Businesses are still struggling as we claw our way out of the recession but if we look around we can occasionally catch a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. And once in a while those tunnel lights appear in unusual places, perhaps just to make us smile. A twelve-year old girl set up a card table outside a medical marijuana clinic and sold like a million boxes of cookies in about twenty minutes. And all of those to about fifteen people. Now, while I have admittedly rounded up, this is business acumen at its finest. Nobody walks out of a marijuana clinic and says no to a cookie. They’re more like, “I’ll have 2 of those, 3 of that one and every damn box of Samoas you have.” “Noooo, you can’t be out of Thin Mints.” Seriously, this is genius and the young lady should be lauded and supported. In fact, this girl should be a professor at Harvard Business School. Get rid of some of those condescending stuffed shirts that have only taught business and never been in business. Talk about giving the people what they want. This is the foundation of any good business plan. Stop trying to sell me what I don’t want and sell me what I want. And she got full retail…no discounts – no buy one, get one free and certainly – no “Dine In” only (because eventually all the patrons will fall asleep). In fact, if the Girl Scouts also sold Cheetos, her local 7-11 would have gone out of business.
And, of course, as with any good idea, somebody is not happy with it. Even the Girl Scouts Council is frowning on it but oddly, I don’t see them giving any of the cookie money back so it’s most likely just corporate posturing. They know a good thing when they see it. It’s not like they suddenly forgot that adults are the people with the money. There’s a reason the girls are not selling cookies outside your local Montessori school on the off chance some nine-year old is walking around with 4 bucks in his pocket, yearning for a box of Tagalongs. You have to go where your customers are. Nobody runs off to Alaska to buy beach chairs just like nobody asks the French for tips on a good deodorant. And the Girl Scouts are nothing if not good marketers. They tested a gluten-free cookie this year and have sold out nationally; not because that many of us are gluten-free but it’s become avant-garde to pretend to be gluten-free.
What started as a bake sale by a couple of Oklahoma farm girls almost a hundred years ago has grown into nearly a billion dollar a year proposition…tax free. Believe me; they’re not slaughtering that cash cow. So with their corporate face they say the girls are not supposed to set up shop outside any adult-oriented businesses like liquor stores and casinos but I’m pretty sure the cookie money is still going to the bank. And it’s pretty innocent isn’t it? It’s not like they’re dropping a lottery ticket or a pack of Marlboros inside each box. They’re selling cookies for crying out loud. It’s not like they’re camped out in front of a strip club selling coupons for lap dances. Anyway, I’m pretty sure they don’t have a badge for that. I occasionally buy wine at Safeway and they’re always loitering out front trying to sell me a box of Do-si-Dos because they pair nicely with the bottle of Chardonnay in my bag. And aren’t the Girl Scouts all about empowering women to grow, think and become productive members of society? They “say” they don’t want parents selling the cookies for their kids and they give prizes to the girls who sell the most cookies so how do you do that and establish boundaries limiting their ingenuity? It’s like having a NASCAR race and saying you can’t go more than eight miles an hour.
It’s not really that different in business. We have thousands of products but we sell them all year long and not just in February so you can always buy that pen, keychain, desk accessory or frame without having to worry about us being out of them like they were Thin Mints. And if your client has invented a holiday or celebration, we can also custom-make almost anything you can dream to make your client’s event all it can be. And we know you want exactly what you’ve ordered so we do everything we can to learn that order and help you look good to your customers. We value our relationships and will continue to earn your business in 2014. We take our business relationship seriously and we want you to enjoy, give and receive our products and be able to use them every day. We look forward to working with you in 2014 and we always have ideas to make our products work for your clients. You can also request our 2014 catalog on the Catalog page of our website and order some. And all of our new items are visible in the section of our website. The 2014 IMC catalog is also available virtually at Zoomcatalog.com if you’re tired of fighting paper catalogs. It can be viewed nicely with your laptop, iPad, tablet or phone. IMC is the recognized leader in the introduction of new retail brands to the promotional product industry and has multiple design awards from both ASI and PPAI. Since introducing Waterford® Writing Instruments and MoMA years ago, IMC has presented more than 38 retail brands from global suppliers to enhance the selections you can offer your clients. See great ideas and items from Nina Ricci, Finelife, Kikkerland, and Trendex for 2014. We invite you to browse any of our 2,500+ products on the IMC website to see items suitable for any occasion or event and pieces you can use to personalize your relationship with your clients. We have promotional products for every event, show, convention, corporate store and company program that will keep your client looking to you for new ideas. What do you think? Let us know with a comment here or on Facebook or Twitter. IMC wants to know…do you have a favorite cookie?