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Hugging a Robotic Vending Machine Brings Rewards to Consumers and Marketers

What if your workplace vending machine only received hugs, not crisp dollar bills? Would you be willing to give it a huge for a nice, refreshing cola?

At Coca Cola, this bizarre idea has allowed the company to totally vamp up its marketing scheme. An interactive vending machine that only responses to hugs instead of cash is definitely turning many heads at University of Singapore. An idea that may seem absurd to many, Coca Cola’s brilliant idea has surprised many companies who found this unique idea to be truly enigmatic.

Usually vending machine companies confirm to the traditional, boring way of procurement which does not appeal to consumers.  However, this new campaign has truly gone viral online and with social media platforms, consumers, and marketing teams globally.  Conducive research indicates that a pop machine in general struggles to gain revenue with the drop of 11% of sales. This alarming fact has been the main catalyst for companies to think “outside the box.”

The vending machine industry has been through many innovative ideas. More and more vending companies are adding credit card readers to their machines.  Some even look like robots with smiling faces. In our last blog post, the concept of “diaper boxes” was explained,  which allows moms to utilize vending machines to purchase diapers.

Some vending machines can teach golf lessons. Some dispense skin products, technology, and even ice cream.

These ideas have allowed  companies to make very decent profits, while increasing their brand equity towards customers. These examples are all good models for marketing plans, as these new and bizarre ideas will build a good foundation to enhance sales.

A soda vending machine in our technology-heavy era must appeal to their consumers in a new and exciting way. New marketing tactics allow companies to truly market their brand name from another channel–emotion. Selling products such as soft drinks can be challenge for many companies as the unit price per product may seem minimal. The new marketing scheme for Coca Cola allows pop machines to be more exciting and friendly.

In essence, vending machine companies are learning to attach a psychological appeal to their machines that allows consumers to associate brand names with feelings. Without a doubt, more consumers would be inclined to associate words such as happy and friendly with Coca Cola after using their new machine in Singapore. Other companies, such as Pepsi, must now find better channels to attract to their customer base. With Coca Cola continuing to make a huge splash, competitors and other retailers must come with creative ways to sell merchandise. Even though a new and innovative soda vending machine is a hefty financial investment for companies, this new pop machine and others like it is the future for most vending companies.