Chair of Marketing

Carrotmob as a New Form of Ethical Consumption. The Nature of the Concept and Avenues for Future Research

A new form of ethical consumption has recently evolved: The carrotmob. As in a flashmob, consumers collectively swarm a specific store and purchase its goods in order to reward corporate socially responsible behaviour. The present paper introduces a conceptionalization of carrotmobs that takes into account the perspective of the three relevant parties: activists, companies, and consumers. First, the paper considers activists’ objectives in initiating such a social movement. It describes how they use guerrilla tactics to foster the participation of companies and consumers. Second, the paper considers the perspective of the target company, stressing the role of corporate social responsibility and describing how companies compete in an auction to become the carrotmob target. Third, the paper highlights the consumer perspective, discussing different views on consumer power and the motivation to participate in a carrotmob. The paper also points out directions for further empirical research for each of these three perspectives.

Hoffmann, S.; Hutter, K. (2012). Carrotmob as a New Form of Ethical Consumption. The Nature of the Concept and Avenues for Future Research, Journal of Consumer Policy, 35 (2), 215-236.