Dell Alienware Research Project

The Client

What The Brand Needed

A decade ago, Dell Alienware was one of the most coveted gaming brands in South Africa, selling hundreds of units a month, despite its premium price tag. Today, the market looks decidedly different, with competitors offering similar products and consumers juggling tighter budgets. If Alienware were ever to regain its position as the king of high-end gaming, it would need to understand that market.

Dell approached us with a mandate to capture the zeitgeist of changing market perceptions, and where Alienware might fit into this landscape. We recommended a medium-term research project focused on auditing its audience, their preferred platforms, retail channels, and publications. The findings would shape Dell’s strategic approach to selling Alienware in South Africa, determining everything from price-point to target audience to messaging.


Research We Did

To understand Alienware’s position in the market, we first had to consider its place in the local gaming landscape. We conducted a thorough SWOT analysis of the brand’s competitors, as well as compiled statistics on the gaming and laptop industry. We also audited Alienware’s existing properties and products to determine opportunities for change and improvement.

Desktop research can only take you so far, so the next stage of our project took us to computing stores across Johannesburg, where we assessed product visibility and typical in-store journey-to-purchase. Once we had a solid overview of key local market trends, it was time to take the research to a more granular level: interviews and focus groups with the audience itself. We considered everything from gaming and purchasing habits, to budget and preferred feature sets.

Seeking out computer gamers and professionals alike, we were able to gain valuable insights into Alienware’s existing – and potential – audiences. At the same time, we approached local gaming media to send out consumer surveys to their readers.

The Results

What Happened

The research has proved to be invaluable for Dell in understanding the gaming community in South Africa, and how to position their Alienware products. From sponsorship, development, and engagement opportunities, to potential new audience growth avenues, the research often challenged conventional wisdom and revealed some surprising insights. Ultimately, it’s given Dell a data-driven path to success in South Africa.

Ultimately, it’s given Dell a data-driven path to
success in South Africa.

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