Delicious Lessons From Cookie Sales

lessons from cookie sales

It’s Girl Scout Cookie Season, and we can’t help but think of how well they’ve been nailing this whole marketing thing for years. Why do they stand out? What makes them so successful? Why do we feel the need to buy 20 boxes every year? Let’s discuss…

Scarcity Creates Demand

Just like toilet paper in a pandemic, buying one, small $4 box of cookies is almost impossible. The narrow window of opportunity creates a sense of urgency to not only buy, but to stock up. Otherwise, you face the very frightening risk of tasting regret instead of cookies. In the months without cookie sales, the buyers’ anticipation only builds for the next season.

Lesson: Even if your product is sold year-round, special (valuable and infrequent) sales or bonus add-ons may help boost your sales.

Motivated Sales People are Creative Sales People

Another thing that makes Girl Scout Cookies stand out from the competition is their salespeople, motivated by badges, exciting activities, and bragging rights. Girl Scouts use their relationships to promote and grow their business, and they put a competitive focus on creativity and market research.

One troop set up their table at the car line for the ferry during peak hours. Others made rap videos on social media. When salespeople are motivated, they dig deep for the winning plan.

Lesson: There’s no cookie-cutter (we’re hilarious) approach to sales. Thoughtful creativity will take you far, but your salespeople must be motivated.

Good Will Promotes Positive Emotion

Feeling good about your decisions doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with buying and eating 10 boxes of cookies, but Girl Scout Cookies give you that rare chance to do both. This is also the way they’re able to charge higher prices for fewer cookies than the grocery store. It’s easy to rationalize because the money is going right back into your community.

Lesson: Help your audience feel good about where their money is going.

Excellence + Consistency = WIN 

At the end of the day, we have to admit, the cookies are delicious. The Girl Scouts are constantly doing product testing and making improvements—always focused on delivering the best product possible. But they don’t change much. The tried-and-true cookies, the treats you pine for year-round, remain. You know what to look for when you get the order form, and you delight in the familiarity of seeing your faves.

Lesson: Consistently doing what you do well will create brand loyalists.

Whether your business sells via door-to-door canvassing or sets up shop in high-traffic areas, take a page from the Girl Scout Cookie sales playbook and see how you can apply these lessons to your team. With just a few extra ingredients in your sales process, you’ll be tasting success in no time!