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Important Information for Out of Council Troops

Marketing Awareness

Requirements for Marketing Awareness Patch
This patch is designed to help girls learn about the marketplace and to develop their personal skills in consumer shopping. The decisions you make as a consumer now, or in the future, will depend on what goods and services are available and where you buy them. A suggested idea would be to take your troop to a mall to compare stores. Recommended materials: paper, pen or pencil, and a hand held calculator.

Choose 8 requirements. Activities with an asterisk (*) MUST be completed.

1. What's at the Mall
  At your troop meeting, make up a "guess" list of stores and the type of jobs the girls think can be found inside a shopping mall. Actually go to a large mall and walk around and keep a record of the different kinds of stores and different types of employment opportunities that are there. What kind of businesses do you think should be at a mall for more shopper convenience. Ask some adults for their opinions.

* 2. Shopping Safety
  There are always lots of people in the stores. Are you always safe? Think about how you carry your money. Do you keep your money in your purse, jeans (front pocket or back), backpack or other method? What about your purchases? Are they safe next to you? Can you leave them at your table while you go for more catsup? Role-play sitting on a mall bench, eating at the table, making more purchases, using a pay phone, and see if someone could easily take your things. What about when you use a public restroom? Can you get to your car or bus safely? Do you (or your parents) park in a well-lit, visible area of the mall parking lot? Does your mall have security personnel?

3. Consumer Buying
  When you are hungry, you need food. You get sick, you go to a doctor. You live in a cold climate, you need a coat. Every person requires the necessities of food, clothing and shelter. But there are many other reasons that make you decide to buy something. They are based on wants, not needs. Write down what you have purchased over the last week. List the reason you bought each item. Discuss everyone's lists and reasons.

4. Shopping to Compare
  Select one school supply that is easily purchased everywhere, such as crayons, markers, or pens. Choose a popular brand name and size (for example: 24 pack of crayons). Check its cost in 5 different types of stores (department store, drug store, office supply store, grocery, etc.). Keep track of the store names and the cost of the item. Why do you think there are differences in price?

5. Product Research
  Visit a grocery or drug store. Select 3 types of products to compare (ex. toothpaste). Choose 5 different brands of each product on the shelves. Make a chart to record the following: How many sizes or weights does the store carry? Which size is the best buy? Does the product have more than one kind of packaging (ex. hairspray - aerosol or pump). How or where have you seen the product advertised? Does the label promise anything? Can you use a coupon or do any brands offer a rebate? Is there a special sale price?

6. Tricky Advertising
  Are the advertisers trying to trick the consumer? Collect ads from various magazines and newspapers. How are women shown in the ads? Are they in a professional situation or are they cleaning, cooking, selling cosmetics, clothes or household appliances? Are different ethnic groups represented? Is the ad promising something if you buy the product? Do you think the ads represent women fairly?

7. Merchandising
  Call ahead to make an appointment with a store representative. Visit various types of stores in the mall. Notice what you see first as you enter each store. Talk with a salesperson about how they display merchandise. Look at the physical layout of the store. Ask why the store layout is important. How often is store stock rotated? How are sale items displayed differently? What items have the best location. What kind of items do you see while waiting in the check-out lane? Are they expensive or inexpensive? What kind of merchandise would you put near the check-out lane?

8. Sales Tax
  What is your state sales tax? What items are taxable in your state? What does your state do with the sales tax?

9. Is more expensive better?
  At the mall, go on an imaginary shopping trip where you can buy a complete outfit, everything from undergarments to the hair accessories. Pretend you have $50.00 or $100.00 to spend. See if you can make a selection in each price range that you would be willing to wear. Make a list of what you will need to price before you go to the store. Is the $100.00 outfit worth the extra $50.00 or can you dress for less?

10. Labels & Tags on Your Clothes
  How much information can you find on the clothing tags in your closet? What kinds of fabrics are your clothes made from? Which ones come from fossil fuels? Which fabrics are easily replaced in nature? How are your clothes cleaned? You could visit a dry cleaners and see how clothes are cleaned there. Is this more costly than using a washer and dryer?

11. Women's vs. Men's
  Is there a difference in their clothing, such as jeans and t-shirts for women and men? Are they made differently, advertised differently, cleaned differently? Why do you think there is a cost difference? Call 2 dry cleaners to compare the cost of cleaning a man's shirt and a woman's blouse and a man's pair of pants vs. a woman's pair of slacks.

12. Eat In - Eat Out
  How much do 8 quarter-pound hamburgers cost at a fast food restaurant? How much do 2 pounds of hamburger meat and 8 hamburger rolls cost at the grocery store? Which is cheaper? Why do you think there is a difference? What about your favorite soft drink? How much is a 12oz. can from a vending machine? Compare that price to the cost for a 6, 12 or 24 pack at the grocery store.

13. Fresh or Frozen - From Scratch or Box
  Compare the cost of buying fresh fruit/vegetables and the cost of buying frozen items. How about canned fruit or vegetables? What is most expensive? Are there any other factors to consider? Make a cake from scratch and a similar cake from a box mix. Which is cheaper? Can you tell the difference between the 2 cakes?

14. Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay
  How do you listen to your favorite rock star? Compare the cost of a concert ticket, CD, cassette tape and just listening to the radio. How do you afford these items? How long do you have to save to get them?

15. Shopping From Home
  How can anyone shop without leaving their home? Make a list of all the different ways you can think of. Are there advantages and disadvantages? What steps can you take to avoid problems? Bring in catalogs from home. Discuss the order form, shipping and handling, guarantees. Has anyone used the Internet to order?

16. Correct Change?
  A cashier's job looks easy: punch in numbers, take people's money and give them back change. Simple, but what if you were a cashier who lived when cash registers only told you the total sale and you were responsible for "counting back" change? If your customer's sale was $12.36 and she gave you a $20.00 bill. What is the least amount of coins and paper bills you could give her? How do you count back her change starting at $12.36?

17. Recyclables
  Find examples of at least 2 symbols that tell you something has been made from recycled materials or can be recycled. How many items can you find on store shelves and racks made from recycled material? Divide in groups those made of paper, plastic, metal, etc. Are recycled products more or less expensive than non-recycled products? Why do you think this is?

18. Career Opportunities
  There are many careers associated with the advertising and selling of products. Make a list of all the careers you can think of pertaining to ordering, displaying, selling, inventorying, etc. of products and services. Interview someone who works in the marketing department of a store regarding these jobs. Are the positions more likely to filled by a man or a woman? Why do you think this?

[This patch program has been adapted from a similar program developed by Rock River Valley GS Council.]

Girl Scouts of Rolling Hills Council
1171 Route 28
North Branch, New Jersey 08876
Phone: 908-725-1226 Fax: 908-725-4933

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