By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Battery maker Rayovac will start shipping its new 15-minute, I-C3 technology battery charger Sept. 1. The rechargeable system will be available in stores across the nation in October.
Rayovac, which plans to launch both a print and Internet advertising campaign in support of its charger roll out, will first break the news in a USA Today ad. The company plans to run its ad effort through the fourth quarter, traditionally the biggest battery sales months of the year.
Rayovac VP/North American marketing Gerry Albright told TWICE that the Internet was chosen as fertile advertising ground because "consumers shopping for batteries often search retail Web sites looking for product. Since they already are using their computers to look for batteries, we thought ads on the Internet would generate interest."
Madison, Wis.-based Rayovac, which claims the fastest recharging time ever for its new system, said its I-C3 batteries — which are pointed mainly for use in digital cameras — will be the longest lasting rechargeable cells in many devices. These are expected to last up to four times longer than alkaline batteries and can be recharged 1,000 times.
The nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries for the 15-minute charger are specifically designed for its use, and feature a technology that puts control of recharging into the battery, rather than the charger. A pressure control mechanism in each battery individually senses its own internal pressure and controls its own charge.
Two Rayovac I-C3 chargers are being rolled out — the two-position and four-position chargers will detect both AA and AAA I-C3 cells and charge these in 15 minutes or less. Other NiMH brand-name cells will charge overnight in the new chargers. Nickel cadmium batteries also will charge overnight. If the Rayovac I-C3 cells are charged in a competitive unit, charging time defaults to the charger these are put into, namely one hour for a 1-hour charger, and so on.
Recharging systems are coming into the "mainstream," said Albright. "It's something we all do, plug in every night," he said about consumers who are used to recharging such CE products as cellphones or PDAs.
Suggested retail for a 4-pack of AA or AAA I-C3 cells is $15. The two-position charger has a suggested $20 to $30 retail, while the four-position unit is geared for $30 to $40.
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.