Della: A Missed Opportunity

As reported by Engadget Dell has decided to dramatically change its recently posted Della Micro site after only 10 days of being online.  Designed as a site  to communicate with women offering them user tips and product suggestions Dell looked to create an environment that was welcoming and knowledgeable to the computing needs of this customer segment.

Interesting thinking but instead the project almost immediately blew up in their face. The initial content such as the tips and tricks can be found here and here but to give a brief discussion it spoke about things such as finding recipes on the net, counting calories and as we know every woman’s favorite color PINK (LIKE OMG!) . Instead of attracting women they were feeling put off and they were letting their voices heard online:

From their facebook page:

Um, some of us ladies were checking out Dells new Della computer section and we think it is condescending of you to make a different one for women as though we are not as smart as men when it comes to computers??” – Wynter Gentry Nash

….if it wasn’t for the tech tips section of the site, I wouldn’t be offended, but all it seems to imply is that women don’t care for anything but cooking and gossiping and looking fashionable with their computer.” Caily Jones as well as on the

On Della site itself:

“..This is  a load of fluff that only serves to provide insight into how Dell perceives my demographic. Essentially, we women will buy anything if it comes in pink and fits in our purse.” User UmmmWhat

Overall Dell took a huge grilling from this audience they wanted to pursue and very smartly made some changes to the site such as updating the tips section and changing the Della name to ” Dell Lifestyle”. In my opinion the site is still a bit fashiony/ultra feminine but its passable.

Now the question is ,isn’t segmenting your market important in marketing?? Absolutely, and if Dell executed the site right it could have been successful but here are a few things that it seems they did wrong:

Stereotyping/Over Segmentation: My initial impression of the Della website was that it targeted women concerned about  fashion and things that are ‘cute’ ( I’m thinking Paris hilton types) it didn’t delve into anything technical and rather focused on the smaller netbooks and that you can have colors on your laptops. Mistake: The majority of women haven’t been locked away and want more from a laptop than just email and facebook.They use it day to day at their work and they blog, make movies etc. They want to know which machine is going to suit the reasons they use their computer.

Women using computers

There are many women who know computers,advertising a pink computer isn't going to work anymore- Photo Via Flickr from TheSeafarer

Created a Man/Woman separation: looking again at the sites lack of any technical topics it didn’t acknowledge that there are  women in the high tech industries. This was definitely an opportunity missed! There are many smart women out there who do tech ( I personally know a few ) but very often anything dealing with computers and things technical like that is seen as an area for men. Highlighting the  successes of women in computers could have not only welcomed women into buying a dell  but it could also left viewers of the site with a feeling of empowerment and wanting to go out and do the same. This also could have been a great opportunity to expand into  mentioning Dell’s other business of computer accessories and products.

I think it was very smart of Dell to have listened to the negative feedback and react as soon as they did, it will definitely cut any negative coverage or drop in sales they would have suffered if it were online any longer. Unfortunately I think they lost out on a great opportunity , and had they been more careful with the execution they could have had a site for audiences to talk about . A website that embraced the needs of women in computing and helped  women be successful with laptops and computers.  In the end of it all  when it comes down to segmentation I think  it comes down to doing the research  but also importantly when you’re online acknowledging all of the audiences that will be viewing your website and not making anyone feel inferior.

Have any questions/comments? Contact me at or send me a twitter message .

Tags: , , , , , ,


  1. Nice Kev. It’s true that it was much too late in the game for Dell to try and come out with a strategy like this without there already being a large population of the online women audience with a thing or two to say about it.

    That’s a good point in that instead of trying to create a whole artificial campaign about what they think women want from their computers, they could have gone a lot further by getting notable women, already successful in the tech industry, and just as they do with Digital Nomads, made Della a place for women in computer to blog and share relevant and really interesting resources.

    It’s actually funny even that they tried such a simple tactic, when they’ve already DONE Digital Nomads, and the same sort of community experience could have translated over EASILY to the women segment.

    (Hurry up on getting your own blog/domain!)

  2. I agree for a company that is normally pretty savvy it was really unfortunate that they got Della wrong. As for the blog, looking to get something together in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!

  3. A portion of della Q profits are lent to Vietnamese women entrepreneurs who are interested in starting their own business. Business Market

Leave a comment