It is always interesting to watch how iconic companies adjust their business plans to remain in-demand players among customers. Doing so requires shrewd awareness toward trends, strategy, marketing, and customer needs.
Dell is an interesting example. Even though global shipments of PCs peaked in 2011, Dell is maintaining an emphasis on PC sales in China. On the surface, one might question the wisdom of that approach. In this case, Dell sees the bigger picture of how one product or service can lead to the use of other products or services. In those cases, the PC focus was a wise investment (Bruce Einhorn, Christina Larson, and Aaron Ricadela, “In China, Dell Clings Tightly to the Waning PC” Bloomberg Businessweek, 11/11/13–11/17/13, pp. 44–45):
“Dell says its edge lies in diversification: using PCs as a Launchpad to sell customers on servers, data-center storage, and networking gear. [Per Dell’s Jeff Clarke], two of every three Dell business clients start as PC buyers.” (p. 45)
Granted, conventional PCs are a declining market. Nevertheless, Dell is maintaining its “customer-flow awareness” or that aspect of understanding how one company connection can lead to other company connections. That is good for customer retention and that is good for business.
Customer-flow awareness can help us understand in which direction customers can move during market changes. Companies that do that well will truly be positioning themselves where the ball is going to be. And that is always a good place to be.