Dell became a $60 Billion company built on a business model of mass customization (built to order).
By 2006 this approach had run out of steam.
Consumers viewed Dell as cheap hardware for consumers. In fact, 98% of Dell’s profits came from B-to-B. In fact, 98% of Fortune 500 companies chose Dell.
More concerning perhaps, most Dell employees felt that the company’s best days were behind it.
Clearly, the company had a perception problem, inside and out. The challenge: redefine what the company stood for.
Taking a page from IBM’s own successful business transformation, Dell decided to move from built-to-order hardware to a solutions and services company.
In looking to reposition the company, Dell first re-introduced itself of its forgotten brand heritage: “Technology should not be a privilege: it is essential to human success.”
Building upon its rediscovered heritage, it defined its new brand purpose: “Delivering technology solutions that enable people everywhere to grow and thrive
Ultimately, this led to a new brand platform: “At Dell, we believe that technology exists for one reason . . . to help people and organizations do and achieve more.”
Following an internal brand campaign, 75% of employees now understand what Dell stands for, and most believe its best days are still ahead.
Basic Branding Lesson #1: you can’t effectively re-position a brand in customers’ minds until you first secure buy-in, support and enthusiasm from your own employees.
Basic Branding Lesson #2: Sometimes you need to revisit your heritage to rediscover and reignite your brand focus, passion and authenticity.