Understanding the customer.

I spent the morning with my oldest son, now a college freshman, looking for a backpack that provided room for all of the stuff he carries. This isn’t particularly an issue of size or volume, but of accommodation for various things like laptop, PDA, cell phone, iPod, etcetera. We tried office supply, electronics, snowboard, and outdoor stores, but just couldn’t find anything that fulfilled all of his requirements. As we trudged from store to store, I wondered if he was that different from the average teen, many of who carry plenty of electronics.

We even tried the on-campus store, where there was not a single backpack with a laptop compartment, though given that his school is known form engineering and computer science I expect that some students do have laptops. Is my son that different, or are manufacturers that far behind the curve?