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strike up the brand

Girl Scouts' New Look

Posted by Barry Silverstein on July 14, 2010 04:00 PM

The Girl Scouts of the USA has been an iconic social service organization that has appealed to generations — but now it wants to make sure that appeal continues well into the future.

The organization just unveiled new branding that is intended to "revitalize and energize" the brand, according to Kathy Cloninger, CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA. Cloninger says one in 10 American girls participates in Girl Scouting. "With our new brand work," she says, "we think we have the right message at the right time."

Chief Marketing Officer Laurel Richie is a little more blunt about it, telling ABC News, "We heard that our logo looked a little tired, weathered, worn and discolored. Like it had been out on the picnic table all summer."

The makeover includes a new visual identity, including a reworked Girl Scouts trefoil mark and logo, along with a revised color palette that uses a more vibrant shade of green. The contemporary color scheme echoes the YMCA's new rebranding from red and black to a spectrum of cheery colors.

The organization also plans a "360-degree marketing program" that will integrate online, place-based and traditional media. New ads feature the refreshed branding and tout sports with Serena Williams, career ambitions with a space-based ad, and community commitment.

It's all about "repositioning Girl Scouts with a message that is relevant to girls and the lives they lead today," says Richie. "Our research revealed that while many girls and parents knew about us, they had a very limited view of us."

Read that as cookies -- it is the $700 million Girl Scout cookies business that most people recognize. "We offer so much more than that," says Richie, "and this new work is designed to let people know about all the new and exciting things girls do every day as Girl Scouts."

Even the cookies are getting an update, as they'll be sold door-to-door with some stylin' new bags, below.

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Reed Botwright Canada says:

I like the new look and consistency, but I wish they had put a little more effort into the logo. They added bangs to the girl in the foreground? They could have cleaned it up a lot more and made it more hip and cool for the youth market. Make it so that girls want to join because of the branding.

July 14, 2010 04:37 PM #

Shirley Brady, Editor, Brandchannel United States says:

Thanks for the comment, Reed, and you're right: the logo refresh *is* subtle... how could the Girl Scouts have pushed this more? The bags certainly have a Kid Robot air (though that may not have been what they were aiming for.)

Any other designers reading this, please weigh in. Agree with Reed?

July 14, 2010 05:38 PM #

Bill Backus United States says:

I'm a little disappointed that OCD actually developed this. OCD is a really good design firm that I've come to respect - especially their simple clean design and use of space with a couple of their interior projects. So when I came across this new girl's scout identity revamp - I was quit shocked.

I'm not sure that the new look would appeal to their audience, especially in today's world. The icon is a little more abrasive than I think I would have gone for. I mean I like that they pulled from the heritage of the brand for the shield shape, but the consumer really won't recognize that today, especially their target.

As for the bangs, they just don't work at a smaller scale. I think a little highlight to the hair would have been a better approach, or perhaps looking into teen urban fashion with hair styles - maybe even giving the girls a new makeover would have been cool too. You know, different icons the GIrl Scouts can use to communicate to the different styles of young girls out there today. I do, however, appreciate the details in the profile of the new shape. There is something a little more appealing to them - a nice, yet very subtle, touch.

In terms of the wordmark - lower case, really? There is no emotional pull to this revamp brand. The bags, no matter what the look or design would have been, of course is going to make the cookies have that cool little wow factor for the consumer purchasing them. "Wow little Sue from next door, I like your new cookie bag." (okay that was a very bad impression of my senior citizen neighbor - love you Nonna Smile

July 14, 2010 06:54 PM #

Heather Bennett United States says:

I was also a bit underwhelmed by the redesign. I was a girl scouter back in the day and didn't identify much with the logo then either. It is nice to have a bit grander trefoil overall shape, but I agree with previous commenters that the faces and hair could have been updated more. It seems completely out of touch with today's girls. Reminds me of when "Breck" was the shampoo of choice...

My guess is that Girl Scouts gave the firm way too many constraints. Did they even consider options that were out there? I can imagine their criteria, "slight refresh; especially the color." Edgy should definitely not be part of their brand personality, but relevant is.

July 15, 2010 09:42 AM #

مقالات تقنية Albania says:

how will be sports coaching in u.k in different seasons?

