One of the things I admire about Target is the appetite for change, on all scales. Not only do I see a constant push for “newness” (a word to add to your Target lexicon), but an actual aversion to the status quo. I’m not quite far enough into my career to declare this as “unique”, but am experienced enough to call it “very uncommon”. We continually validate past decisions to ensure they’re still relevant to today’s marketplace and, when we find they’re not, adjust strategy accordingly. I have never heard the words “that’s how it’s always been done” used to justify a decision. One such example of this comes from our picture frames business.
Target frames have looked a bit tired in the past, and have been without a meaningful standard of quality or cohesive aesthetic. Our team made the case for change and we were given permission to launch a major overhaul of our category, touching everything from the way the product is displayed to the actual product itself. We started with intensive research to learn everything we could about our frames Guest and made those findings the basis for all of our product design and presentation strategies. My job, as an engineer, was to set our quality strategy for each brand and ensure that standard was reflected in every single new item we created. My design counterpart had the exciting (and, daunting) task of setting a new design vision for almost 24ft (that’s 5 Target shelves-worth) of product. And, by the way, we only had 2 months to design over 100 new products!
This overhaul also coincided with the launch of our newest owned brand, Threshold, where quality was to be elevated even higher. Responding to that challenge, we strictly enforced the use of only the best materials and construction techniques in Threshold frames – things like solid hardwoods and ceramics.
Here’s what this category looked like before our cross functional team started work.
And, after, as currently set in stores across the country.
If you’ve shopped the category over the past few months, you hopefully noticed the drastic changes our team made. I’m proud to say that every item we created adheres to a superior standard of quality and design. This is a perfect example of what’s great about PD&D – you’re rarely confined to the item level. Engineers and designers get to partner closely with buyers, sourcing, marketing and packaging to consult on all aspects of the business and help make BIG changes.