Missoni Impossible: Can a Launch be too Successful? - Lindsay, Stone & Briggs

Brand Strategy

Missoni Impossible: Can a Launch be too Successful?

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“My Shot” by Thierry Bornier

Ok I admit it, I was in line at my local Target Tuesday before they opened, praying I too would get my hands on a few choice pieces of Missoni merchandise.  I am a self-proclaimed fashionista so this partnership between Target and Missoni was my opportunity to own a little piece of iconic fashion history.  Little did I know that the pieces I was able to buy might now become valuable collector’s items.

Calculated hysteria?

Who can’t understand what’s in it for Target?  Lagging sales to Walmart and a recession has everyone spending less but still wanting more. Target has built its brand on Design.  It is a retail outlet for those seeking great design and designers looking for a boost.  Elite designers like Michael Graves, Isaac Mizrahi, Alexander McQueen, Sonia Kashuk and many many more have partnered with Target to bring their designs to the mass market.

Not only did the launch crash the Target site,  inventory ran out in less than an hour in some locations, some consumers have been told merchandise will not be restocked and those lucky enough to have placed early orders online may not even receive their merchandise at all, after waiting for a month for them to ship.  In less than 24 hours over 25,000 items of the new product line were available on EBay the last time I checked, some items are going for much more than what Target was originally charging.  WOW What happened? With all the PR buildup prior to the launch, was this all part of the plan? In terms of the brand, does the frustration of a few get balanced out by the images of mass hysteria in front of Target?

Was it in the plans all along?

Taking a cue from the UPS Logistics ad campaign http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRAHa_Po0Kg  Was there no one planning for the worst case scenario or in this case the backup plan for success we talked about in a previous blog post?  Was it just a case of not being able to predict how fiercely the fashionistas would react to owning a piece or a lot of pieces of Missoni?

While I was shopping I thought the big question for the day was What’s in it for Missoni?  Aren’t they watering down their luxury brand by partnering with Target? Now I am wondering, Target was it worth it? Did this launch of a new line of luxury items leave a lasting negative impression on Target’s brand, or did it just alienate those few consumers who fought to get their hands on Missoni?  In short, is this a perfectly executed launch that has people starving for more from Target? Does this launch reestablish them as the go-to place for designer elegance for the masses, or is it a misstep that offended their core fashion conscious consumer? What do you think?

TDS Business site is reporting some backlash on the brand




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