Target Circle: Revealing Human Insights to Build Deep Customer Connections

Target wanted to uncover opportunities to improve and optimize its flagship Circle loyalty program, which has over 100 million members worldwide. Seeking to develop a roadmap for Circle’s evolution, the retailer turned to Material to design a customer insights approach that would reveal guests’ attitudes and unmet needs, along with broader perceptions of loyalty and value. Our multi-part challenge was to uncover insights to pave the way for a revamped, customer-centric strategy that would ensure the Circle program aligned with – and expanded – all the reasons why customers love Target.
  • Launched exploratory research to better understand what loyalty means to consumers, mapping the intersections of their personal reasons for shopping at Target with their perceptions of the Circle loyalty program

  • Leveraged a discrete choice model to better understand options for systems of earning, redemption and reward, then deepened our exploration of how to organize loyalty tiers through focus groups and MaxDiff exercises

  • Conducted various mixed method approaches that included in-store shop-along sessions and creative ideation groups to help refine and finalize the latest iteration of the program

From initial qualitative research to UX optimization, Material helped Target reimagine what Circle could be to its millions of members, then set a path to activation. Re-launched in April 2024, the new-and-improved Circle program is already driving significant growth in member acquisition, engagement and retention. Powered by deep human insights, the optimized program delivers deep relevance, emotional connection, value and a frictionless shopping experience to Target’s loyal customers. We’re thrilled to have partnered with Target for this major step forward, the latest milestone in our longstanding and ongoing relationship with the brand.

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