Last night Jesse and I wandered the aisles of our favorite super store, Target, picking up the essentials. Everywhere I looked, I subconsciously saw posters and packaging with an arrow pointing up and to the right. I kept asking myself, “What is the deal with that arrow?” The products were all branded “up & up.” And I just didn’t get it.
We went down the Swiffer aisle. Again, the up & up brand stared me in the face. I was so confused by the packaging, was it a Swiffer look-a-like? I didn’t give it much thought because Jesse saw a Swiffer package with an on-pak 75 cents off coupon, so we tossed it in the cart and went on our way. We had everything we needed so we started toward the check out. Again, I saw up & up brand everywhere, but it meant nothing to me.
All day long, I’ve had a nagging feeling, wondering, “What is up & up brand, and why did Target give them so much real estate in their store?” Finally, I googled “Target up and up.” The first link brought me to this article on Reuters. Apparently Target has decided to re-brand their generic products to up & up brand.
Formally, all the generic brands at Target were Target branded. Side by side, the generic Target brand sat next to the name brand. The generic had similar packaging and color as the name brand, but featured the trusted Target bulls eye icon. It was an easy way for me to compare name brand to generic.
With the up & up brand, I was unsure what kind of product was even in the box. The package design was bland and it did not feature a good information hierarchy. The packaging didn’t communicate well. It didn’t speak to me as a name brand, quality product. Equally, it didn’t speak to me as a generic, money saving brand.
To me, the directional change is a brand issue. I’m very surprised to see Target move away from the brand equity they’ve already built up in the bulls eye. They’ve spent many years and loads of money molding the minds of consumers. All the happy brand feelings consumers have about Target was built-in or ready-made for their generic product line. Now they are starting from scratch with the new brand, up & up. And it’s definitely going to be an up-hill battle. I’m interested to see the marketing and advertising they will do to educate their customers on this major change.
The switch to the up & up brand is a bold move for Target. Is it the right move for the company? Either way, it is going to make for an interesting case study.