don't know if they will be delivered;
- others receive letters from Target stating that their orders cannot be met;
- still others receive their orders although they were convinced that they would never be delivered.
Target copes with it:
- For Missoni: the Italian brand, with very few outlets in the United States, sees its presence strengthened, creates an image and a reputation. The partnership with Target ("Design for the masses") is quite consistent: the distributor built its image on its work with designers and premium brands - offering customers exceptional limited-edition products at "discount" prices.
- Target strengthens its image: the rush to the products and the crash of its website will profit Target in the medium term. In fact, the rising frustration amongst those who did not succeed in getting Missoni products, far from causing them flee to other brands, will only incite them to come back next year during the next operation and sensitize them even more to the Target's competitive advantages.