Discount Designer Clothes: Definitely PR Genius

By Amy Kossoff Smith, President, Write Ideas, Inc.

Despite – or because of – this recession, there’s still clearly a hearty appetite for designer duds at discount prices.  Target‘s recent launch of Missoni, an upscale Italian label with wild, colorful, geometric patterns, was a huge success on many fronts.  Even though their website crashed from the sudden surge in traffic, I’d call it a PR success story for lots of reasons.

Lydia Dishman reported in Forbes (The Genius of Target’s Missoni Madness) “Two full hours before Target threw open doors…to offer rabid fashionistas a lower priced collection of haute Italian label Missoni…the discount chain allowed shoppers to buy the limited edition goods online.”

Success #1:  Mass distribution of “limited edition” designer labels

The site crashed, but ah, the buzz it created online, on-air, everywhere!  Target’s spokesperson told The Today Show that the New York “kiosk” they set up was scheduled to be open for days; instead, it sold out in HOURS!

Success #2:  Make lemonade out of lemons.  Site crashes; talk about demand and popularity, not a techno-glitch!

The Today Show segment included a Today Show staffer and contributor each wearing Missoni (one the “real deal” and one “the Target version”) – I certainly couldn’t tell the difference!

Success #3Show, don’t tell, but in a meaningful way.  The more senses you engage, the easier it is to tell a story.  Always more powerful!

I’d say Target hit the bulls-eye on this one!

Only criticism:  The Target spokesperson (Dustee Jenkins, VP Communications) did a great job promoting the story (wearing of course, a “Missoni” vest) — but I might have advised her against ending the interview with, “Target always has something great in store.”  THAT sounded rather self-promotional, and I think they got enough fabulous promotion already without being so direct!

Signing off to go track down some designer Missoni at my Target!

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