Brent Schulkin has created a new way to influence business. His venture Carrotmob leverages the power of consumer dollars to bring about the change those consumers want to see. Rather than boycotting a company, people agree to spend their money on a business so long as that business agrees to make positive improvements.
“We are a category-smashing venture that is proud to have disrupted every paradigm we’ve tried to fit into and is now excited to build a lucrative, scalable business helping ordinary people re-imagine capitalism itself.”
Carrotmob founder Brent Schulkin knows that the carrot is more effective than the stick. His organization is creating a world of active change-makers who leverage their spending power to give businesses incentives to change. “It’s foolish to demonize businesses for behaving badly,” says Brent. “The smart move is to understand businesses.” Instead of boycotting a company that consumers have a problem with, Carrotmob encourages them to team up, and collectively nudge a company to make a mob-suggested change in exchange for their business.
Using an “IF” and “THEN” model, consumers and a company agree to a particular challenge. If the consumers fulfill the “IF,” the business must uphold its end of the bargain (the “THEN.”) In Thailand, for example, the challenge was this: “IF at least 500 students shop at Villa Market on 2/20, THEN Villa Market will embrace a permanent policy of not giving out plastic bags at their store, for a sustainable Thailand.” On mob day, close to 1,400 shoppers came out in support, the supermarket posted record sales, and almost two years later, they have continued the bag ban. In Honolulu, a Carrotmob-supported wine shop retrofitted its lighting and mechanical systems, and a Melbourne mob helped a restaurant create Australia’s first biodegradable crepe cone.
A successful Carrotmob is a win-win for business and consumer. Businesses who win Carrotmob campaigns often want to make changes, but can't afford them. A successful Carrotmob gives a business the funds to change, and some good PR in the process. For consumers, Carrotmob gives an opportunity to meaningfully impact how business is done.
Carrotmob leaves it up to ordinary people to seek the change they want. Although the organization vets all potential campaigns, it only gets actively involved only when it comes to large-scale efforts. So far, there have been over 250 successful campaigns in more than 20 countries. Most have focused on issues of sustainability and energy, but any improvement is fair game. Next up, the organization is looking to take on even larger companies.