We have a tendency to highlight the negative when we report on news, maybe badly educated by the media. I wanted to come back on the Dell story once again to find out how was doing our flagship leader of the don’t get Dell’d syndrome.

First of all, let’s do a reality check on the battery recall issue. It’s been widening recently and Sony is really at the center of a communication crisis as now more than 7 million batteries are being recalled for replacement, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The list of the winners are Dell with 4.2 million, Apple with 1.8 million, followed by Lenovo, Toshiba, Fujitsu, HP. Battery recall at Dell and Apple alone will cost more than $170 million. That’s a pretty extreme case study for all of you interested in quality impact to the bottom line. If you want to read the latest about it just go here.

Coming back on Dell, they’re handling the problem with this dedicated web site, and apparently trying to initiate a serious turnaround in their decline. What happened to their corporate blog One2one? Well first of all they’ve been changing the name to Direct2Dell for various reasons — Dell explains it here — that would give you a clue on how little prepared they were. By the way, they admire the One2one XXX site marketers SEO skills!

But the most interesting breaking news to me was the real backfire move from Michael Dell in a keynote at the Techdays on September 12. Michael is back and he’s launching Dell 2.0. Here is a Direct2Dell quote about it:

“Michael also talked a bit about Dell 2.0. He launched our Dimension products yesterday, including our first two AMD products for consumer and small business customers.” — more on this here

It produced at least one comment from a shareholder that goes like this:

“Nevertheless, the public response has been a shrug — with most commentary calling Dell 2.0 devoid of substance and the stock price remaining unmoved. In the absence, to-date, of many concrete components to Dell 2.0, the success of this “evolution” depends on the quality, creativity and discipline of management. Part of the public indifference is probably based on the unsatisfactory performance of Kevin Rollins and Michael Dell at Tech Day.” — more on this here, and Dell stock vs HP and Apple here.

I’m an optimistic and I like to focus on positive outcomes. I wish good luck to Dell for its Dell 2.0 venture but let’s make sure, message to Michael Dell’s staff, that Marketing 2.0 is not ignored anymore i.e. tell Kevin Rollins that customer satisfaction is more important than cost reduction to be a Hero at Dell.



2 thoughts on “Michael Dell launches Dell 2.0

  1. Please indulge some bonafide positive slants on the Dell news mentioned in your post.

    – The widespread recall of suspect Sony batteries, which Dell first pinpointed and was the first to act, will not have a material impact on our bottom line, as one could infer from your post.

    – Dell’s battery recall Web site is but one channel we’re using to manage the recall. We continue to rely on other means, including heavy use of our corporate blog. See here: http://www.direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/category/1022.aspx

    – Competitors and naysayers may slam our Dell 2.0 initiative now, but watch this space as we methodically deepen our customer relationships, design products that are more innovative, capitalize on fast-growing markets, and more.

    – Be assured everyone in “Dell 2.0” understands “marketing 2.0.” The top priority for everyone at Dell is to provide a better customer experience, and we’ve been empowered to do just that.


  2. John,

    You’re right I should have mentioned that the pure recall of the batteries has an impact on Sony’s bottom line but not too much on yours (don’t forget the cost of handling customer requests).

    That being said, the negative perception attached with this episode to Dell’s brand exists for sure and has financial consequences difficult to clearly measure. Dell is not alone in this venture, but your impacted competitors were not going through visible customer service turbulences apart from the batteries recall at the time as Dell did.

    Naysayers, particularly bloggers, are more noisy than satisfied customers. I experience it as well in the company I work for, a major IT vendor as well. This is exactly why I try to make a point about user generated content and various aspect of marketing nowadays i.e. Marketing 2.0 with this blog.

    The fact that you’re posting a comment publicly representing Dell on this personal blog (I’m not representing my employer here), is to me a clear indication that change is underway in your company. Good news!

    On a closing positive note, I can attest as a European Dell customer that your customer service on this side of the ocean is effective. Funny coincidence, one of your technical post-sales engineer just changed my power supply today, just 24 hours following my call to your customer service. But I guess this positive comment will be less visible than my Dell related posts.
    That is why companies like yours and mine need savvy marketing 2.0 professionals. Don’t you think?

    I’ll stay tuned for more announcements and delivery on Dell 2.0 initiative, hoping that this will end as a successful Marketing 2.0 case study to be published.


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