The minute the  ice cream truck was in my neighborhood today, my children knew it. I probably knew it a full 20 seconds before they did though, because I have 28 and 33 years more experience with the ice cream truck and it’s marketing tactics than they do. My ears were trained long ago.

It starts with a jingle. That jingle tells you it’s coming and forces you to act. You will either run home for money, ask a friend to give you some or, depending on your age, burst into tears because you know you don’t have the means to make a purchase.

If you already have money, you can get a jumpstart on persuading the truck to come down your street. A combination of vertical leaps, wild hand-waving and whistling or screaming usually does the trick. Although, you may have to resort to a quick sprint, but that’s only if the driver is a speed-demon.

The point here is this: The ice cream truck is reliable. It always has the goods. You know for certain that there is something on that truck that will make you happy, and it doesn’t matter who is driving.

The driver of the truck knows that he has what you want, so there is no need to recruit you or cajole you into flagging him down. He announces the trucks presence with that jingle and waits for you to make a move. There is no question about his power and he is always at the top of his game.

Does your community have the goods? Is it reliable? Is there something there that will make your members happy every day? What happens when you change drivers?

I am not happy with my answers to those questions, and I bet you aren’t either.

I think we can learn a lot from the ice cream truck. Our communities should speak for themselves. Our content should be top-notch and we should try to offer surprises every now and then. There should be other drivers who care just as much about the truck and it’s upkeep to keep it running in the event you can’t. Many of us are solo acts and I don’t know if that’s a good thing.

Shhh…

Do you hear that?

I’ve gotta run home to get my money. You flag him down. I’ll.be.right.back!

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