Think Outside the Industry: How the Girl Scouts Make Cookies an Event

Cookies and community, what’s not to love?

I don’t know about you, but my grocery store has an entire aisle dedicated to cookies. Every kind you can imagine, including near-perfect knock-offs of every Girl Scout cookie variety.

But that doesn’t stop me, and plenty of other people, from looking forward to buying Girl Scout cookies every year. What’s their secret? How do they get millions of people to eagerly and happily shell out for something they could easily pick up at the store whenever they want? Two words: community and scarcity.

Writer Tom Popomaronis explains more at

“Why buy Joe Schmoe’s Peanut Butter Goodie Crunch at the store if you can get Girl Scout cookies and give back to your community? Why scarf Minty Chocolate Joys when, with Thin Mints, you also support a group that teaches girls independence and empowering skills? And besides. Girl Scout cookies are mysterious. Precious. You could get a Whatisthis Sandwich with Chocolate Drizzle any time. But Girl Scout cookies are here only for a limited time. You’d be silly to pass that up, right? Just take a look at Google’s inevitable search spike every year — we seriously can’t get enough of them!”

The good news is in many ways, live entertainment works off the same ideas of community and scarcity. When someone attends a local event, they’re supporting the community and interacting with their neighbors. And when a live event is done, it’s done — so scarcity is definitely a factor there, too.

Tell us, are you playing up these ideas in your marketing? Share your thoughts on Twitter or Facebook.

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