The Boy Scouts of America are getting ready to allow girls as members. Bravo. Or should say Brava? Legislating inclusion is very American. If girls want to join the Boy Scouts and their parents agree, go for it. Jealousy, bullying, sexual harassment and other injustices are going to happen regardless of age, dominion or organization. It’s up to peers, adults, parents and law to adjudicate. And maybe by allowing this inclusion we’ll get a step closer to removing these behaviors.
But let’s drop the politics for just a minute and ask “What’s the best way forward for the Boy Scouts of America brand?” The easy answer would be to go to “Scouts of America.” But that might subvert the Girls Scouts.
If we look at the mission of BSA, which by the way is not on the website that I could find, the word “boy” isn’t that important. In an article I read to today, a proponent of letting girls in said “leadership” is what BSA is all about. And leadership certainly plays no gender favorites.
If girls want to be in the organization. Let them. If they decide in a few years they want a new name for the org, let them propose it. I’m okay with changing brand names for the right reasons. Strategy change is a right reason. Product change is a right reason. But I’m also a fan of brand equity. Hard won brand values, acquired over time, shouldn’t be tossed away so a marketing director or brand agency can make a mark, or a few dollars. For me, this “product change” change is not as important as the “character and values” non-change.
My gut says Boy Scouts of America is right for right now.