From Incubator and Inspiration to Incredible Style, Here’s How Target’s Uplifting The Next Generation of Guests

October 9, 2018 - Article reads in
A large group of young people in painting gear stand in front of a spray-painted ice cream truck

When we set out to better connect with the next generation of Target guests, we went straight to the source: photographers, writers, dancers, illustrators, beauty gurus, coders, artists, explorers and experimenters of all kinds. Hundreds of young people with big passion, big ideas, fearless style and crazy-mad talent. Their feedback helped us as we created three new Target owned brands, all designed with Gen Z in mind—Wild Fable and Original Use, trend-forward apparel and accessories for young women and men and Heyday, super-stylish and affordable electronics and tech accessories. But these incredible brands are just the start. From a one-of-a-kind new incubator for young entrepreneurs to outside-the-box marketing and more, we’re on a quest to inspire, learn from and uplift our young guests.

“To truly engage our next generation of guests, it’s not enough to create great brands. We need to cultivate communities and have real conversations,” says Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Target. “So we’re using our expertise and brand power to connect with our young guests, amplify their voices and support their great ideas for the future.”

Dreaming big: Introducing Target Incubator
One example? Say hello to Target Incubator. It’s a new program designed to help Gen Z entrepreneurs-in-the-making nurture and grow their better-for-people or better-for-the-planet businesses, even if they haven’t launched yet. Target’s no stranger to accelerating great concepts, and we’ll draw on that experience and provide accessibility to talented mentors and leaders across the company to help them grow personally and professionally, breaking through barriers standing in the way of their goals and empowering them to bring a little more joy to the world.

Applications just opened (get all the details at, so go ahead, encourage the next wave of entrepreneurs in your life to apply by Oct. 29. The top 15 finalists will pitch their businesses at Target’s Minneapolis headquarters this November. Next June, eight businesses will venture back to Minneapolis for an eight-week program, including workshops, mentorship and more (plus tons of help from Target’s accelerator team). Target Incubator will culminate with a Demo Day event where they’ll showcase their final concepts.

The Gen Z-focused Target Incubator is the latest addition to Target’s portfolio of accelerator programs, which includes Target Takeoff, Target + Techstars and the India-based Target Accelerator Program. These programs provide a platform to discover new ideas and fresh thinking from startups as Target looks to differentiate its assortment and create an even better experience for guests.A grid of nine Instagram images, from roller skates to young peopleInstant inspiration
Another way we’re fostering real connection and encouraging personal expression and creativity—and breaking out of the more traditional marketing mode? @TargetTag—a digital magazine-like space on Instagram for young people to connect, create and inspire each other. It started with 30 young people leading conversations on art, music, style, dance, motivation and empowerment. They’re now creating content that’s meaningful to many of their peers, and inspiring a whole new way to interact with Target.

And we’re showcasing their energy, passion, ideas—and style, of course—in the spaces that are most relevant to them, in a way that encourages young creators to bring more positivity and joy to social media. Here’s a peek:
A young woman spray paints an ice cream truckIt’s all about giving our next generation of guests even more to love about Target, while celebrating everything that makes them uniquely special.

Learn more about these young voices and shop their favorite pieces on, and stay tuned to A Bullseye View for more as we help bring the next generation of guests’ ideas to life.

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