Having just written a piece on ‘disruptors’ (READ HERE), I thought this FT article looked interesting …

A trolley-load of new luggage brands has appeared in recent years, trying to disrupt a staid market with promises of revolutionary ways to pack a bag

As someone who typically packs a bag once a week for some trip or another I wanted to find out what I had been missing and how someone was going to revolutionise this task for me … I hadn’t realised it had been such a chore. But more than 40 luggage entrepreneurs seeking crowd funding on Indiegogo and Kickstarter can’t be wrong,

What’s the big deal? Well it’s not down to looks … if you check out these innovators’ websites they seem to produce wheelie bags that look like … well wheelie bags. So what’s really different must be on the inside. Apparently really innovative bags now offer some combination of an inside light, a missing item reminder, open alert, wireless charger, global WiFi, GPS tracking, a camera, built-in digital scale, face ID and “a Morse code lock” … and (the ultimate in luggage accessories, and perhaps the definition of a true first world problem) a tiny vacuum motor to shrink undies into vacuum packs.

Disruptors want to make a radical difference – but the key is (as ever) to deliver the right solutions to the right consumers in the right way. A solution they value.

Is an inside light really truly disruptive? Would the ability to vacuum shrink underwear really change my travel experience? These innovations feel dangerously close to ‘gimmick’. If disruptors appear as a reaction to consumer dissatisfaction with the status quo, in sectors characterised by complacent incumbents, you have to ask yourself … is there really that level of dissatisfaction with one’s luggage?

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