Dell says it will reposition its XPS brand by early 2009 as its premium performance line for consumers by eliminating its gamer-targeted XPS models and focusing entirely on its Alienware gaming brand, which it acquired in 2006.
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According to NPD Group Analyst Steve Baker, “it’s important for PC makers to figure out how to “marry your brand and the gaming brand in a way that will uplift your brand and won’t dilute the gaming brand.”
Baker said he thinks that Dell’s move to focus its gaming under Alienware has potential to work out because “the Alienware customer can be more profitable because they’re willing to pay more.”
Erik Day, Dell’s merchandise manager for XPS, said last week that the company eventually plans to rebrand the entire XPS line as its “mainstream luxury brand”, and used the difference between a Toyota and that automobile maker’s luxury Lexus line when he said Dell expects XPS to become its Lexus.
NPD’s Baker said he thinks there’s definitely room for the type of high-end product that the XPS brand hopes to bring to market. “The PC market is maturing,” he said, from a “one-size-fits all” approach in the mainstream to one that will meet the needs of a number of emerging niche customers.
“Clearly Dell has learned from HP and its Blackbird launch”, said Baker.