By Lisa Johnston
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It's a tall order to provide an adequate on-the-road safe haven for a notebook computer. Yet portable storage-bag maker Targus — in backing up a consumer's expensive purchase — has upgraded its traditional Notepac carrying case, so users can combine the benefits of additional protection and storage capability, as well as enjoy the convenience of a traveling workstation.
These basic product feature additions helped the Targus OCN1 nylon notebook carrying case become a best seller at retail for a vendor-suggested $39.99.
For the 12-month period of May 2004 through April 2005, The NPD Group, based in Port Washington, N.Y., tracked unit volume share at retail of over 500 ranked items by select categories, including laptop cases, which are part of the portable storage accessories universe.
During this tracking year, the Targus OCN1 finished in the first spot among the Top 10 notebook cases, accounting for a 4.9 percent unit-volume share among the best-selling cases over the 12-month period.
“This is the perfect starter case for someone purchasing a notebook,” said Dana Strand, U.S. retail product manager at Targus. “If you think about it, a consumer just spent at least $1,000 on a new laptop, and they want a case to protect it without spending even more money after their large purchase. They want protection, storage and a workstation to get them through their first year of traveling,” said Strand.
Targus, which accounted for six of the Top 10 notebook models tracked by NPD, also enjoyed the third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth rankings by unit-volume share. The CPT400 platinum deluxe universal notebook case in black/gray nylon ranked third with a 4.1 percent unit-volume share, while the CBT300 black top notebook case came in fourth with a 3.2 percent share. The B0197 notebook Essentials Kit case/security/mouse accounted for a 3.1 percent share and ranked sixth.
The Targus ONP1 Notepac Plus notebook case came in eighth with a 2.8 percent share, while the No. 9 TLE300 leather 15-inch black notebook case was at 2.7 percent during the 12-month tracking period.
Asked why the OCN1 has become the best seller, Strand said, “It's a great value for the price point — $39.99. The color is safe, and it offers the right amount of protection.”
Primary to the notebook's selling success was Targus increasing its size to fit a 15.4-inch notebook, plus the addition of a removable CD sleeve.
The company's traditional Notepac notebook now offers more, said Targus, including a larger front pocket to accommodate folders and documents; a front zip-down workstation that includes pen loops, key clip, business card holder and phone pocket, which puts the most commonly used items together and in easy reach; and the addition of two pockets for accessories added to the main compartment. This includes a slip pocket for files as well as scratch-resistant sleeves that hold three CD/DVDs.
Other improvements include a longer shoulder strap with additional padding, upgraded hardware and newly designed zipper pulls that make the case “more attractive and functional.”
Looking at the everyday price, Strand said, “It's hard to find a case with enough protection at the $39.99 price point. The Targus brand also contributes to the consumer's choice. They know our brand for the lifetime warranty and have confidence in knowing our brand protects their notebook. A limited lifetime warranty on a case at this retail is rare,” said Strand.
Other Top 10 notebooks ranked in the NPD 12-month tracking period were the Sumdex DXNB101 notebook case, which finished in the second spot at a 4.1 percent unit-volume share, tied with the Targus CPT400; and Samsonite, which held down fifth place with its 198111262 L45 nylon notebook-plus case at a 3.3 percent share and seventh place with its 198111261 polyester notebook case gaining a 3 percent share. Case Logic came in 10th with its EZLC1 universal 15-inch nylon notebook case taking a 2.6 percent share.
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