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Does Dell Know What Women Want In a Laptop? 669

Posted by kdawson
from the fashion-don't dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Finding the right approach for gender-specific marketing can be really tricky, said Andrea Learned, a marketing expert and author of Don't Think Pink — What Really Makes Women Buy. So when Dell recently took the wraps off a new Web site called Della, geared toward women, featuring tech 'tips' that recommended calorie counting, finding recipes, and watching cooking videos as ways for women to get the most from a laptop, a backlash erupted online, as both women and men described the Web site as 'ridiculous' and 'gimmicky.' Della's heavy emphasis on colors, computer accessories, dieting tips, and even the inclusion of a video about vintage shopping 'seems condescending to women consumers,' says Learned. Instead, Dell should have emphasized function and figured out ways to sell the netbooks that weren't clichéd and reliant on gender stereotypes. 'Some brands go too far with the girlie stuff,' Learned says. 'Della's marketing strategy sounds like it's advertising a purse. There's a level of consumer sophistication they're missing.'"
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Does Dell Know What Women Want In a Laptop?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @08:52AM (#27965543)

    Doesn't correlation vs causation come in here?

    Does the stereotype exist because women like pink, or do women like pink because of the stereotype?

    e.g. how many female babies do you see dressed in black?

  • by pjt33 (739471) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:00AM (#27965715)

    I expect to be treated the same as another customer unless I have chosen to be treated differently.

    Such as, I don't know, going to the Della site rather than dell.com?

  • by ladybugfi (110420) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:02AM (#27965743)

    Next time you buy groceries why don't you glance at all the mags at the checkout. Count how many have something about "Lose weight in 2 weeks" or "See how J-Lo dropped the pounds" or similar. Then come back and tell me again, sincerely, that women don't want to hear dieting tips.

    ...but we generally don't want to hear them from our boyfriends when we try out new outfits.

    There's time, place and a good way of bringing up potentially unpleasant issues, telling your spouse that "you look fat in those jeans" is not going to net you any karma points.

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:15AM (#27965991)
    Actually, one of my favorite shirts is pink, you insensitive clod!
  • by BoyIHateMicrosoft! (1044838) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:19AM (#27966061)
    Being a girl( I swear I really am female!!!), I have some insight for you. My mom and best friend are very much the people that fit the stereotype. Both of them ADORE pink frilly stuff, love to shop, have a hardcore penchant for knickknacks and are generally very girly. Hell they even have "typically" female jobs, a cosmetologist and a nurse. I, on the other hand, think pink of any sort is hideous, prefer WoW to the Lifetime channel and work in IT. Doesn't mean I don't do girly things though. I love to shop for..... yes shoes. I think I have like 30 pairs. It's my little thing. All people have some piece of them that fit into some stereotype about them. In spite of that, I, and most women I know, don't want to be pandered to. It's a terrible idea. It this whole thing makes Dell look like they don't have a damn clue about modern women. Are some of us on diets, yup we are. Do some of us love shoes, yeah. I know I do :) Do some of us love the atrocity that is the color pink, sure. As another poster said, I am sure this has some appeal to some women, but not me. I'm not trying to say that I'm some super special person because of this either. Just saying it's a terrible fucking idea to to stereotype ALL people in a certain race, gender, sexual orientation and then try to sell them a product based on that. It would be like me setting up a website selling country music and only gear it towards Texans, you can put a multitude of other examples here but you get the point. I think I won't be buying from Dell anymore.
  • by GreggBz (777373) on Friday May 15, 2009 @09:25AM (#27966159) Homepage

    featuring tech 'tips' that recommended calorie counting, finding recipes, and watching cooking videos as ways for women to get the most from a laptop.

    Here's what my 25-35 year old female friends do with their laptops:

    Music (iTunes, iPods, iPhones), Social Networking, Pictures of their Kids, Casual Games, buy nice bags for them, watch funny videos. One friend is especially into fashion, so maybe she'll look at dresses online and such.

    None of that non-sense quoted above is cool or fun. And, it's available on anything with Internet so how is it special? I'm guessing the larger laptop purchasing female demographic is, you know, more young and more trendy then recipes and watching cooking videos.

    Really Dell? It's 2009. Fire your marketing director.

  • by denzacar (181829) on Friday May 15, 2009 @10:28AM (#27967325) Journal

    Hey... it just works. [youtube.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 15, 2009 @11:38AM (#27968787)

    Della Street [wikipedia.org] wasn't fat.

It was kinda like stuffing the wrong card in a computer, when you're stickin' those artificial stimulants in your arm. -- Dion, noted computer scientist

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