Kanika Marwaha
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Kanika Marwaha in Market and Economic Perspective,

Being CEO Means Willingly Stepping Up to the Gallows

Most people think that once you have been appointed as CEO to a well-known corporation that the battle is over because your day is full of meetings ultimately ending by being paid millions.

But as even a 5 year old who has run their old lemonade stand will tell you, that is hardly the case. As the one held publicly responsible for the success or failure of a company each day brings new unseen challenges.
Target appointed Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new CEO.  Prior to Pepsi, Cornell ran Sam's Club and was CEO of Micheals the craft store.  Suffice it to say the man knows his way around retail.  Maybe that's why its the first time Target chose someone from outside their company to navigate.
But what challenges does Target face and how can someone like Cornell help navigate the company through these choppy retail waters.  The question is, can this "outside perspective save the company?


First, he must work to rectify his new company's image. Afterall with online retailers demonstrating their innovative prowess this company is struggling with hoping its consumers forget the online security breach of 2013.
Secondly, he must decide if they still want to be known as "Targey" given their moderately priced line of home goods for the savvy shopper that still wants to be identified as sophisticated.  Maybe Target shouldn't be "cheap-chic" anymore. But if not that, then what's its new angle. It can't be bargain basement cheap because Walmart already has that market covered and even they are suffering.
The confusion for any strategist lies in the fact that Target like any retailer must understand and market to this new type of consumer in a struggling economy. 
There are so many factors Cornell must contend with including an economy that just won't get better despite how statisticians and economists "adjust" the numbers. So if your consumers are under or unemployed they will not be able to spend a lot of money despite how much they appreciate your product line. No sales leads to store closings which leads to lay offs. But maybe I'm jumping the gun here.
Let's talk alternative options. Instead of buying something from Target, consumers can scour the web for the best deal and with so many options out there, it's logical to say those consumers will find a cheaper option.
Mr Cornell, are you going to change product lines, marketing approaches, the pricing strategy or all of the above? Good Luck to you Sir!