Brand Owner: Dell
Campaign Title: Dell Heroes
Date range of activity (mo/yr to mo/yr): June 2009 – August 2009
Countries in which the campaign ran: India, China
Awards Won: M&M Global 2010 Award for the Best Campaign for Reaching Business Decision Makers
Dell was facing problems as conventional advertising was not working. Dell’s share in the small business sector was falling steadily, a real problem as SMEs accounted for more than half of sales.
Conventional approaches were failing in part due to the nature of the target audience. SMEs are a narrow vertical, difficult to reach through mass advertising. We needed to persuade them that Dell could empower and enable their business by providing customised IT solutions.
All was not as black as it seemed however. Despite these challenges, current Dell SME customers were very loyal and had built long-term and very profitable relationships with the brand. We realised that these customers were the best advocates for Dell.
Our consumer insight was that successful entrepreneurs are viewed as heroes. Their stories could become the perfect platform for Dell to prove its value to small businesses.
In both our target markets of India and China the cultural obsession with making money and the desire to absorb any possible tips from the successful would ensure cut-through and guarantee attention.
However in a world where consumers are bombarded by celebrity endorsements, our heroes would have to do more than just appear in adverts.
Our strategy was to leverage Dell’s happy customers by getting them to actively talk about how Dell had been part of their success stories.
Under the campaign platform of “Take Your Own Path” we highlighted how successful businessmen and women were bold and brave in their entrepreneurial journeys, and how Dell had helped them to steer their own paths.
We recruited a dream team of successful entrepreneurs and put their stories at the heart of our campaign. In press, on TV and at events our Dell Heroes became the voice of the brand.
We revealed their ideas, their stories and explained the role of IT in general and specifically Dell in their success. We put these case histories in editorially respected environments.
In India, we also gave wannabe entrepreneurs the chance to meet their Heroes, bringing successful businessmen into the biggest and best business colleges across the country. A competition also gave students the chance to spend a day with Michael Dell.
In India, we partnered with Bloomberg UTV and created an interactive journey for consumers. Via a content-driven series of messages that lived on and off TV, we got entrepreneurs to talk about their success and how Dell got them there. The message was “if we can do it, so can you”.
The communication was arranged in 3 stages:
Stage 1: A high profile, editorially led, six-part series investigating the stories of Dell’s top entrepreneurial heroes during prime time.
Stage 2: We created a Dell “Business Excellence Awards” where budding entrepreneurs were invited to write business plans judged by the Dell heroes.
Stage 3: Dell heroes and Award winners took their ideas and Dell’s message to business schools across the country via mentoring workshops.
The series was promoted via business dailies/magazines, B2B web portals, outdoor, and promos on UTV.
In China we worked closely with leading entrepreneurial magazines to build the stories of our heroes into the pages. We sponsored the "cover story" column with distinctive page headers bars to really pull attention and showcase the success of our Dell Heroes. An exclusive Interview with the president of Dell Greater China, who was also a magazine cover star, helped promote Dell in its first SME campaign in the market.
Dell was positioned in both markets as the perfect partner for business growth.
• Dell’s message made an immediate impact. In four weeks Top of Mind increased by eight points and usage of Dell products went up by 12%.
• More than 15,000 entered our awards competition - 15 times expected participation levels; 10,000 visited our microsite.
• Awareness increased by 45% and consideration for Dell’s small business products has doubled.
• Sales increased by 10%, doubling market share in the SME sector.
• For the first time in seven years Dell is number 1 in the commercial & consumer business category, toppling HP.
• Brand preference is up eight points
• Awareness is 83% among our target audience - more than double IT norms.
• Sales are up 81% and revenue up 20% for the last quarter of 2009. Dell expects high double-digit growth in 2010.
This campaign is now being rolled out in nine other markets.