What’s Up (and Up) at Target?

I noticed the change a few weeks ago in the diaper aisle. The former green box of Minneapolis-based Target-brand diapers was gone, replaced by a goldenrod-colored box with a chunky arrow, an “Up and Up” label, and a picture of a reasonably cute baby in a diaper. What it does not have? The familiar Target bullseye. The design of the interior product has changed, too. Instead of primary-colored polka dots with cute animal drawings, the diapers now simply have pastel blue and green dots.

The diapers are still the least expensive in the aisle. Diaper math tends to make my eyes bleed, since they purposely put such a weird number in each box, and each brand uses different numbers. I’ve used a calculator before (diapers cost about .$25 each), but once I figured out that Target-brand diapers were fine, and always inexpensive, I decided to stop messing about. Yeah, other diapers fit better and leak less. But as I head toward the dubious milestone of five years of diaper changing, I care less about my child’s comfort and instead hope any discomfort might just speed the learning process along.

Back to the new look for Target-brand. It was announced at Reuter’s last month, and has received some press already. In the past, most Target brand items have aped the color scheme of whatever brand they compete with, but with the Target bullseye. Now, though, the intent is to set the product apart on the shelf, though it still lists the brand name item to compare prices with. The Up and Up products look less cheap than they did with the old packaging, but still are inexpensive compared to other items. And that, in a nutshell, is the niche Target has mastered: better design at lower prices. For photos of Up and Up packaging next to the former Target brand, visit Under Consideration and My Private Brand, which also has photos of Target’s new reDesign brand for home items.

I’m intrigued to see what happens. It’s interesting they removed the trademarked bullseye. Yes, the chunky arrow is eye-catching, and it’s a clever metaphor, too: arrow->Target. But Target is one of the biggest and most well recognized brands out there. Messing with the store brand, especially in an economic trough, is a big risk.

In other Target news, they’re leading the way in bag recycling by NOT recycling. Instead they’re upcycling–taking existing plastic bags, fusing them in a brief heating process that created a new, stronger, bonded, reusable bag called a Retote. The process uses less energy than what’s needed to recycle bags.

3 Responses to “What’s Up (and Up) at Target?”

  1. Kate Says:

    I noticed the reDesign brand the other day when I was there and had no idea it was the Target brand. It seriously took me far longer than it should have to sit there and try to figure out what was going on.

  2. pusserboots Says:

    Interesting post about the Target diapers. My youngest has now moved on to pull ups but before then both she and her older brother wore the Target diapers. They are the only brand that fit them without leaking or falling apart. The affordable price was also a bonus! I have a large number of books in storage and guess what they’re stored in… Target diaper boxes!

  3. Kate Says:

    Another interesting (and somewhat disturbing) thing about Target that I’ve noticed, as a (former) employee and customer: no recycling. Not in store, and not in the backroom.