5 years ago, Dell became a private business, following a close-to $25 billion buyout that left Michael Dell as CEO. Now, Dell is set to become a publically listed business once again, with Michael Dell still retaining his position.
This move will put Dell in a good position. Over the last five years, Dell has become the silent achiever of the industry, slowly building market share in both enterprise and consumer markets. A small band of loyal supporters have become a significant section of the industry. A new injection of capital will mean Dell can improve on this and add something else to what could be seen a stagnating market. The hardware industry has been dominated by Apple and Microsoft, both of whom have focused on a consumer base, underpinning their corporate offering. Dell will likely use the opposite approach, working from the top down, winning additional enterprise customers first, and allowing consumers to join them through the traditional awareness campaigns that have worked for them both at a print and digital level. In other words, it’s not likely you’ll see an Apple/Microsoft style television advertising campaign from Dell.
Many saw Dell’s decision to become a privately listed business as a retreat from a company that refused to move with the times. As consumer-focused companies became the darlings of the hardware industry and Dell refused to come up with innovative consumer products, it seemed that Dell was no longer suited to the modern landscape.
Now, with margins on mobile tech razor thin, and a considerable percentage of market share being required to make a profit, Dell may be seen as forward thinking. Michael Dell wasn’t seduced by the ritz of the early 2000’s and will likely ‘stay the course’ as the market continues to mature. It could be looked back on as an incredibly wise strategic move.