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Source of good ideas is irrelevant


Target is a company that generally likes to chart its own path, but that doesn’t mean it is above taking advantage of strategies that have achieved success for other retailers. That much is evident from Target’s current in-store marketing efforts that are focused on the pharmacy and involve extensive signage. The program is all about getting existing customers to use the Target pharmacy and is straight from Walmart’s playbook. When Walmart took its $4 generic program national in the fall of 2006 and then added the 90-day, $10 tier in May 2008, the company was very aggressive about communicating the value proposition with a national ad campaign and in-store signage which boosted its conversion rate. Target is essentially doing the same thing. An extensive sign package has already hit stores and the next shoe to drop is the launch of a national advertising campaign, including the company’s first ever ads for its pharmacy.

The biggest difference between the campaigns is that Target is attempting to leverage the expertise of its pharmacists with the theme, “ask us,” whereas Walmart’s message focused more heavily on the $4 and $10 price points.

No one at Target should feel bad about employing a Walmart tactic though, especially given the number of elements found in Walmart’s transformation effort and “Project Impact” strategy that bear similarity to many of Target’s longstanding strategies. The clean aisles, short checkout lines and vibrant colors found in Project Impact stores that are reminiscent of the Target experience and even Walmart’s “save money, live better,” tag line shares a similar grammatical structure to the “expect more, pay less” value proposition popularized by Target. Also, Walmart’s Spark logo is reminiscent of Target’s iconic Bullseye.

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