The Sad, Short Life of Della

Dell's Subsite for Women

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Earlier this month, Dell launched a subsite specifically tailored to attract a female clientele. But apparently, Dell was wearing the wrong outfit, because the relationship between Dell and Della was a short-lived affair. In fact, if you go to the link for the Della site, you are automatically redirected to Dell’s Lifestyle home page, making it appear that Della never even existed in the first place.

But during her short life, tech savvy women found her to be rather offensive, even intrusive, to their professional relationship with Dell. Some of the features offered on Della ranged from tips on finding vintage clothing, to becoming friends with your mini computer, to finding recipes online—tidbits that the professional woman would rather do without.

Dell recognized that little things were cool. In fact, mini versions of the real thing are often considered just plain cute, depending on who you’re talking to. And yeah, carrying your computer in a sweet designer bag can be pretty trendy, too. But Della was not Dell’s first market focused subsite. More successful subsites are geared toward music lovers and gamers. Thus, it was not merely that Dell targeted a specific market or audience that potential customers took umbrage with. It was how they were targeted.

By Wednesday, Dell had removed evidence of Della’s existence; but the replacement site still caters to an audience that wants cuter computers, or even a model in pink. The new lifestyle section even offers  fashionable PC accessories, a feature section on a female Dell designer, and a special tip section. Some of these sections are vestiges of the bygone Della days, as indicated by some of the erstwhile Della comments that feature the off-the-cuff-remarks from ruffled commentators, such as: “What a ridiculous and insulting marketing campaign. I hope the firm and people responsible are fired for this disaster.” Another comment reads, quite bluntly:  “Dell assumes women are legally blonde?”

Dell Lifestyles Site

Dell got the message. Still, not all women found the campaign so offensive. One must admit that there is female audience which appreciates fashionable tech, trendy tips, and a sense of online community. Why else would sites such as Divine Caroline, and etcetera—women’s sites which occasionally contain tech information—be as wildly successful as they are? 

Most women already know that a netbook is lighter and more portable than a traditional laptop. As Dell quickly learned, there is better, less-offensive way to market cute computers and trendy accessories. Dell will probably keep improving their special lifestyle section of their site, or perhaps modify the tips section where those once-offended customers’ comments remain visible to the general public.

The Sad, Short Life of Della
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