Putting the Carrot Before the Stick
Nonprofit organization sets goal of helping businesses achieve their environmental and social impact in communities
Carrotmob is an innovative nonprofit with the goal of assisting businesses in achieving their environmental and social impact goals. It’s crowdsourcing through “buycotts”. Organizers make an agreement with a business. Carrotmobbers are invited to spend money on a designated day at that business (thus the carrot). The business holds up its end of the agreement and makes a measurable social or environmental improvement. It’s a chance to vote on change with your money!
Campaigns are structured in the form of IF and THEN. A successful example in Thailand went like this … IF at least 500 students shop at Villa Market on a certain date, THEN Villa Market will embrace a permanent policy of not giving out plastic bags at their store, supporting a sustainable Thailand.
IF consumers spend $150,000 at Thanksgiving Coffee Company, THEN they will attempt to be the first company in today’s world transporting coffee beans with wind-powered ships instead of oil fuel container ships. Ahoy!
IF the Carrotmob brings a minimum of 200 patrons on a Wednesday night, THEN Farmers Gastropub in Springfield, Missouri will use 100% of profit earned towards their hydroponic greenhouse budget.
Over 20 countries have achieved a world of good using this Carrotmob organizational campaign style. Carrotmob’s inaugural event yielded enough money for K & D Market, a San Francisco liquor store, to completely retrofit its lighting system. K & D Market agreed to invest 22% of revenue into energy efficient upgrades. With 400 shoppers, the goal was met and K & D Market is still reaping the savings benefit.
Campaigns are to address issues under the following categories: Civil Liberties, Climate Change, Environment, Fair Trade, Food, Health/Safety, Human Rights, Jobs/Workplace, Local Economy and Social Justice.
Having designed, promoted, followed up and shared over 250 campaigns, Carrotmob is ready to branch out into larger company campaigns, hoping to effect improvements in social and environmental policies on a global scale.
The first step towards that goal is the recent, exciting sign-on of Unilever, a company already committed to aggressive eco-friendly goals. Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan is an ambitious mission plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, waste and water by 50% by 2020. Going beyond their front door, Unilever’s suppliers must adhere to strict environmental practices as well.
Unilever will hope to gain brand loyalty for products like Q-tips, Dove and Ben & Jerrys, though the first Carrotmob product has not been announced yet. Initial steps with a large company like Unilever, will likely entail a consumer focus group via webinar to learn which products consumers are likely to support in the crowdsourcing format, and which type of company pledges would most inspire the Carrotmob. It’s a dynamic marketing partnership concept, forming emotional bonds with consumers while achieving remarkable goals.
We could use some Carrotmobs in NJ! If you’re a willing organizer or a business with a great improvement idea, be creatively proactive and find out how to be part of the Carrotmob on the giving or receiving end. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A quote from Carrotmob’s website sums up their endeavors … “In a boycott, everyone loses. In a Carrotmob, everyone wins.”