Branding I know is all the rage as I guess it should be. We all knwo that big brands like Coca Cola, American Airlines, LA Lakers, and McDonalds can make money in a large part due to their history and if they occasionally do not live up to their good name they can get away with it. Well today there is an opposite of this that I want to write about. And that is the Boy Scouts.
Boy Scouts – The Strongest Kids Brand in the World
The Boy Scouts has been around for just over 100 years and are in almost every country in the world. When I was a kid I was in the scouts along with lots of kids that I went to school with. Scouting is a fantastic experience where you learn such diverse things as independence, cooperation, leadership, and skills.And I am hoping that I will get my son involved next year when he is old enough to appreciate it.
OK, so her is where I am going to get into some hot water. Let it be known that my wife thinks I am crazy with this.
The Scouting movement, here in Canada anyway is working to ruin their brand.
While the Girl Guides have been selling cookies for many years as a method of fund raising and a lot of the good will that people think of with Girl Guides is the cookies, the scouting movement has moved towards selling popcorn. Now I know that people associate making cookies with little girls learning how to cook from their mothers in a kitchen, I have no idea where Boy Scouts and carmel popcorn is supposed to be a male equivalent.
This is not the only reason that I think that this form of fund raising is not an enhancement to the Boy Scout brand although I think that any kind of fund raising really needs to be aligned with the image as well as the goals and vision of an organization to the public. The bigger problem is the popcorn prices.
When the girls come by twice a year to sell me the cookies they are different kinds each time and everyone has their favorite, you know the mint or the chocolate and vanilla depending on the time of year and you do know that they are $4 a box but you ask anyway, and know that they are just a little more than they should be and are to help the girls raise money.
On the other hand the Boy Scouts sell a small bag of popcorn, that is kind of generic for $20. People are going to think twice before dropping $20 for popcorn but becasue it is the Boy Scouts we cut them some slack and buy the popcorn anyway.
This is a classic example of abusing a brand. We buy the popcorn and then resent that we got suckered for it, and then feel bad becasue after all it is the Boy Scouts.
There is no way to keep these feelings together and that is why it bugs me so much. We all wnat to help kids but we all feel taken advantage of. How long will it be 2 years, 5 years, or maybe next year that we see kids in Boy Scout uniforms walking the streets and we will hide bhind the door pretending that we are not home so that we do not have to say no.
And then they will have killed the brand.