March 13, 2009

Disconnect? That's one blogger's take on GSUSA's branding and cookies

"New Girl Scout Brand Undermined By Health Hazard Cookies" is the headline of a blog post on Getting Attention: Helping Non-profits Succeed Through Effective Marketing.

Blog author Nancy E. Schwartz ties into the branding of Girl Scouts as fit for modern girls as brought up in a Washington Post article. (Same branding issues expected to be discussed on Friday's Today Show.) She starts off:

"I love the Girl Scouts and actually was one for a couple of years long ago. Still have a great orange layer cake recipe captured in my quest for the cooking merit badge. And now our daughter Charlotte is a Daisy (pre-Brownies).

So I was dismayed to learn that the Girl Scouts are stumbling with the introduction of their new brand. The brand (read on for details) is inconsistent with the Girl Scouts most public action -- the cookie program. As a result, instead of helping the org to move forward, it introduces doubts about the organization's credibility, values and leadership."

What gets this blogger going is that Girl Scouts do not "walk the talk" by using unhealthy cookies as a revenue generator. It's this quote in the Washington Post that Schwartz refers to:
"The biggest change is last year's debut of Journeys, a pilot curriculum that will mostly replace the system of earning badges on specific topics. Girls still will be able to earn badges if they want, but Journeys rarely mentions them, focusing instead on broader themes, including teamwork and healthy living. Rather than scouts earning a badge for cooking a single nutritious meal, for example, the books emphasize fruits and vegetables whenever food is mentioned," reports the Washington Post.
Schwartz suggests the organization needs "a revenue generator that fits its new brand - or cut healthy eating out of its talk. Or, as one commenter below suggests, recommend eating these and other cookies in moderation (there's a merit badge for you)."

At least the cookies generate lots of "healthy" discussion about Girl Scouts all over the web, right?

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