It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time!
In 1934 the Greater Philadelphia Council became the first to contract a commercial baker. One year later the Girl Scout Federation of Greater New York purchased a die cut in the shape of the Girl Scout Trefoil and sold commercially baked trefoil cookies in a box. The next year, 1936, the National Girl Scout Organization licensed commercial bakers and 125 councils held cookie sales. Every year since new varieties, new packaging and new marketing has helped to fund girl activities.
Beginning in the late 60s the emphasis shifted somewhat from funding activities to teaching Girls about business, economics, and marketing, as more women were leaving the kitchen and entering the corporate world. The way girls sold the cookies also shifted. With the move to suburbs, commuting time and safety concerns, girls in many places could no longer ply the sidewalks of their neighborhoods and we began to see troops with tables in the malls, the new place for America to shop.
In the 80s we saw a lot of parental takeover. Moms and dads took signup sheets to their offices, girls left signup sheets in churches, synagogues, and orthodontist offices, picking them up later. Few girls were walking the streets selling one on one. More moms were working which changed the after school schedules for families. They had less “free” time and much of the “free” time was spent in commutes and driving to many activities like soccer, now available to girls. Girls lived in neighborhoods without sidewalks where they didn’t know their neighbors. There were more single parent homes, changing the dynamics of how families operated.
This year Girl Scouts introduce their new gluten free cookie and launch their new Digital Cookie Platform, designed to put the Girl Scout back in the driver seat of her own business of one-on-one selling using fun, safe and interactive online marketing, using a cookie app and ecommerce.
The first blog I ever wrote was about learning to market by selling Girl Scout Cookies. Later as a Girl Scout leader, I taught girls marketing skills. Whether selling cookies or books, the marketing dynamics are basically the same. I’m still a Girl Scout at heart, selling my books, a product I care about, to customers I care about, my readers, face-to-face. And I’m looking for a Thin Mint salesgirl