Monday, July 28, 2014

Chasing Mister Softee.

Brad's Best Blog Posts: 11/18/2012


Nothing stands out more from my childhood than the first time I saw a Mister Softee ice cream truck. Let me rephrase that...heard an ice cream truck. It was magical. But you may be surprised in the fact that my first time was when I was 12 yrs old!

You're probably thinking "Huh?"

Let me explain. While visiting one of my Boy Scout buddies on the edge of town, I heard the music FIRST– that Pavlovian trigger that drives all children to drop what they are doing and just react. At first I was like, "what's that?" And my buddy Paul said "It's Mr. Softee." My puzzled look said it all and he followed up with "...the ice cream truck is coming."

We ran back inside Paul's house to get some money then, like the wind, we sprinted up the block. Like a hoard of sugar craving Zombies with dollars in hand the children of the neighborhood rushed towards the music with one singular mercurial purpose...hoping they weren't late to the party. Out of breath, we came to an abrupt stop. There in front of us were at least 25 kids ranging in age from 5 on up to adults. Since I had never seen a Mr. Softee truck  –  or Good Humor depending on where you live – I had no idea what to expect.

Now some of you are like,  
"Brad, how could you not know about Mister Softee?"

Well, you see, I lived in the heart of town on Cumberland Street. That was main street in downtown Lebanon, PA. USA. So whenever we wanted ice cream, Dieter, Frank and any other friends, brothers and sisters would just walk to one of three corner stores in the area – Big Bertha on Walnut Street, or the store at 3rd and Chestnut, or if we really wanted to walk, Hoffman's News Stand on the corner of 6th and Cumberland Streets.

Each store had the same wonderful smell. A combination of old wood and sweet custard. To a child it was intoxicating. There, near the cash register, were several waste high freezers. Looking back now, I realize these were brilliant marketing devices, capable of luring even a 5 year old. There, just behind high impact glass, were stacks of Good Humor ice cream bars, and since we lived near Hershey, there was plenty of Hershey ice cream products in the freezer. Every possible tasty treat was spread out before us. 

Now if we wanted a Coke® Slushy we walked to the Turkey Hill Market on 8th and Chestnut. All of these stores were a ten minute walk and on a hot day...well worth the trip. So for us, there was no need for an ice cream truck...ice cream was within walking distance. But, in the suburbs, the corner store didn't exist, and if it did, you had to drive there.

Of course back then a candy bar was 50¢ and you could get 100 pieces of candy for ONE DOLLAR! Whatever Happened To Penny Candy? by Richard Maybury can answer what happened to prices over the past 40 years. But I digress.

So when I tell you I never saw a Mister Softee truck 'til I was 12, you now know why. But more importantly, the question that should be on your mind is...

What happened to the Mister Softee and Good Humor trucks? I mean, they are still around, but you can go broke trying to make money from an ice cream truck franchise. So I ask you: did Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs ruin Mister Softee? Or was it ice cream stores like Baskin Robbins and Dairy Queen?

Or Did Customer Habits Change?


The correct answer is customer habits changed. Families changed. Neighborhoods changed. When was the last time you saw children playing outside in neighborhoods like they did twenty or thirty years ago? Children stopped playing outside, and started playing video games indoors. Parents got their children involved in organized sports like soccer, lacrosse, karate and dance lessons. So if the customer has changed and moved on...

WHY do so many companies ignore the facts
and continue to sell and market as if it is 1977?





When your customer changes, change your tactics. If they move, you move. I know this can be exhausting because it requires constant diligence. But remember, children used to chase those ice cream trucks…now, those ice cream trucks are looking for customers.

 The children DID NOT MOVE! Their habits changed!

Take a lesson from Mister Softee. Reinvent your sales, marketing and branding tactics at all times. Look for markets that are secondary such as those corner store freezers. Social media may be hot today, but pretty soon it will be replaced by something else. Your customers love for ice cream is still there, it is only their habits that changed. Your job as a business owner, marketing pro, or executive is to adapt and change according to your customer. You’ll be glad you did.


And BTW: We have Mister Softee trucks all over the place in New York City...here they get a crowd. Pretty cool when you can drive to where your customer needs you most.

Thanks for reading,









Brad Szollose 
Bridging The Generational Divide: Multigenerational management expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker


PS: If you are interested in one of our white papers entitled... 

YES, send me a copy of What Every Business Needs to Know About Millennials!

What Every Business Needs
to Know About Millennials:

Understanding How Technology Transforms Corporate Culture, Generational Behavior, and Impacts Management, Interaction and Expectations 


Email us with your name, title and email address.
Your information is confidential.

Ask me how I can help your company evolve into the 21st Century.


Brad Szollose is a much sought-after generational expert, management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior… and how that impacts management interaction, expectations and sales in The Digital Age.



But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.


Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analog driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 



* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What Happened
To The Future?



Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene A. Cernan
makes a short checkout of the Lunar Roving Vehicle
during the early part of the first Apollo 17 extravehicular
activity at the Taurus-Littrow landing site.
Courtesy of NASA Image of The Day.
Brad's Best Blog Posts: 11/26/2010

Most Boomers remember this from our childhood: We were promised that in the year 2000, technology was supposed to solve everything.

By now I was supposed to be living in a domed city on the moon and flying to work with a jet pack.




I point this out in Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia on page 1...

