Why I’m Done with Dell…

by Bukola Ekundayo on May 15, 2009

in News,The Pixel Life,Women and Technology

Matt Hickey

You all know that Della  made me gag hard. The mainstream news press has finally picked the story up too.

Suzanne Choney served up a biting yet balanced review of the site:

There is no virtual barf bag on Della, but there should be. Oh — whoops! That wouldn’t be very ladylike.

[Via - MSNBC]

 Matt Hickey of CNET says: 

Oh, Dell, did you start up a firestorm. Sure, your idea was great: create a site marketing your Netbooks to women. But instead of telling non-tech-savvy women what they can do with their laptops–download recipes!–you ended up offending the tech-savvy ladies, who, you know, are the ones who have actually bought your computers.

[VIa - CNET's Crave]

Matt Hickey brings up a great point. Offending the tech-savvy ladies is not a recipe for success. Women(and men) tend to rely on recommendations from their friends for product purchases. The tech-savvy ladies are the ones they go to for advice. If a girlfriend comes to me asking for a tech advice do you think I’m going to suggest a product that assumes she’s just trying to count her calories? Probably not. I’m going to suggest a brand that doesn’t talk down to her. I like the way Sony markets its lifestyle netbooks. Choney highlights their approach below:

Sony’s wording is gender-neutral — “whether you’re a traveling executive or a creative professional” — and thankfully, nothing about using the netbook to watch (stereotypically female) yoga or cooking videos online.

At least these computers are offered up on the companies’ regular Web sites, along with other netbooks and notebooks, not promoted on a “women’s site” that seems like it came right out of the pages of what was known as the “women’s section” in newspapers decades ago.

[Via - MSNBC]

I agree with her. I love my Sony Viao desktop which is still going strong after 4 years of heavy use and gaming (knock on wood). I’m more likely to recommend one of their products because I’ve had positiive experiences with them. 

Unfortunately, the one time I suggested a Dell laptop to a girlfriend of mine (I brought it for her as a gift) the damn thing broke down within 3 months of its purchase. She happened to be working in Korea at the time s getting appropriate customer service was hellish. She ended up trashing the thing and I was out of $850. Selling technology to women is less about a pink marketing campaign and more about the quality of the product. 

I applaud Dell for responding to the feedback from their latest campaign:

Della is “an effort that is evolving, and one in which we hope even more women will connect with the Dell brand,” Kaufman said.

Honestly, this Della fiasco has taken me by surprise. Dell is the social media/digital marketing case study of choice. I’ve even cited their work to clients of mine. So I’m confident the folks at Dell can turn this around. 

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  • http://twitter.com/ShelleyDelayne ShelleyDelayne

    Well put. Thank you for the commentary. Their “pink” campaign made me see red, and certainly won't bring them any of my green.

    I did revisit their site — and Dell appears to be listening – here's hoping they get the message in a big way, and don't ever do this again.

  • http://www.pioneerproject.net/ Michelle

    Wow, just wow. I'm stunned.

    It's exactly this sort of thing that further pigeonholes women into rigid stereotypes. No wonder so many female professionals get a hard time during their careers if this is the sort of thing marketing departments believe is appropriate.

    “I’m going to suggest a brand that doesn’t talk down to her.”

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

  • http://mspixel.com bukolae

    I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by this. After visiting the page again I've seen that some changes have been made. 1) They've removed tech tips for calorie counting 2) They've thrown out the name Della. You'll notice that the pink logo is gone now. Dell is definitely listening to us. I look forward to seeing how they revamp the site.

  • http://mspixel.com bukolae

    I'm glad I'm not the only one bothered by this. After visiting the page again I've seen that some changes have been made. 1) They've removed tech tips for calorie counting 2) They've thrown out the name Della. You'll notice that the pink logo is gone now. Dell is definitely listening to us. I look forward to seeing how they revamp the site.

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