Saturday, July 14, 2007

Observation: Design Opportunity - Luggage

This week I had plenty of time to observe travelers as I sat for hours waiting due to airline delays and cancellations.

But to stay focused on the positive I noticed that there is still plenty of opportunity to provide travelers with additional luggage options. Over the last decade or so we have witnessed the deconstruction of the travel experience. On the positive side more people have been granted assess to air flight, but on the negative the industry has not adapted leaving consumers to suffer through various inconveniences.

Again to keep this short and focused, the wheeled carry is one innovation that has been adopted in large numbers particularly by the frequent travelers. And, the adult backpack is area that is ripe with potential as the more progressive luggage companies have begun to address. One can still quickly identify the novice traveler that attempts and often struggles to manage the last century over sized bag which they over packed. Fortunately, the large suitcases have been replace in large measure by smaller more mobile pieces.

It is still very evident that identifying checked bags is a significant challenge for passengers with similar styled luggage. A simple solution would be to offer consumers the option of customization. The Timbuktu2 (the creators of messenger bag) have offered this option for more than fifteen years.

Unfortunately, I know of no marketing campaign by any of the large luggage manufactures that are educating consumers of the choices and benefits of using their products? What about luggage for children that travel? A final thought, there exist an exciting opportunity to explore different shapes that are fashionable and functional.

Addendum: On second thought I am aware of one company that is addressing the opportunities that have come with an increasingly mobile society - Tumi.

Tumi is the luggage of choice for the traveling business professional. I have noticed that they produce high quality products and that they are continuing to expand their product line.

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