Lessons on Rebranding from Dell

You may not be a stock market junkie but business tech vendors might want to pay a little more attention to the recent shareholder drama that’s been happening at Dell. Long story short, two parties are making crazy bids for the company with one of them planning to make it private.

Image from Businessweek

This quote from a VentureBeat report should explain why that little plan should mean something for vendors:

“The Round Rock, Texas-based Dell was once the PC market leader, but it now trails Hewlett Packard and Lenovo. Going private would give it the space to remake itself as a provider of business technology, including software as well as hardware.”

Remember, image is everything when it comes to marketing. And so far, Dell’s own efforts in that department have done a pretty good job showing it as the PC market leader.

The only problem is that it’s no longer competing in a PC-heavy world. Hence, it’s already marketing beyond that previous image.

If you were in Dell’s shoes, you would probably make the same move to another industry. For example, you decide to go from selling CRM tools to HR ones.

But when you do that, what becomes of your original image? You might say that change starts from within, meaning from within in your R&D and not your marketing department.

Here’s what’s wrong with that: It’s through marketing that you tell people what’s going on in R&D. It’s also through marketing that R&D learns if what they’re making isn’t making customers happy.

All the changes you will be implementing won’t make much sense if you didn’t use a little rebranding to tell your customers and prospects about what’s been going on lately.

Below are a few measures you can take and how they clarify things in their own way:

  • Look over your current customers – No matter how many or how few, you cannot send out the message if you don’t know who your current customers are. Furthermore, your understanding of them will help you determine whether your decision to reinvent will be well-received.
  • Know if you will do well – Do some market research to get at least a basic understanding of what is now being asked for. You can’t switch to a new line of products if you don’t know more about the new demand it’s supposed to fulfill.
  • Cite findings that support your changes – Dell seems moving with the tide about PC markets declining. However, making similar statements yourself will work a lot better with some statistics. Cite findings that support your recent venture into a new industry and why the time seems ripe for it.
  • Define new target markets – Perhaps it’s only natural that you will not get as much business from your previous offers anymore. On the other hand, you risk more losses if you don’t know the kind of target market who will like the new ones you have made.

So as for Dell, you might even look to it as an example. (After all, its Facebook fan page has been listed among top ten B2B business pages). See how it might differ from its B2C page. You may not need shareholder drama to reinvent yourself but it’s something you need good marketing for.

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