Target costing is defined as "a disciplined process for determining and achieving a full-stream cost at which a proposed product with specified functionality, performance, and quality must be produced in order to generate the desired profitability at the product’s anticipated selling price over a specified period of time in the future." This definition encompasses the principal concepts: products should be based on an accurate assessment of the wants and needs of customers in different market segments, and cost targets should be what result after a sustainable profit margin is subtracted from what customers are willing to pay at the time of product introduction and afterwards.
The fundamental objective of target costing is to manage the business to be profitable in a highly competitive marketplace. In effect, target costing is a proactive cost planning, cost management, and cost reduction practice whereby costs are planned and managed out of a product and business early in the design and development cycle, rather than during the later stages of product development and production.
Reference : Wikipedia - Target Costing