Women hold the power in Flash memory market

SanDisk Corp. executives say they want to focus their efforts in the consumer space as the company continues to bring to market more customized USB flash drives with varied security options.

Bruce Baird, national accounts manager for the Americas for SanDisk, said the company primarily targets the consumer market with its products. Baird explains that right now, women hold the largest buying power when it comes to purchasing products; which is why he said SanDisk is now coming to market with more product designs to choose from than ever before.

“Women want to be tech savvy but not geeky,” Baird said. “Our goal at SanDisk is to continue to offer variety to our customers and personalization.”

SanDisk’s current retail channel presence in Canada consists of retail stores which include Staples, Best Buy, Costco, Wal-Mart and London Drugs.

Baird said SanDisk has launched a line of USB flash drives that are now available at Walmart, called the Cruzer Gator series. These drives come in a 2GB, 4GB or 8GB size and start at just $24.99. These USB drives appeal to women because of the different colour casings to choose from including, pink, black, red, and more. The textured pattern and design of the drive, which resembles alligator skin, turns the USB drive into an accessory for women to carry both in and out of the home and office.

For the younger crowd, Baird said SanDisk is introducing the Cruzer Pattern USB flash drives for students ranging from grades four, all the way to high school. These drives have a sleekly designed patterned casing and come in both a 1GB and 2GB size. Prices start at just $9.99 and will be available starting July 1 at Staples.

A couple of weeks later, SanDisk will launch a new USB flash drive called Titanium Plus starting July 15 at London Drugs. This will target business professionals or anyone else who may be concerned with the safety and privacy of their stored information on a larger-sized drive.

“Titanium Plus is sleek and slides in and out without a cap to lose,” Baird said. “It’s designed to be strong and to take a beating so it can even be put on keys. It also comes with software that allows (the user) to take content and store it on a server that keeps it secure. It’s almost like a server vault for (the user) online.”

The drive is available in a 4GB only for $49.99 and comes with 90 days of the online server service, Baird said.

Once the 90-day period is complete, the user then pays for access to the storage if they want to keep using the service. Adding to the drive’s security are the password and encryption functionalities that also come built onto the USB.

For retailers, it’s important that sales associates educate their customers before selling a flash drive or memory card to them, Baird said. Often times, customers purchase a drive and come back later for a larger sized-one because they don’t realize how fast memory can be eaten up, Baird said. This is where education and training comes in for retailers, where Baird said SanDisk will offer training and on-site training for sales associates.

“It’s an ever-changing technology so if you don’t keep (retail associates) up to speed, they’re no more educated than the (customer) who’s coming through the door,” he said. “We’ve tried to make our products easy to use because if you want the mass channel to use it, you have to keep things simple.”

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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