Diet, exercise and cookies? What gives?

It’s the first of the year and Americans are being bombarded with messages about losing weight and getting in shape. It happens every year. And right in the middle of this fitness craze comes the Girl Scouts with their cookies. It happens every year.

Thin mints. Samoas. Tagalongs. Are you kidding me! The Girl Scouts are killing me. Besides the fact that these cookies are sabotaging my efforts to drop some pounds, why do they continue to market them at this time of the year? I know it is tradition, but is it smart marketing.

Want to buy some cookies! Parents will be bringing the order forms through the office. Bright-eyed little girls will be accosting us outside the local Wal-Mart. And let’s not forget the few brave ones that still come to your door.

You can even go online and enter your ZIP code to find the council nearest you because these cookies are sold by girls from individual Girl Scout councils…not through some Web marketing strategy or a series of direct mail campaigns.

This is good-old grassroots marketing….feet on the streets to put cookies in our bellies. It’s a common solution for marketing non profit organizations like the Girl Scouts of the USA.

And since cookies and milk are such good friends I’m sure the National Dairy Council must love this time of year. Milk consumption has to see a spike as our willpower wanes and waistlines expand.

That said, pour me a glass but please rethink your go-to-market strategy and move cookie sales to the fall when most of us in the northern states are bulking up for the winter months. Not when we are trying to shed our winter weight. But don’t take my word. Do a market research study. Qualitative research like the Dairy Council conducted to create the “Got Milk” campaign which improved sales after 15 years with no growth. If you’re the quantitative type, I’m sure would welcome the opportunity, especially if you throw in some Do-si-dos.

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