The National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) continues to move forward on its industry growth strategy to revitalize the image of vending and stimulate growth, with an emphasis on Generation Y. The industry growth strategy, announced at the NAMA OneShow in Chicago, is a four-part effort to engage customers in an interactive dialogue about vending.
A unique aspect of this multi-faceted strategy for long-term growth, developed and implemented by Healy & Schulte, a Chicago-based marketing and public relations firm, is that it allows vending operators with access to the Internet to participate in the interactive NAMA-driven effort without requiring them to do so. The strategy promotes many of the new, interactive tools that vending machines are utilizing, but it is not necessary for vending operators to be using these tools to help promote their industry to Gen Y consumers.
The industry growth strategy is a participatory effort designed to make the upcoming fall season one of the most exciting times in the vending industry’s history.
NAMA recognizes that while many exciting technologies have emerged in recent years, such as cashless, video touchscreens and social media opportunities, more needs to be done to make consumers aware of these capabilities as they relate to vending.
At the same time, vending operators must realize that consumers today, particularly Gen Y, hold vending in higher esteem than many vending operators realize. This was one of the findings of the recent consumer research presented by NAMA officials at the OneShow.
The four aspects of the industry growth strategy are:
- The Facebook campaign, “Vend.Love.Win,” is a Facebook contest to encourage Gen Y and other consumers to upload photos, videos and descriptions of their favorite machines, locations and products.
Users will encourage others to vote for their entries, and those with the most votes will win prizes.
Healy& Schulte has already designed a Facebook page, complete with playful images of vending machines and fun facts about vending. Users will have the chance to win one of 20 $200 monthly prizes and one $5,000 grand prize.
- The “Gratitude Tour” is a mobile marketing tour of major cities with high Gen Y populations, beginning in September, that will display some of the industry’s most technologically advanced machines dispensing some free products. The tour will be an all-day event in a large public area with featuring a local band or DJ. Local media will be invited to attend. The Tour will reinforce important messages about the value, convenience, variety, quality and reliability of vending.
Companies that have expressed interest in participating in the “Gratitude Tour” include Crane Merchandising Systems, Canteen Vending Services, Kraft Vending & OCS, Coca Cola, U-Select-It, Seattle’s Best Coffee, VendEver, Del Monte Foods, Pepsi Cola Co., Avanti Markets, Company Kitchen, AdvancedPierre Foods, G&J Marketing & Sales, and more.
- “Putting Vending Online” will be an online initiative to reach Gen Y consumers through a “vendialogue,” an interactive buzz built through social media, blogs and Web feeds. The “vendialogue” information site will provide details about elements of the entire industry growth strategy.
- The fourth aspect of the campaign is “Vending Vanguard,” providing implied endorsements of third parties who will target Gen Y thought leaders, social and recreational groups, vending industry leaders and college campus organizations.
The purpose of the industry growth strategy is to lead the rejuvenation of the vending industry.
The campaign will significantly increase consumer acceptance and usage of vending. It will also encourage operator and supply chain innovation, productivity and education.
In addition, the awareness is expected to make positive contributions to government affairs efforts at the federal, state and local levels.