Wild Freeborn, an 8-year old Girl Scout in Asheville, North Carolina, has a goal: sell enough boxes of Girl Scout cookies to send her entire troop to summer camp. 12,000 boxes total. After utilizing the traditional sales techniques of her fellow Scouts — door-to-door and grocery store tables — Freeborn wanted to explore other sales opportunities, specifically, the Internet. With the help of her father, Freeborn launched a video on YouTube which directed viewers to a Web page with online ordering capabilities. Within two weeks, Freeborn received orders for over 700 boxes of cookies.
Selling products on the Internet is not new, but it is one arena the Girl Scouts have resisted. Their site www.girlscoutcookies.org, which allows visitors to locate the nearest troop selling cookies, was only launched in 2007. Freeborn was forced to pull down the video and Web page to comply with the Girl Scout’s rules, and, because “if you have an individual girl that creates a Web presence, she can suck the opportunity from other girls,” cites a Newsweek article.
Freeborn’s story serves as a reminder that in order to surpass our competition, business leaders must explore avenues that their competition is not.