Go Behind the Scenes at SXSW with Chief Guest Experience Officer Cara Sylvester

  • Apr 12, 2024

Whether you’re picking up your Favorite Day snack and immersing yourself in the latest designer collection — or even grabbing your Starbucks at Drive Up — we’re all about making sure you have a great experience, however you shop at Target. How you feel when you’re walking our aisles or scrolling through the Target app is important to us, and we know it’s a huge part of what enables us to deliver joy when you’re shopping.

We’re also proud of the work we’re doing to make our guest experience better every chance we get. Dropping new crowd-pleasing Target-owned brands like Figmint and Gigglescape is one part of that. Launching the new Target Circle to make saving even easier is another. And don’t forget all the ways we’ve made (and continue to make) our digital experience just as much fun as cruising through your neighborhood Target.

Chief Guest Experience Officer Cara Sylvester is excited about everything Team Target is accomplishing, too. Which is why she leaped at the chance to sit down with actress, entrepreneur and Target partner Tabitha Brown at South by Southwest last month to gush about it. Take a quick peek Behind the Bullseye on what that conversation sounded like, above, then dig into some of the biggest takeaways directly from Cara.

Chief Guest Experience Officer Cara Sylvester sits with actress, entrepreneur and Target partner Tabitha Brown on the SXSW stage.

Creating a memorable Target experience starts with empathy and personal connection…

 “We hear all the time that Target is one of people’s happy places, and that’s so powerful. None of us take it lightly. So leading with humanity and being people-first, even at such a big company, is always at the forefront of our minds.”

… and continues by listening and getting to know our guests as individuals.

“What’s important when you’re shopping for your groceries or searching for a little treat is probably different than the person next to you. That’s an important distinction, because we want all guests to feel welcome — like Target is the place for them and their budget. That’s why we spend time with our guests, even going into their homes, to really get to know them. To hear what they’re loving and what they’re not loving. Then we take that back to the team and say, okay, how can we use what we’ve learned to create spaces for everyone to experience joy when they shop with us?”

Guest experience at Target is about curating products and moments of joy …

“People shop at Target to discover new brands and products. But what you might not realize is how much we’re investing in curating those things to only bring you the best of the best. Then we create an environment where inspiration can happen, and our physical stores are a great example of that. We have wide aisles, and everything is clean, organized and easy to find. And they’re bright and welcoming. In fact, to add to the experience in new stores, we’re actually adding in natural light because of the beauty that brings to the shopping experience.”

… especially unexpected moments that can make your day better.

“Imagine you’re out and about, living your life. You remember you’ve got to swing by Target. Just give us a heads up about your favorite Starbucks beverage and — boom — we’ll bring it right out to you. That’s Target. The experience is not just about getting the stuff you need or want. We’re doing it in a way that’s unexpected, that makes you smile. And maybe even put you in a good mood if you’ve been having one of those days.”

Finally, it’s about having the best team in the business, bringing the guest experience to life …

“I can’t not talk about the role our team plays. There is no Target without our team, and there’s no team without our people, right? We’re all in it together. How we see each other, how we show up for each other, it makes you feel like everything is possible. And that’s something you can just sense when you step into our stores. We hear from people all the time that we have the friendliest team, that you can tell they really like working for Target. That’s something you can’t fake — and it’s hugely important in creating a joyful and welcoming space for guests.”

… and never forgetting to keep dreaming big to make the best moment even better.

“We’re bringing these amazing experiences to life because we’re always dreaming of what’s possible next. So, I say, don’t be afraid to dream big and surround yourself with people who will push you to dream big, especially in a big company. You can’t just do what you’ve always done — you’ve got to be willing to take those leaps of faith.”

We have a lot more moments of joy coming up — stay tuned as we continue to make your experience the best it can be at Target.

A Target team member wearing a yellow jacket smiles while pushing a cart at Drive Up.

All the ways

We’re here to help all families discover the joy of everyday life – from our distinctive products to easy ways to get them from the store to your door.

Learn more about our products & services

*All fields required.

Please provide your name.
Please provide your email address. Email address must be formatted correctly.
Please provide your feedback.

Privacy policy (opens in a new window)