The Dell brand
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
2 July 2018
What’s next for the Dell brand?
There’s more than something to be said for finding a company’s niche, as it were. In fact, that’s the definition of a brand: Identifying who you are for and who you are not for. Take the Dell brand.
The brand dominates in the business PC market. The Dell brand signifies computers used in offices all around the country (and the world.)
So news that Dell Computer will be going public (after going back to being private five years ago) makes you wonder what’s next for the company. Founder Michael Dell tells The New York Times that he and his financial partner, Silver Lake, will buy most of the shares, retaining control.
But more capital will still come pouring in. What does the Dell brand have in its future?
“More of us simply use our phones and tablets for computing instead of a laptop or a desktop computer. So, while Dell continues to do well in that market, it’s increasingly becoming a king of the pigs.”
Dell succeeds more than you might think in the personal computer market. It ranks third worldwide behind HP and Lenovo. (Apple ranks fourth.) Dell remains a viable computer manufacturer throughout the world.
But is that the business it wants to be in? PC market sales continue to dip, declining 2.4% last year.
Could smartphones be the next step for the Dell brand?
The reason is simple. More of us simply use our phones and tablets for computing instead of a laptop or a desktop computer. So, while Dell continues to do well in that market, it’s increasingly becoming a king of the pigs.
Michael Dell’s strategy to take it private allowed the company to spend $67 billion to acquire EMC, allowing its sales in servers to jump 50% in 1Q 2018. Basically, Dell’s reconfigured the company in hidden sight. By going public, it brings in more cash and more acquisitions are no doubt looming.
Right now, the Dell brand either means “business” or simply means “computer.” The Apple brand remains the most reflective of its target audiences and that’s reflected in sales of its iPhones, the market leader.
Will Dell enter the smart phone market? Maybe so, but that’s such a highly competitive market that it’ll need to sport a more persuasive brand than simply teaming with Ant-Man and the Wasp. That’s what the new cash flow should address.
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