By Emma Kaden
If you’ve ever been out and about during Girl Scout Cookie season, you know about the craze—people across the country scrambling to get their hands on a box, if not many, of those delicious sugary treats. But the best part of Girl Scout Cookies isn’t the cookies —it’s the experience.
Whether you were a Girl Scout or have purchased cookies from a Girl Scout, you know that the entire marketing strategy is based on girls having face-to-face interactions with adults—those buying the cookies—and pitching their product. Tack on a limited buying window and the fact that the cookies are only available through a Girl Scout, and you have a cookie sensation that sweeps the nation.
The Girl Scout Cookie experience is about more than simply buying tasty treats, though. In “Why the Girl Scouts Are Marketing Geniuses,” Brittany Hunter, a writer and editor at Foundation for Economic Freedom, discusses why the cookie season builds life skills for Girl Scouts.
“Few children, or adults for that matter, understand the struggle of making a face-to-face sale. Pitching a product, even one you fervently believe in, is not an easy task. In fact, it takes a fair amount of courage, salesmanship, and resilience. But without the ability to make a solid and convincing elevator pitch for whatever is being sold, no entrepreneur can expect to achieve success. Luckily for the Girl Scouts, this is something these young entrepreneurs in training have mastered since they have to do it each season.
Each must also learn to utilize their network of contacts in order to sell as many cookies as possible. This means getting out of their comfort zones and pitching to adults since they are the ones with the money. And while the product is one that is well known enough to basically sell itself, pitching face-to-face is still an important skill. And since most young children are not being taught this valuable skill elsewhere, the Girl Scouts are providing an invaluable learning experience.
Cookie season also fosters an environment where the girls can learn about healthy market competition. The season itself is a competition among the girls, each attempting to sell more cookies than their friends. And since each girl is selling the same exact product, each must rely on individualized marketing strategies to sell more boxes than the other girls.”
Fostering life skills from an early age is an asset more institutions should adopt. The Girl Scout Cookie enterprise teaches girls entrepreneurial skills that they can utilize as they mature—and if we happen to get some yummy cookies in the process, well, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.