Target's Falling Buzz Score

Target logoThe Internet-based market research agency YouGov compiles a weekly report called the Brandweek BrandIndex, that measures "buzz," or consumer perceptions of the most talked-about brands. A big loser in the agency's September 3, 2010 report is Target, which drew fire after the retailer donated $150,000 to the Republican-leaning political action group, Minnesota Forward. After receiving the donation, MN Forward ran TV ads supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer, who openly opposes equal rights for gays and lesbians. News about Target's support of Emmer led to a movement to boycott Target. While Target's buzz score rallied modestly August 12-24, it dropped again after a rash of major newspaper op-eds, blog posts and publicity surrounding television ads promoting the boycott produced by YouGov interviews 5,000 people every weekday from a representative sample of the U.S. population, and respondents are drawn from an online panel of 1.5 million individuals.


To this day, Target has not addressed its contribution with its consumers, who have a legitimate interest in knowing where the proceeds from their purchases are going. Although Target has been one of my favorite stores for years, I've been boycotting it and will continue to do so until Target does something tangible to address the concerns of its consumers. A steady stream of "no comment" is not respectful or appropriate. It's a fact that Target has disappointed hundreds of thousands of its consumers, but the real outrage is its refusal to do something as simple as make a statement directly address the consumers' concerns. Of course, Target has the right to run its business the way it wants to, but it's a real shame (and an ongoing botch, if you ask me) to alienate one of their loyalest consumer segments by continually ignoring them or disrespecting them by giving them "the hand."