Now that the term “flash mob” is becoming part of the mainstream vocabulary as the videos of spontaneous dance routines go viral, business owners may want to become familiar with Carrotmobs. The concept of a Carrotmob is simple: socially conscious customers reward responsible businesses with a “buying frenzy” on a given day if the business commits to using the additional profits towards “green” initiatives.
Stewart explained that each Carrotmob first starts with reviewing applications from interested business owners. The bar has been set that business selected will use 100% of the day’s profits to improve their impact on the environment and sustainable business practices. The extra money will be used on a wide range of upgrades, including compact-fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, new windows, and energy-efficient equipment upgrades.
Stewart went on to say that the businesses that participate often already have a list of green projects, and just need a bump in working capital* to help get the ball rolling.
A Carrotmob event produces a financial impact beyond the single day: Unlike social-shopping trends like Groupon, a Carrotmob brings in new customers that are paying full price on their purchases and often tend to make an extra selection, knowing that additional profit is being used for environmentally-responsible changes. This additional exposure, plus the long-term savings from an increase sustainability, means the mob is just the starting point for a lot of benefits down the line.
As a Manchester resident, I had the opportunity to be a customer to the New England’s first Carrotmob at a local bakery. Arriving late in the day, after most of the rush, the exhausted-looking owner told me that a typical Saturday would be 60-70 customers. By the time I walked through the door, the bakery had already seen 300 customers, and I often will make the extra effort to be a patron.
If you had the opportunity to have a friendly-mob swarm your business for the day, would you commit the day’s profits?
Photo credit to littlekata at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1309333
*Working capital not available in the following states: AK, DE, ND, VT