If I asked you what Girl Scouts sell, your almost-instantaneous reply would be “cookies.” And you would be right – in part. The Scouts have capitalized on the popularity of their product and the proliferation of brand extensions everywhere to move beyond cookies into a multitude of products featuring their famous Thin Mint and Samoa (coconut & caramel) flavors.

You can now purchase Thin-Mint-flavored chickpea snacks, Coffeemate flavored creamer, gum, yogurt cereal, tea and ice cream sandwiches. Samoa fans can find the flavor in ice cream, cupcakes, Coffeemate, and gum. Their peanut butter chocolate cookies also come as yogurt. Instead of selling cookies, they have morphed into licensing flavors.

The Girl Scouts have also expanded beyond partnerships to sell additional items directly. Troops can offer chocolate raisins, fruit slices, caramels and toffee in addition to their delectable cookie assortment. Their brand extension offers lessons to women about how to take an established core product and leverage the brand beyond the item itself.

Think about what strength in your organization can benefit from partnerships or direct growth. Capitalize on the reputation of the old to make it into something new, yet familiar.

Thanks, Wendy!

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