how a funky ice cream truck can change your business.

This is the first of what will be weekly simultaneous posts on Brand Flakes for Breakfast AND the SmartBiz SmartBlog. (Which sounds really smart.) The posts will be geared toward small business.

Designer Adam Ellis has reinvented the ice cream truck. In doing so, he's reinvented a street vending business. Boutique flavors, a chandelier on the inside, and a truck that customers can write on, this is the ice cream truck overhauled, inside and out. An awesomely unique truck begs to be explored, and clearly has something different to offer.

Adam's truck reminds adults of their childhood - but with a twist. Ice Cream trucks have pretty much disappeared from the suburban landscape. What Adam has done is taken a good idea that's expired - and reinvented the concept for a different time.

How does this relate to your business? You're probably looking at something within your environment that you take for granted. That blends into the background. That has long been forgotten, or no longer useful. Examine your business - your marketplace, and your environment, and ask, what could we reinvent? What could we do differently than anyone else in our business?

Perhaps it's something physical, like your lobby, your desks, your dress code or your trucks. But maybe it's a policy manual, an email program, or a project proposal. It most certainly is something beyond your standard advertising and branding collateral. Something that you, or your agency probably haven't even noticed.

And don't be limited to the real world. Many brands assume they're covered with a simple company website. The opportunities for reinvention are especially ripe with your interactive presence, and there's a host of new tools to help you make it happen. How can you use your Flickr page in a different way? Can you incorporate bookmarks into your brand plan? What have you YouTubed?

Being different allows you to capture the interest of potential customers, retain the love of your evangelists, and stand out in your marketplace. And sometimes it's as simple as reinventing the ordinary things right in front of you.

Here's to the ice cream trucks in your future.

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