The box pictured above holds the packaging associated with one very basic GoPro kit, specifically:
- GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition
- GoPro Battery BacPac
- GoPro Dual Battery Charger
- GoPro Wall Charger
- GoPro 3.5mm Mic Adapter
Here’s what all of that gear looks like outside of the packaging...
To the team at GoPro, your products are fantastic and have improved with each release, but your packaging is terribly excessive and unfriendly to the environment, which is particularly disappointing given the efforts you’ve made to associate your brand with the great outdoors. I had hoped you’d improve things with the new GoPro HERO4, but you haven’t.
I understand that shelf appeal is incredibly important, but Apple, an outfit that knows a thing or two about selling gadgets, has proven that it’s possible to do the right thing for the environment and connect with consumers and increase profits. Here’s a snippet from the company’s Environmental Report for the iPhone 6—a product that’s so popular, it has a measurable impact on the GDP of the United States:
The packaging for iPhone 6 is highly recyclable, and its retail box is made primarily from bio-based materials … In addition, the iPhone 6 packaging is extremely material efficient, allowing 50 percent more units to be transported in an airline shipping container compared to the first-generation iPhone.
So, not only is smaller, more material-efficient packaging better for the environment, it also means you can transport more devices per shipping container, thereby reducing costs (and generate less CO2 per unit, to boot). It’s all good!
I know that change can be hard, so how’s this for a start: Work with Amazon.com to create a “Frustration-Free” version of your packaging. I’m willing to bet that Amazon drives a reasonable percentage of your sales and, given that shelf appeal doesn’t matter when you’re buying online, it would be a great way to start reducing the environmental impact of your packaging without risking sell-through.
I hope you recognize that this post isn’t intended as a “hit piece.” I genuinely like your products and have bought several GoPro cameras over the past few months. But the excessiveness of your packaging has led me to actively seek out alternatives—even though switching would mean flushing my significant investment in GoPro accessories down the toilet. I would very much prefer to stick with your ecosystem, but I’m willing to take a hit to my wallet so that I can live my values.
If you agree that GoPro should reduce the environmental impact of their packaging, please let them know by Tweeting @GoPro with the hashtag #GoProCanDoBetter. They won’t change until they see that this is something customers and prospective customers care about.