Posted by Jordan Yager on August 18, 2015
With recent events like the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage and Caitlyn Jenner’s cover and article in Vanity Fair, gender and gender roles are a hot-button topic. Following this momentum, we are continuing to grow as a society and community, and more brands are stepping outside of the norm by becoming thought leaders and pushing limits.
Target is just one of many brands that are heading this gender-neutral movement by phasing out gender-based signage in their stores. Certain departments, like toys and bedding for children, will no longer hold gender titles but will be known as things for kids. Of course, when a company like Target, the third largest retail store in the nation, takes a stand like this, there will be backlash and controversy.
In the wake of last week’s announcement, Target consumers took to the store’s social platforms to air their concerns. People stressed that removing the indicators will make it more difficult to shop for children or someone you may not know very well. Some also went as far as saying they will no longer shop at Target.
Mike Melgaard, a supporter of the cause, found this as an opening to “troll” people who posted negative comments on Target’s Facebook page. Melgaard created a fictitious Target customer service account called “Ask ForHelp,” providing humor-laced responses to consumers concerns.
Melgaard’s account was quickly shut down less than a day after it was created, but it did provide some laughs for Melgaard, his friends and those who supported his cause. Target, though not outright responding positively or negatively to Melgaard’s support, posted this after:
While Target is standing firm behind their decision, they do understand that not everyone will be on their side. Molly Snyder, one of Target’s public relations representatives, is proud of the way customers are taking this change. “We recognize by coming out and making these couple of changes that people are going to have a wide variety of opinions,” said Snyder, “we expected and respect that. The response from the guests has been overwhelmingly positive.”
A breath of fresh air, in my opinion.