By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Maxell started 2010 off with a bang by announcing several partnerships at International CES, as well as unveiling close to 100 new products, including entry into several new categories.
Gordon Tetreault, Maxell accessory products sales and marketing director, and Cheryl Severini, senior marketing and corporate communications manager of the consumer products division, sat down with TWICE last week to talk about CES, its new relationships and its new products.
“We had a fantastic [CES],” Tetreault said. “Probably one of our better shows that I can remember in at least the last 10 years.”
Part of what drew the crowds to Maxell's booth was the announcements of the collaborations it had formed with such companies as Smartfish, Hantech and VehSmart.
The Smartfish deal will result in an ergonomic mouse and keyboard being brought to market under the Maxell Powered by ErgoMotion name.
Maxell also said it would partner with VehSmart to market the KeySmart personal GPS and security device, which will be available in May for $299 with a $12.95 monthly fee, and it teamed with Hantech to market its PC pen device under the Tablo brand.
Tetreault said these partnered products are likely to be just the first of more to come.
“There's going to be all kinds of cross-promotional opportunities and things of that nature,” he said. “Smartfish is a company that's working on other new products, and I'm sure that we'll be partnering with them for other new ideas and products, not only concerning modifications to the existing products in the portfolio with them but future products also.”
“We didn't want to just be a one-off type of item,” Tetreault added. “We wanted to be a company that grows as far as our relationships with these companies.”
Maxell also entered the storage market, launching three different backup drives: the Maxell Gen drives, an entry-level line of drives in 250GB, 320GB and 500GB capacities; the MyGen series, which feature software to back up data files; and the GenPro drives, which features Rebit technology to recover the entire PC.
The company also launched a line of MyGen flash drives in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB capacities.
Part of Maxell's 100 new products included the refreshing of several lines it already had, including its headphones and PC accessories. The company has also re-entered the battery market after a three-year hiatus, and has reconfigured its packaging so that it is more eco-friendly and reduces its retail display footprint.
Its blank-media packaging is also undergoing a redesign to conform to more “green” consumer standards, and will contain recyclable materials. They will be available this quarter, Severini said.
Regarding all the updating and refreshing it was doing to its product lines, Tetreault said, “Retailers are looking for products to evolve, and we have to evolve with it.”
Maxell will be able to maintain all of these new relationships and product ideas in its new U.S. corporate headquarters, which the company announced it would be moving to by March 1. The new facility will be in Woodland Park, N.J., just 8 miles away from the current location.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.