By Dean Schwartz – You could distribute your custom promotional products/premiums in person, at an event or as gifts. There are other ideas, too; very creative ones, in fact. But through vending machines? Yes! “But what does that even mean?” Great question.
Here’s the thing: Vending machines aren’t just for snacks and drinks anymore. They’re evolving, and brands are using them to sell high-priced items as well as gain total fan engagement (more on that in a minute). In short, it’s time to stop thinking about potato chips and sodas when you think of vending machines.
How does it work, or at least, how has it worked for other businesses? In numerous instances – Conan, Jell-O and Ikea, to name a few – the vending machines are customized and wrapped with the brand’s color scheme and designs/logos, and they give away cool promotional items in exchange for a valuable piece of information from the consumer to create some buzz about it. That might involve having them tweet or post some information to Facebook, take a photo, fill out a survey, or leave some contact information. The benefits are numerous.
For starters, you can generate a ton of buzz by doing something that very few businesses are doing. In addition, you can give away a promotional item that people will actually use to recall your brand, and you can collect valuable consumer data while you do it. Sweet! Got that? Well, there’s more.
Yes, vending machines can be pricy to rent or purchase – $12-$15,000, depending on the customization – but they can actually be cost-savers in the long run. How? For starters, vending machines don’t need employees to run them. In addition, they can help collect extremely valuable customer data – which you decide – and they act as a standing billboard in highly trafficked areas with your branding literally wrapped around them. Yes, you could even consider your investment as an advertising investment. All you have to do is stock it with items!
Collecting data is a big part of it, of course, as we mentioned. Check out some of these ideas:
- You can ask people to tweet a certain code to receive a free gift and generate social media buzz
- You can ask people to fill out a survey to receive a free gift
- Drive traffic to a location by advertising a special code that can be used to redeem for a free gift
- Attach to a webcam and have people post a pic of themselves on a social media site
- Have people text a code for a free gift (to build up database)
Where do you put these things? Well, anywhere you can put a vending machine! Use it as a sales kiosk at schools, airports, bars, hotels, or well-trafficked areas in your city or town.
Are the wheels spinning? Are you thinking this could be one of the big ideas that takes you to the next level and gets you game-changing buzz? Great. That’s just the beginning. The next step? Let us work with you to make it real. At SOBO Concepts, we handle it all – the ideas, the design, the execution, you name it. We’ve got a great partnership with a company that provides the vending machines, too, so all you have to do is say ‘yes.’ Start by giving us a call today at 1.888.752.0432!