July 15, 2010 11:26 AM #

Kathy Cox United States says:

I was a Girl Scout as a youth and a leader for six years as an adult. I am also a professional marketing and brand strategist.

A brand is so much more than a logo. The Girl Scouts need to work on their relevancy especially after the girls leave elementary school. There is a large drop-off as the girls enter their teens when they could use the Girl Scouts as a safe haven. My son went through Boy Scouts all through high school.

The "refreshment" of their logo represents their lack of understanding of their market and their needs. While I would expect and demand the incorporation of their iconic symbol, it is just a tweak rather than a true rebrand. The Girl Scouts should look at their entire brand and then address their look and logo.

July 15, 2010 02:19 PM #

IMM United States says:

Re-brand…really?  Frankly, I am having difficulty seeing the difference between the OLD and the NEW; as a result, I suggest you go back to the drawing board.

No worries, I still love your cookies and will continue to buy them.  If you are going to give me a bag, please be sure it was made with recycled material or else you have missed the mark there too!

Since we are in modern times, you could have added a tag line as part of you new logo.  Now that is an idea!

Nevertheless, good luck ensuring that people identify with your new logo.

July 15, 2010 05:50 PM #

nancy white United States says:

Actually, I don't think those are cookie bags. I'm in communications at a GS council, and we were told those are for sales of GS merchandise in our shops - like uniforms, t-shirts, etc.

July 16, 2010 04:05 PM #

David Veal United States says:

Okay, so the new logo should be a girl on a cookie with a bite taken out - strategically leaving the girls face in tact of course. Just sayin the cookies are the best think about the Girl Scouts, second only to the girls learning leadership and having fun of course. Um, I guess that brings up the question: Which cookie?

July 17, 2010 07:43 PM #

shankar India says:

great thinks

July 18, 2010 03:23 AM #

John Mindiola III United States says:

I'm actually a fan of the new look. I think the bangs and the straightened, elongated necks may be trying to hard, but overall it's a step in the right direction. The web site, though, leaves much to be desired. I hope this is a transitional situation, where it's not finished yet. As much effort went into the identity and rebrand, I wish just as much would have been poured into the site. There's an opportunity to make this site a truly special spot for the girls and young women to frequent.

July 19, 2010 12:25 PM #

Rachel United States says:

At first glance I didnt event notice the added bangs and elongated neck. The elongated necks actually freak me out a bit.  

I do like the white bag, but the second one leaves something to be desired. Why not make the logo the center of attention? Put the cookie names around it, make a flower-the words are the stem and leaves, do something besides lines and names in rainbow colors.

I believe they could have done something really great if they had some fun with the font.
I am all about tradition, but the logo is the logo-people recognize the logo, but the font-it isnt a logotype a la Coca-Cola, so mix it up some more!

July 19, 2010 04:34 PM #

Need a little help United States says:

As an active adult Girl Scout I have supported the "change to grow" initiatives from GSUSA over the past 10 years.  With this change I am struggling to find answers for participants I train when they ask "why is the organization I love and support no longer seeing the words Girl Scouts as a proper name?"  I look forward to a reply and expect that others are looking for the same answers.  

July 20, 2010 08:10 AM #

Jo-Ann Bafaro United States says:

As a 45 year Lifetime member and a Volunteer forever.... why are we constantly trying to change our logo and look?  Did it ever appeal to you the Boy Scouts do NOT change their look and they are still going strong?  There is something to be said for the TRADITIONAL Trefoil that Juliette Gordon Low founded Scouts with... there is a meaning to the Trefoil and what it stands for... much more than the two faces.  It's fine that we are constantly updating our programs; that is hard enough to keep up with.  But we need some tradition to our pins logos.. we need some tradition in our pins and image.  This constant change is NOT good.  It does not bode well with our national standing.  We need to look at that in terms of WHO WE ARE and WHAT JULIETTE LOW STARTED.  WHY are we changing that LOGO from what SHE STARTED when that had a true meaning?  When we start explaining that in the upcoming Anniversary year are we going to lose something in the translation to the girls????????????? Or is all of this just to make money???

July 21, 2010 07:58 AM #

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