"Imagine a little boy sitting on the floor of his family’s living room, watching television. He is fascinated by a live broadcast—in black and white, of course; the flickering image on the screen is of a man in a space suit, descending a ladder. Anyone alive today knows that image: the first man landing on the moon. It was 1969, and two men were actually standing on another world more than 250,000 miles away. It was the beginning of a new era.
Imagine being that young boy. Everything in his world promised a future where men and women could travel to the farthest corners of the galaxy. This wasn’t science fiction or an overactive imagination; all across America, television shows and the media were all telling him, This is going to happen. His toys were about the future. Theaters were putting out a barrage of movies to tell him about the future: The Day The Earth Stood Still, Forbidden Planet, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Omega Man, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green (was Charlton Heston busy back then or what?). There were British shows too, like Dr. Who, Space: 1999, and UFO. Eventually, THX-1138, Star Trek, and Star Wars would also make it to the big screen.

In the future, the young boy would be able to work in a domed city on the moon, use a flying car or a jet pack to fly to work, and have a business meeting in a floating satellite encircling Earth. His teachers were telling him so. His parents were telling him. Even his scoutmaster was telling him. There was proof—now “astronaut” was a job title, and there he was, driving a jeep on the moon.

This future was going to happen . . . it was real . . . it was just a matter of time.

Well, if you haven’t guessed it by now, that little boy was me. And if you were anything like me, by the time you grew into adulthood, a tiny part of you still expected that future they promised—a world where technology would be the support structure, seamlessly integrated into our lives. By the year 2000, technology was going to solve all our problems. We were also warned about the future. If we didn’t keep up, we would be feeling a sense of overwhelming anxiety, what Alvin and Heidi Toffler called “future shock.”

Currently our country is going through a bumpy ride.  Our economy barely has a pulse...(even after Black Friday and the Christmas rush), our school system needs an overhaul, geopolitics are heating up, and Baby Boomers are wondering: What the Hell Happened?

Plain and simple, Generation Y Millennials is the generation that was actually prepared for the future, whereas us Baby Boomers were told about the future, and what to prepare for. If you think Gen Y is about to grow up, have kids and get a mortgage, you are mistaken. They have a skill set that most corporations are in desperate need of...and the idea of working their way up the corporate ladder is a strange paradigm to them. Instead, they believe in running the company before the age of 30 while skipping the entire linear idea of a career.

If you need to understand how to survive and remain employable, I suggest you pick up my book. If you don't want to take the plunge just yet, here is a FREE chapter for you to ponder your future: Just click on the image and download the PDF.

Now I want you to understand, I am not trying to promote me, me, me...I am a Boomer, and what I am trying to do is get the word out through my writing. The entire reason I wrote Liquid Leadership was I started to realize that my fellow Boomers had no idea that there was a storm coming. A storm that if they did not keep up, would leave them out of a job.

Please let me know if my work is relevant to you, and what needs more. I encourage all your stories from the front lines of leadership. After all, leadership is about adapting to change.

Thanks for reading,









Brad Szollose 
Bridging The Generational Divide: Multigenerational management expert, award-winning author, business consultant and keynote speaker


PS: If you are interested in one of our white papers entitled... 

YES, send me a copy of What Every Business Needs to Know About Millennials!

What Every Business Needs
to Know About Millennials:

Understanding How Technology Transforms Corporate Culture, Generational Behavior, and Impacts Management, Interaction and Expectations 


Email us with your name, title and email address.
Your information is confidential.

Ask me how I can help your company evolve into the 21st Century.


Brad Szollose is a much sought-after generational expert, management consultant and keynote speaker who helps smart companies understand just how much technology has transformed corporate culture and behavior… and how that impacts management interaction, expectations and sales in The Digital Age.



But this is not based on management theory: With a 30 year career as an entrepreneur he knows firsthand what it’s like to grow a company from a simple idea in a coffee shop to an internationally recognized brand.


Brad is a former C-Level Internet Executive who went from entrepreneur to IPO in 3 yrs—co-founding K2 Design, the very first Dot Com Agency to go public on NASDAQ. His company experienced 425% hyper-growth for 5 straight years, expanded from 2 business partners to 4 with 60+ employees and offices worldwide. At its height, K2 was valuated at over $26 million. 

His results only management model (ROWE) was applied to the first wave of young Generation Y workers producing great results—winning K2 the Arthur Andersen NY Enterprise Award for Best Practices in Fostering Innovation.

Brad Szollose is also the *award-winning author of Liquid Leadership: From Woodstock to Wikipedia which explores the subject of new leadership styles – mainly how to get the tech-savvy Generation Y and analog driven Baby Boomers working together. ISBN-13: 978-1608320554

Known for his humorous and thought-provoking presentations, Szollose received the highest testimonial of his career from a C-Level audience member: "I just had my mind blown." Brad’s keynotes and workshops are highly interactive, heart-warming, humorous, and filled with high-content information that challenge assumptions and help leaders and managers create a better work environment for innovation to thrive.

Today, Brad helps businesses close the Digital Divide by understanding it as a Cultural Divide – created by the new tech-savvy worker...and customer. 



* 2011 Axiom Business Book silver medal winner in the leadership

* #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author

"I just had my mind blown..." - A.S., Vistage, New York

Liquid Leadership by Brad Szollose is available at all major bookstores and for Kindle, Nook, iPad and Sony ereaders. Internationally published in India and S. Korea.