The market for green products has expanded rapidly over the last decade, but most consumers need something more than eco-benefits to motivate their purchases.
In the book “The Green Bundle,” Magali A. Delmas and David Colgan argue that many green products now offer the total package—a "green bundle" that checks the environmental box but also offers improved performance, health benefits, savings, and status.
We need new strategies to help consumers cut through the noise and make their best decisions. The Green Bundle offers some of the best and most effective communication techniques for pushing consumers in the right direction.
Framing product benefits to motivate behavior is the key. Delmas and Colgan show managers how to lead buyers from information to action by combining sustainable business and behavioral economics insights.
The green bundle within the boating industry
I am interested in the boating industry, and on my visit to the world’s largest boat fair, Boot Düsseldorf, this week, I wanted to find out how sustainable boating could eventually appeal to the mass market.
At Boot Düsseldorf, the pioneers of electric boating are entering the front line of the exhibition.
The Swedish electric hydrofoil boat Candela C-8 was announced as European Power Boat of the Year 2023 at the European Powerboat Awards. The Awards are known as the “Oscars of the boating industry.”
They have teamed up with the electric performance and car manufacturer, Polestar, to solve the barrier of electric reach and drive market entrance.
Unmatched electric performance
So, for the first time, a zero-emission boat is the coolest one. And it is all about performance, innovation, and design. Even though climate action is vital for Candela’s vision and business model, its marketing is directed to address the customer’s self-interest and desires. I believe they do the right thing, and I think more companies could learn from their approach to marketing green technology.
None of Tesla’s main selling points pointed directly to climate. It was a part of the company’s “why” and central to its founders. However, market communication was all about performance, design, and lifestyle.
Similarly, as the first-ever full-electric boat to win the performance award, Candela means more to promoting sustainable boating than any marketing focusing primarily on climate.
The Norwegian Evoy uses the tagline“Irresistible boating” in their marketing. And the Bård Eker design (prominent Norwegian designer) of their new 300 hp outboard engine pushes all the right buttons for me as a potential buyer. It is green, but it doesn’t “look green.”
Bill Springer is a senior contributor at Forbes. Recently he reported on the progress Candela and Polestar are making to help protect the health of our oceans.
In his latest Forbes column, he predicts that “worldwide adoption of this waterborne technology is only a matter of time for one simple reason – Candela building some of the coolest boats in the world that also happens to be some of the greenest.”
To be enthusiastic about the green future, we need to visualize the future as better than what we have today. This should be reflected in the marketing of green products and green services.
For the boating industry, following the insight from behavioral economics, the path to follow is this: To make electric leisure boats more desirable than traditional gas-powered boats so that we can save the environment, whether people care about it or not.