Girl Scouts Salutes Hispanic Market

Girl Scouts Salutes Hispanic Market

By Barry Silverstein

BrandChannel.com – April 13, 2011

Count the Girl Scouts of the USA among the national organizations and advertisers who value the Hispanic population as having major growth potential.

The marketing-savvy Girl Scouts recently started a national media campaign that focuses on Hispanic and multicultural recruitment, for a very simple reason: Hispanic communities have one of the only girl populations in the United States that is growing.

Reaching that market is crucial to the nearly 100-year old organization, which currently counts one in 10 American girls as members.

In fact, this isn't the first time the Girl Scouts has made a concerted effort to engage the Hispanic community. When the organization launched a major rebranding initiative last year, it also developed Spanish-language advertising to target the Hispanic market.

Girl Scouts of the USA secured more than $10 million in donated exposure in Spanish-language media ranging from Telemundo to People en Espanol. Laurel Richie, CMO at Girl Scouts of the USA, said at the time that repositioning Girl Scouts was important to make it "relevant to girls and the lives they lead today. To some degree, our brand had faded and our research revealed that while many girls and parents knew about us, they had a very limited view of us."

Obviously, Hispanic girls were an integral part of the rebranding strategy.

As early as 2004, the Girl Scouts recognized the importance of this target audience; at that time, the organization released Conexiones: Girl Scouts and the Hispanic Community Collaborating for Success, a comprehensive resource it for Girl Scout councils to be used in local communitites.

Local Girl Scouts organizations are following suit by leveraging the new national media campaign. Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, for example, which covers 32 counties in the state and serves 40,000 girls, is launching a new bilingual website and recreating print materials on a local level with the help of language services provider TransPerfect.

The council plans to extend its Hispanic initiative by developing relevant communication for Hispanic parents and girls across all channels of the Web, as well as in print. Hispanic Welcome Initiative tools will be developed for welcome kits, volunteer brochures and flyers.

Gwyneth Lloyd, chief program officer, Hispanic Welcome Initiative, for the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, says the reason for the strategy is simple: it reflects the council's service area. "In Northeast Texas, we create the infrastructure to support our Hispanic families and begin to build a membership base that reflects the demographics of the communities we serve."