I can picture Blaise Graziano, the founder of Circus-Man Ice Cream, in his first truck which was undoubtedly cooled by ice and not modern refrigeration units, trawling the neighborhoods in Long Island. He started with 400 bucks and a small truck and built the organization into a very well-known entity throughout 18 states. I actually rented trucks from Circus-Man when I graduated college. It was one of my first entrepreneurial ventures and I discuss it in detail in my book, The Everyday Entrepreneur.
Remembering Mr. Graziano’s ice cream trucks, packed with Good Humor ice cream bars, ice-pops and the famous Blue Bunny’s, make me nostalgic for the days growing up in suburban South Jersey. Hot summer days at just about 4:30 in the afternoon, we would hear the familiar tune. All the neighborhood kids would come running with the spare change and dollar bills their mothers had given them. I can hear the din of the refrigeration units cycling on and off as the truck played back that familiar ice cream jingle blaring from the loudspeaker.
How many things in life truly bring back such a strong memory? I would say, not many. So how do you make your company as memorable as the Graziano family did for nearly half a century? They may not have known it, but they truly were master marketers, using sound, smell, sight and even touch to create lasting impressions. For many kids, these were happy times and it’s a subconscious memory that invokes a warm fuzzy feeling when thinking of that big white truck.
Today, we are truly bombarded with messages that cloud our enjoyment and make it difficult to weed out the ones to cherish. Maybe we are all trying too hard to come up with the next magic bullet or outsmart our prospective clientele. Just maybe, maybe, we need to focus on the pure quality and enjoyment of our products and services to make them indelible in someone’s mind. Like the first waft of peanuts at a ball game or the smell of the hot dog stand on the corner of 22nd Street. Maybe we just need to be better at what we do and build off that greatness.
Circus-Man and many other companies that gave us fond memories are starting up right now. Will the next one be yours? Let me know what you think about some of the great companies that created last impressions seemingly without trying. I am always curious what you are thinking.
Small business expert Rob Basso is the founder of BassoOnBusiness.com, a web-based community dedicated to inspiring the entrepreneurial spirit and getting American businesses back on their feet. He is the president and owner of Advantage Payroll Services, the region’s largest independently owned payroll provider, and the author of The Everyday Entrepreneur. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and make sure to purchase your copy of The Everyday Entrepreneur today!