Perceptions And Mantras

“After long benefiting from an image more upscale than that of archrival Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target finds itself on the losing end of the marketing game as Wal-Mart hammers home its ‘Every Day Low Prices’ mantra to shoppers ready to cut back on cheap-chic.

“Target yesterday reported its fiscal fourth-quarter profit dropped 8.1% from the year-earlier period, signaling a new stumble as shoppers snub its stylish but discretionary designer duds and homewares in favor of low-priced necessities…

“While Wal-Mart has always been the price leader, Target has thrived by emphasizing the ‘expect more’ part of its ‘Expect More. Pay Less.’ advertising slogan. Wal-Mart attempted to go upscale itself, in its stores and advertising. But as consumer spending tightened and the economic outlook dimmed, Wal-Mart trumped Target's successful ads by shifting its marketing back to its traditional low-price message. Its new slogan: ‘Save Money. Live Better.’ …

“Consumer perceptions have been on Target's side in the past, with shoppers flocking to Target because of its reputation for stylish, affordable goods. But now perceptions are working against the retailer, analysts say. While historically there's been only a 1% to 3% price difference in like items at Wal-Mart and Target, 87% of the shoppers recently surveyed by Citigroup Global Markets Inc. said they thought Wal-Mart had better pricing…

“[Target] is feeling the squeeze from above as well as below, as midtier department stores have improved their fashion quotient in accessories, home furnishings and apparel -- frequently by stealing a page from the Target playbook of getting recognized designers to create a more affordably-priced line that appeals to the masses.

“Meanwhile, Wal-Mart is offering a wider range of branded merchandise… [while] Target watchers seem to agree that offerings from the company once on the cutting edge of apparel style have grown tired.”

(“As Message Misses Mark, Target's Profit Drops.” Ann Zimmerman. Wall Street Journal: February 27, 2008. pg. B.1)

MANTRAS MAY elevate us to a higher state of transcendent consciousness, and they may distract us from stark, shifting reality as we buy into our own press.

Focused power, potency and blinders all in one -- imagine!

1 comment:

Marc said...

Is it just me or does everything, and I mean everything in our economic environment in the US revolve around the price of a barrel of crude oil?

I guess WM's good enough when gas is $3.19 a gallon.