The Missoni at Target campaign is great for Target's business but might prove to be disastrous for Missoni's brand.
Now that the expensive knitwear's iconic images (Missoni's zigzags) are within the reach of the mass audience, Missoni may unfortunately experience backlash from their consumers who were loyal to the brand pre-Target. These Missoni loyalists might stop shopping and might stop wearing Missoni if they are concerned that others might confuse the boutique offerings with the made-for-Target line.
On the other hand, Target is clearly benefiting from the business and the media coverage of the in-store and online shopping "explosion." This serves Target well in terms of its ability to cultivate relationships with other designers to offer limited, exclusive made-for-Target product lines. This also reinforces Target's more fashion-forward image ("Tar-jhay") vs. Walmart, Kmart, etc. And, last, Target has turned the post-BTS shopping season into a new season of shopping excitement for its consumer base, putting new energy into the shopping lull between the Back to School shopping season and the Holiday shopping season.
Going forward, Target should think about creating "live events" around the release of limited, high-end Designed product lines. Consumers (especially those waiting in lines to get into the store) should be "rewarded" with entertainment and extras, e.g., fashion shows, free food/drink, exclusive "discounts," etc. for patiently waiting...
AnnaMaria Turano is a partner of MCAworks, a strategic marketing consulting firm based in Westport, CT. She develops insight-driven customer value propositions and strategic marketing plans for companies such as MasterCard, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Subway and Verizon. She is an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NYU’s Sterns School of Business, and is co-author of "StopWatch Marketing."