By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Hitting the top of the best-selling cellular headsets chart, Plantronics' M110 was the retail dollar and unit volume leader from May 2001 through April 2002, according to sales data figures provided by NPD Techworld.
Popular for lots of reasons, according to Lori Langona, product manager for mobile communications at Plantronics, maker of the headset, the M110 is "styled uniquely and is aesthetically pleasing, offering more than a majority of products do at a similar price point," said Langona.
Plantronics, based here, known for its product ergonomics, according to Langona, concentrates on "comfort and fit" in the M110. "The headband is not as restrictive as other products. It's what people want to wear."
Langona, who pinpoints the M110's selling success as a result of its "style, fit and performance," also feels its versatility plays a major selling role. "Consumers can and do use the M110 for both mobile and cordless phones, while other headsets tend to be one or the other."
Key features of the M110 include adjustable headband and microphone boom, noise-canceling microphone, advance speaker technology to protect hearing, RF Noise Shield to reduce annoying RF static, microphone adjust switch for optimal voice output and a clothing clip for added stability.
The M110, said to deliver great sound, increased comfort, hands-free productivity and hands-free safety, did not utilize any special merchandising or promotions to help boost its success, said Langona.
However, she does feel color played a critical role. "Its silver color is very popular today, part of the overall interest in metallic shades that mirror the colors of the phones on the market."
Asked about the power of the Plantronics brand name adding a boost to M110 sales, Langona said consumers are aware of Plantronics as the category leader, and that this recognition does play a significant role in product recognition and, subsequently, movement.
But most important, at $19.95 suggested retail, this entry-level product in the company's M Series, "is an excellent value for the money," Langona said. "Most all the retailers take it. They accept it for its quality and because it is well designed and comfortable."
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