Girl Scout cookies are a classic example of a food that is hard to hate. Whether you prefer Thin Mints or Peanut Butter Sandwiches, almost anyone enjoys seeing the Girl Scout delivering those boxes of delicious cookies…especially people who are stoned. In San Francisco last week, a Girl Scout and her mother sold a staggering number of boxes: 117 in just two hours. the key to this young entrepreneur’s success wasn’t a cute smile and low prices, it was location. The Girl Scout and her mother set up camp outside of a medical marijuana clinic. It is probably safe to assume that their rapid success in selling so many cookies was because of their prime location at a place where people were exiting high or with plans to be high in the near future.
This market targeting tactic on the part of the Girl Scout’s mother was a multi-faceted plan. The mother explained that she liked to sell the cookies in different environments within San Francisco in order for her daughter to experience new areas. She also thought that selling in front of a medical marijuana clinic could help to initiate an important talk with her daughter about the beneficial and harmful ways drugs are used (Allen, 2014). The official Girl Scouts organization responded to this controversial tactic through a tweet and subsequent statements, which asserted that the Girl Scouts are not allowed to sell cookies outside of adult businesses, like a pot clinic. The Girl Scout’s opposition to this particular type of selling location has sparked both opposition and support. The Girl Scouts is one of the most family-oriented and wholesome organizations in the U.S. Selling cookies in front of a marijuana clinic is not the best for their PR or reputability.
However, this innovative and extremely effective move by the San Franciscan Girl Scout mom cannot go without praise. One Colorado citizen Kim Hartman O’Donaghue questioned the distinction that the Girl Scouts organization was trying to make. O’Donaghue asked why it was acceptable for Girl Scouts to sell cookies outside of a grocery store when “grocery stores sell cigarettes and beer (Ferner, Matt).” The advantages of selling cookies outside of an establishment where many people leave hungry is pretty insightful in my opinion. I believe that the Girl Scouts brand responded in the only way that it could when to comes to avoiding a PR crisis and keeping up a respected reputation. Hopefully Girl Scouts can continue to take advantage of such unique locations, while keeping the flack away from their organization.
Allen , K. (204, Feb 24). Girl Scout sells cookies in front of marijuana clinic, does great business. Retrieved from http://prdaily.com/Main/Articles/16153.aspx
Ferner, M. (2014, Feb 24). Colorado Girl Scouts not allowed to sell cookies outside pot shops. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/24/girl-scouts-cookies-marijuana_n_4847290.html