Monday, August 2, 2010

Girl Scouts to Unveil New National Brand Initiative

Girl Scouts, one of the most well-known and well-loved organizations in the nation, is revitalizing and re-energizing its brand to reach a new generation of girls. Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama (GSNCA) is scheduled to launch the new brand publicly in mid August.

After extensive research and development, Girl Scouts recently debuted a long-term, multichannel brand campaign that is designed to reacquaint the country with the iconic organization and communicate the power girls have to change the world through Girl Scouting. The campaign, known by the tagline What Did You Do Today?, is also keyed to boosting the number of girls and adult volunteers who participate in Girl Scouting annually after a period of declining membership.

“A revitalized and energized brand is absolutely essential for us and our future growth,” said Trish Coghlan, Chief Executive Officer of GSNCA. “About one out of every 16 girls within the 36 counties GSNCA serves participates in Girl Scouting and that’s a tremendous number when you think about it. But that also means that we have a great opportunity to grow even after almost 100 years. We have literally revamped our entire organization to appeal to that 94 percent of girls who aren’t benefiting from the Girl Scout leadership experience. We think we have the right message at the right time with our new brand.”

The branding, in the works as part of the organization’s comprehensive transformation that began in 2004, is composed of a striking new visual identity, which includes a distinctive trefoil mark, revised color palette, and refreshed logo that was originally created in the 1970s by the legendary designer Saul Bass. In addition, the initiative also includes plans for a 360-degree marketing program that taps the online, place-based and traditional media.

As part of the What Did You Do Today? campaign, Girl Scouts also has developed Spanish-language advertising to target the Hispanic market, one of the few girl populations in the country that is growing. GSNCA currently serves the Hispanic population through its uniquely ME! program, which combats many of the issues facing Hispanic pre-adolescent and adolescent aged girls. The core curriculum, which integrates the latest research from the Girl Scout Research Institute, consists of age appropriate booklets with information and exercises about recognizing one’s strengths and best attributes, identifying healthy media images, handling peer pressure, healthy eating habits, hygiene, general wellness, exercise and identifying core values and personal interests. The overall goal of uniquely ME! is to foster the growth of self-esteem within the realms of the participant’s intellectual, physical, psychological, social and mental development. The uniquely! Me program is set to kick-off in the Fall.

“What we’re doing with What Did You Today? is repositioning Girl Scouts with a message that is relevant to girls and the lives they lead today,” said Hilary Perry, Director of Communications and Advocacy. “To some degree, our brand had faded and our research revealed that while many girls and parents knew about us, they had a very limited view of us. While we are proud of our $3 million cookie business run by girls, we offer so much more than that, and this new work is designed to let people know about all the new and exciting things girls do every day as Girl Scouts. Our brand promise is that Girl Scouts gives every girl access to life-changing experiences that inspire her to do something big. We don’t have to look much further than our Gold Awardees to see evidence of that.”

Perry said that Girl Scouting is launching its rebranding from a position of strength because it can draw upon strong name recognition and a long legacy of leadership development. With this new campaign and the projected growth in overall girl population in the United States, Girls Scouts expects to see its membership begin to increase over the next few years. The campaign will also pave the way, Perry said, for a major effort to gain exposure during the organization’s national centennial celebration in 2012.