The Girl Scout Cookie Campaign is the biggest annual fundraiser for the world’s largest organization dedicated to all girls. Can Girl Scouts use simple marketing strategies when selling their cookies? My granddaughter’s Girl Scout troop conducted a Women in Business Seminar. I had the opportunity, along with two other professional women to share with the troop and their mothers, what we do in our business.
To help the young ladies understand the logistics of implementing simple marketing strategies in their Girl Scout Cookie Campaign, I presented the following four questions for them to write down, think about and better understand what the process of marketing is all about:
1. What strategies do you use when selling your Girl Scout cookies?
2. What do you do to get new customers to buy your cookies?
3. Why is customer loyalty important to you?
4. Is it a good idea to send a thank you note to the people buying your Girl Scout cookies?
Some of their current selling strategies include going door to door, giving their order forms to their parents to solicit orders from their friends and co-workers, as well as setting up tables outside of local businesses to sell on site. Although the troop didn’t quite meet their goal for cookie sales prior to this seminar, we went over some basic selling strategies on how to prepare for increased sales next year. Here are seven useful tips:
- Pre-selling and generating excitement, at least a month before you are to begin taking orders.
- Be sure to keep a record of your total amount of boxes sold and sales generated from the year before.
- Know what your cookie goals are, compared to last years.
- Do not wear out the same customers every year to buy over and over again. You need to find new customers.
- Send a thank you note or create a simple one to give to each person buying cookies from you when you deliver them.
- Keep a record of what your best selling to your least selling variety is.
- Think about selling your leftover boxes at flea markets. You can partner with other troop members to invest in a table if the entire troop does not participate. If everyone doesn’t participate, then don’t let that stop you. Be savvy!
Brand awareness or “branding” (a name, term, symbol or other feature that distinguishes products and services from competitive offerings), is evident through the Girl Scout Logo, the Girl Scout Name, pictures of scout members represented on the outside of the cookie box, the Girl Scout website and mission statement.
The Girl Scout Cookie Campaign helps to promote essentials of marketing, such as setting goals, customer service and money management that leads to courage, confidence and character. Thinking outside of the cookie box, will help them to develop better planning, execution and follow-up of their sales techniques now, which will be a great helpmate in whatever their career endeavors may be in the future. These strategic marketing tips can also be applied to Boy Scout fundraising campaigns.