Update 1-19-13: Visited the "deals" page of Dell.com today. It's exactly the same as the Winter Clearance Deals. I swear they think consumers are stupid.
Update 1-8-13: I pity the poor Dell designer and marketing director who are challenged with coming up the next SALE. Today's Dell.com has this Winter Clearance Event. Clicking on the logo will take you to basically the exact same page as you see below. A few changes in pricing and models. But not much. How do you market a SALE 365 days a year?
One thing's for sure. If you need a flat-panel TV, you can count on Dell to have those on SALE as well. Maybe Dell is confused about what it's supposed to be selling. Somedays they are Best Buy and some days they are a computer manufacturer. But you can bet the next sale is around the proverbial internet corner.
Do you have an image of how the word SALE and the brand DELL go together? How can Dell have a SALE or a SPECIAL OFFER? And do you believe LIMITED OFFER means anything? It's like Walmart having a SALE. I'm sure they do. But the word SALE has almost ZERO meaning when associated with a discounting brand. Dell, back in the day, made their big money by streamlining the supply chain, and they could sell comparable computers for less. Dell = Discount Price. Then the global supply chain caught on to what Dell was doing and now Dell is no longer the cheapest computer on the market. So Dell has a couple problems.
- Dell is still associated with LOW COST.
- Dell's revenue depends on "sale" prices.
And therefore there is a "sale" on Dell computers every single day, every season, every holiday. Rather than 21 Days of Deals, Dell is more like 365 Days of Deals. But the DEAL no longer means anything. In fact, Dell's computers have become so generic even they don't have anything unique to say about their offerings. Let's look at Dell's current Christmas Ad on Facebook.
Back in the day, Dell was considered the "low-cost leader." Today, there is no low-cost leader. Okay, so have you looked a Dell lately? Let's do so. Here is the page that comes up after clicking on the Facebook ad above. [I almost missed this, but notice the image in the ad is of DESKTOP computers. The click takes us to laptops. DOH!]
[Note: today, January 8th, Dell's Laptop Deals page looks about the same.]
Okay, so these laptops range in price from $400 to $800. Do you see the distinction between them? Anything of interest? Windows 8, size of drive, type of processor. Um, can you say BORING! Three 15" and one 14" and one 17." And Dell's ridiculous feature, the SWITCHable lid. I seriously doubt you can find anything to get remotely excited about. These are generic boxes. The only features are size and speed. No wonder Apple is killing the marketplace.
Do you believe the "Total Savings" number? And do you believe this "savings" is better than the "savings" that Dell will promote the day after Christmas? When you are the low-cost leader, you'd better have some features and benefits up your sleeve for when everyone else catches up with your discount pricing. At the moment, Dell has a few cool laptops. But the market could care less. Tablets and smart phones are the rage. And guess who just dropped out of the smart phone market completely? [Yes, the idea that Dell go into the smart phone market in the first place, was a joke. BUT...]
Where does Dell go from here? Dell is trying to reinvent itself as a services and solutions company. Rather than the box, they want you to think of them for the entire enterprise solution. Of course, that's where the money is. A very small portion of Dell's business is generated through consumer sales. Dell likes to point out how little consumer sales mean to their bottom line, BUT the problem is, their image and brand is associated with the "deals" and "sales" they perpetually have to go to when trying to generate consumer sales.
And unfortunately, the corporate customer does not have it any easier when buying a Dell. You tell me the difference between these Dell laptop brands: Inspiron, Vostro, Latitude, Alienware, XPS, Precision. I bet very few Dell employees could give you a reasonable answer. And if they don't know, I'm betting their customers are as frustrated as I am every time I go to their site to try and price or buy a Dell.
How many ways do you want to buy? Screen size? Processor speed? Cool hardware? Cheap? Rugged? And now tell me which Dell brand is the best. Go ahead, tell me. And couldn't I get a better price on a Dell at Walmart?
Here's my resource and learning page for social media: Social Media for Business
A few Dell-related Posts:
- Apple and Dell Summer Ads (powerpoint presentation – free to download)
- Apple vs Dell: The Summer Promo Deals In Your Inbox
- Michael Dell's Take on the Tablet Problem, "The Notebook, it just screwed up."
- Dell Launches @DellCares on Twitter, Will the Peeps Come?
Some more for your LEARN box of social media:
- Real Business Problems with Social Media: Are You Experienced?
- Now It Is Personal: American Airlines Customer Service & Emergency Policies @AmericanAir
- My Gaming Brain: What I Learn, Learned, Am Learning Playing Games
- Dell's "New Way to Shop" for Computers? WHAT? #FAIL
- Who Are You Eating With? Notice Who You Are Inviting To Lunch
- Working Nights and Weekends: Social Media, It's a Trap!
- The Simplest Path is the Best: Occam's Site Map Strategy
- What's the Status of the $300 PC In Today's Marketplace?
- Words vs. Design: What is Content, What Is Information Architecture?
- Authority and the Speeding Train of Project Leadership
- Positive Forces: Delayed, Deflected, Divorced, Distracted, But Not Deterred
- Plussing or Dividing: How Are You Showing Up in the World?
- Dear Graduate – a Toolkit for Learners and Job Hunters
- Expert Not Found – Social Media is About Being a "Student" not a "Guru"
Most people don't really enjoy being mean; they do it because they can't help it. (from Graham's Hierarchy of Disagreement)