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Girl Scouts: new image, new energy

Girl Scouts: new image, new energy

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Girl Scouts logo
Girl Scouts logo. (Courtesy photo)

We're eating more Girl Scout cookies, but few from the next generation want to sell them.

Only about one in 10 girls is involved with the national Girl Scouts.

After reports of declining membership, the national organization launched a new brand campaign in July to reach out to more girls.

"Girl Scouts of the USA decided they needed to revitalize and reenergize the brand so they could appeal to a new generation of girls," said Theresa Cassaday, chief communications officer for Girl Scout Spirit of Nebraska.

"Today, 80 percent of female CEOs have been Girl Scouts," said Michelle Tompkins, spokeswoman for Girl Scouts of the USA. "We want to make people know the importance of Girl Scouts."

To make itself more attractive to 21st century girls, Girl Scouts redesigned its 30-year-old logo and color palette. They plan to put a clearer focus on teaching leadership - it's not just about selling cookies and earning badges.

The original logo was created in 1970s by legendary graphic designer Saul Bass. The new logo is similar but edgier. The logo girl has bangs and a sleeker neckline. The name Girl Scouts is all lowercase.

"There is so much brand equity in the old logo," said Cassaday. "So we refreshed the logo without completely changing it."

As national membership was declining, marketing research concluded that people thought Girl Scouts were nice but not relevant.

Research also found that Hispanics knew little about the organization, so Girl Scouts created a Spanish advertising campaign.

Nebraska is in better shape than the rest of the Girl Scout councils - its membership increased 3 percent this year.

During the past 10 years, Nebraska membership has been up and down, increasing in 2004 and then declining until this year.

There are about 18,500 Girl Scout members in the state and 6,500 adult members.

"We are fortunate to still have girls interested in it," said Cassaday.

The brand transformation will occur over 12 to 16 months in Nebraska's council, which will try to connect with girls through websites and social media. Tompkins said Nebraska's Girl Scout website is one of the most cutting edge Girl Scout sites in the country.

If learning money management skills in the $700 million cookie business isn't appealing to today's youth, Girl Scouts hopes leadership training and experiences will be.

Reach Alissa Skelton at 402-473-2682 or


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