Wednesday, October 31, 2012

High-fashion gateway drugs – this Christmas, at Target

Relax, Blu. Now you can go to Target for your ‘Neiman-Marcus shopping spree-ah.’
We’ll admit we were concerned when we first heard Neiman Marcus was partnering with Target on an exclusive collection this Holiday. (Original blog post)

It’s not without the potential of being a win-win.

Target, always looking for new ways to distance itself from down-market, low-cost leader Wal-Mart, would boast a plethora of new limited-edition designers. And Neiman’s, struggling to tread water in a sea of high-end department store adversaries, could earn the attention and (eventual) patronage of next-gen fashionistas.

But would the spread in purchase parity prove too great for either party to garner any mutual / residual benefit?

I mean, how would a Herrera halter look hanging on a white plastic hanger?
Who wants to put their new Oscar de la Renta suit on the conveyor belt up at the front check lanes?

Of course we didn’t expect the 20+ design houses tapped for the promotion to simply migrate product from one store to the other, but the fundamentals of brand resonance still apply.

While it may be another six weeks before we know for sure whether Target is wasting precious holiday floor space, the collection’s preview looks promising!
Current landing page. View here.
As you browse through the 50+ pieces, you’ll come across only a few price outliers in terms of same-department, Target alternatives (Tracy Reese blouse, $79.99, Marc Jacobs scarf, $69.99).

That’s because instead of simply offering re-tooled design staples, our fashion icons have opted to apply signature brand affects to unique, everyday products.
Instead of women’s couture, Herrera applied her essence to mini travel bags and a stationary set.

Instead of leaning on their men’s formal wear fame, Oscar de la Renta commissioned a canvas tote and signature pet products.

It’s a branding tactic we’re calling the ‘gateway drug.’

The Neiman-Target collection doesn’t boast hard-core, high-dollar, all-or-nothing pieces. Instead, simple everyday items that capture the essence of brand. It’s brand introduction at its finest.
A win-win for any of the brand targets, really.

While existing brand loyalists can augment their current library with net-new component pieces, less affluent one-time browsers can finally convert, securing their very first.

Tis the season to splurge…

Sure, $19.99 is a bit more than you need to extend in securing a functional lunch box, but Christmas is the time to treat yourself and the ones you love…and this it Tori Burch!
Lunch box, $19.99. Thermos, $24.99.
To be successful in the Target ecosystem, the Neiman’s line will need to fit in, enhance, and inspire.
If the preview is any indication, check, check, and check.

We should never have doubted you, Target – and we can’t wait to see the collection in store next month!

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