Enhancing Adoption of Sustainable Product Innovations: Addressing Reduced Performance with Risk-Reducing Product Modifications

Abstract

Past studies have shown that the probability of the successful diffusion of sustainable product innovations is strikingly low. A potentially promising marketing strategy to reduce negative consumer perceptions of sustainable product innovations is risk-reducing product modifications (RPMs), which account for behavioral adjustments and performance uncertainties by employing an additional component that uses established technology. This research strives to empirically test the potential positive effects of RPMs using two studies on electric vehicles with and without range extenders as prime examples of RPM: (1) an online survey of potential adopters and (2) a postadoption survey of early adopters. The results show that RPMs increase the adoption of sustainable product innovations. Consumers’ tendency to overestimate their true needs and their need for insurance against insufficient performance explain the effectiveness of RPM.

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