Courting younger buyers is certainly not easy, but one way marine businesses may be able to attract them is to highlight their values, such as eco-friendly business practices. Even if Millennials don't call themselves environmentalists, they still care about tending to the Earth.
Do you sell a green brand? Is your company’s plant focused on practices that reduce waste? Does your company actively participate in local efforts for water and wildlife conservation? Have you been actively working in the industry on alternative biofuels for the Renewable Fuel Standard that help the environment but don’t harm marine products?
There is likely some sort of socially conscious business practice your company is engaging in – environmental or otherwise – and those practices will give you a leg up with value-driven customers. This is especially true when trying to attract Millennials, who in general are more likely than previous generations to buy from businesses that align with their values whenever possible.
If a company’s behavior matches their ethics, great. If they don’t or if they think any of those values are without substance or “causewashing,” used solely as a tool to get them to buy products, they will refuse to spend their dollars with you.
I don’t think the industry needs a grand initiative to gain values that would attract customers – marine businesses already have them and are passionate about them. The key is to highlight those values.
Even if a Millennial can’t afford a boat today, put it in their minds now that your brand has values that align with their own. They will remember it when the time comes to buy.