Back on 11-16-11, I noted that traditional vending operators are losing business to dedicated, healthy vending companies because they fail to communicate their own ability to provide “better for you” options. I didn’t say this was an easy challenge for established vending operators to meet, given the marketing expertise of these dedicated, turnkey healthy vending companies.
The point that bears repeating is that when a vending operator succeeds in involving the customers at the location, the location will always choose to work with a company that fully understands the location’s vending needs. Dedicated healthy vending companies cannot do this.
I recently heard from a vending operator who has an outstanding healthy vending program as part of his overall program. This operator recently won a large health care account. But despite the company’s healthy options, the account nevertheless awarded a portion of the business to a dedicated healthy vending company.
This demonstrates the unique marketing capabilties these dedicated healthy vending companies have nowadays. Most, though not all, of them are franchise organizations with strong marketing departments. They are using social media very effectively in their marketing efforts. They are taking an active role with all types of vending technology, including video touchscreens.
If these companies do succeed over the long term in maintaining their foothold, it will mark the first time that franchise management has succeeded over the long term in vending.
And as skeptical as many of us are about this, there is always a first time for everything.
I noted in November that if dedicated healthy vending companies alert the traditional vending industry of the need to better communicate to customers, they will provide the industry a useful service.
In the meantime, traditional operators will lose business for no good reason and many unsuspecting entrepreneurs will lose a lot of money investing in dedicated healthy vending businesses.
The vending industry needs to do a better job educating customers about what people really need from a vending service. The software tools that vending operators have at their disposal today allow them to do this.
For this to happen, vending operators have to ditch their traditional mindset that customers don’t want to hear from them once the service agreement is signed. This mindset, in the face of a changing market, has created a market for dedicated healthy vending companies.