Marketing Like A Girl Scout

Who doesn’t like Girl Scout cookies? Every year, like clockwork, those delicious, diet-busting pieces of awesomeness can be found on sale in front of your local supermarket, perhaps door to door if you’re lucky, or even by parental proxy in the break room at work (sure, a lot of companies have “no selling personal stuff” policies in place, but those things can be circumvented, trust me!).

couple of marketing geniuses girl scout

Pictured here: a couple of marketing geniuses

But do you know that you can actually learn some marketing strategies from the Girl Scouts? Is it possible that those purveyors of delectable treats are also keyed into some common sense marketing wisdom? As it happens, the answer is yes. To wit …

Timing Is Everything

Do you know when Girl Scout cookies start to go on sale? As the article “How To Sell A Ton Of Girl Scout Cookies” points out, it’s February, which is quite possibly one of the most miserable months of the year. It’s the depressing dead of winter, the holidays are over, the Super Bowl has come and gone, baseball season has yet to begin, and life just isn’t worth living.

Can you imagine trying to sell Girl Scout cookies during the Christmas shopping season? There’s way too much competition for those dollars! Summer is bad too; everyone’s going off on vacation, school’s out, and people’s interest is in lighter, cooler fare.

No, we all need something to get us through February, and Girl Scout cookies are there to help us.

Marketing Something People Actually Want

When you get right down to it, those cookies sell themselves. Again, who doesn’t like Girl Scout cookies? They’re awesome, and people want them. They don’t want Girl Scout doilies, or Girl Scout candles. No, bring on the cookies, dammit!
On a related note, people want these cookies because they recognize the Girl Scout brand as one that promises a good product. That’s why building brand recognition is another important aspect of marketing; people need to not only know that your product exists, but that it’s synonymous with quality. Few marketers want their goods and services to be recognized world-wide as being awful.

Offer The Customer Choices

There isn’t one Girl Scout cookie … there are usually at least a half dozen flavors to choose from, so there’s sure to be something there for everyone. By offering a product that comes in many varieties, you increase the likelihood that you will achieve widespread appeal.

Make The Customer Feel Good

When you buy Girl Scout cookies, you’re helping to raise funds for the Girl Scout organization itself, an organization that does a lot of good for young girls as they go through the process of growing up. And of course, the Girl Scouts themselves often embark on projects to help the community at large. So, every box purchased is a way of helping the girls help themselves and others, and that makes the customer feel like they’re doing something good (which, of course ,they are), and this in turn creates feelings of well-being and satisfaction. While it’s not always possible to tie in one’s products with a good cause, with a little imagination, the odds are good that you can pull it off.

So as you can see, Girl Scout cookie selling is not only a means of providing us with delicious treats; it’s a way of learning how to be a successful marketer. For some more marketing insights check out “Customer Loyalty In Digital Marketing”. Now, how about putting me down for a couple of boxes of cookies, eh?

Photo Credit: 2014 02 08 Girl Scout Cookie Crunch

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Born and raised in the Boston area, I was rocketed to New Hampshire, where under the Granite State's yellow sun and lack of income tax, I have gained the powers of super-sarcasm, brilliant creativity, and slightly disturbing sense of humor.

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