Move over Mickey (that’s Mouse, not Drexler), there’s a new branding king in town. For decades, Disney was the brand to beat—no one else had mastered as effectively the creative genius and flawless execution of elevating a corporate symbol into an image instantly identifiable by consumers.
Enter Michael R. Francis, 45, who turned the Target bull’s-eye into one of the most recognizable logos in the nation. He began his career with Marshall Field’s and has been with Target since it acquired Field’s in 1990. As executive VP of marketing for Target, he sits in one of the most high-profile—and most honored—marketing suites in all of retail. Under his leadership, Target has crafted an innovative approach to marketing both itself and the merchandise it sells. That the discounter speaks with such a unique voice and carries itself with such panache in everything from TV ads to pop-up stores is largely due to the efforts of Francis and his team.