For Retail Brands, a Blend of In-Store and Online Can Get the Sale

Posted by Alicia Ciccone on July 24, 2014 11:41 AM

Retail is ripe for innovation, but are consumers really hungry for it? The latest Omnichannel Shopping Preferences study from A.T. Kearney seeks to answer that, but the findings may surprise the droves of brands making huge investments in digital commerce. 

The survey of 2,500 US shoppers found that physical retail stores play a crucial role in online purchasing habits, with 55 percent of shoppers preferring to use both physical stores and online retail throughout the shopping journey. 

The study makes for an even greater argument for omnichannel retail. "A strategy based on leveraging the appeal of the physical store supported by digital is the best formula for capturing the maximum number of sales, building sustainable customer loyalty, and creating opportunities to cross-sell," study co-author Michael Brown said

While online-only brands like Birchbox continue to experiment with physical retail spaces, traditional retail brands are also finding fun, innovative ways to combine the ease of online shopping with the brand experience of brick-and-mortar.Continue reading...

branded beauty

Chanel Hops on Vending Trend with Chic Mascara Machine

Posted by Mark J. Miller on May 1, 2013 01:46 PM

The days of the classic candy-and-chip vending machine have been gone for years now. These days, you can get cupcakes, slices of pizza, heads of lettuce, mashed potatoes and fresh-squeezed juice from the dang things. 

You can’t blame any brand from getting in on the trend. After all, a vending machine provides a full-blown ad right at the point of purchase and is the ultimate grab-and-go service for customers. Chanel has gotten into the act with a new vending machine at one of London’s Selfridges department stores that shells out three shades of a new mascara, Le Volume de Chanel Mascara, until May 8, according to British Vogue.

Of course, you can't stuff this attitudinal machine with any old coins. Naturellement, there is a special Chanel-logo coin that consumers need to get first in order to make the purchase, reports.Continue reading...

brands with a cause

Coke Brands World Peace with "Open Happiness" Machines

Posted by Dale Buss on March 15, 2013 01:17 PM

Coca-Cola has been getting very serious about its "Open Happiness" campaign. Now it may even be ready to try to beat swords into plowshares—or at least into vending machines.

Ad Age reports that a big announcement "is coming soon" about a "major project" for the brand, possibly involving vending machines that will virtually connect consumers in India and Pakistan, two countries that long have had sectarian, sometimes bloody, differences. As depicted in a teaser video that Coke released in December, the machines would use video technology so that users in the two countries could see each other and "touch hands virtually," the magazine reported.

"The idea," Ad Age continued, "is that it could roll out to various countries in conflict."Continue reading...

sip on this

Coke Gets Fans Dancing At Vending Machines With Kinect

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 18, 2012 01:02 PM

Like specialty food trucks, vending machines seem to be having a little bit of a resurgence in the past few years. You’ve got your cupcake vending machine; a machine that will spin cotton candy for you right there; and Pepsi's next generation vending machine will charge your mobile device, send virtual gifts, and allow you to play games.

Now, through the wonders of modern technology, Coke has built webcams and Microsoft Kinect sensors into some of its vending machines so that it can give free colas to anybody who shakes a tailfeather for it, according to

The whole effort has been helped by the efforts of South Korean boy band 2PM, whose virtual selves help lead consumers through some dance moves that will result in some caffeine at no charge. Sweet.

sip on this

Pepsi's Next Innovation: Buy a Soda, Send a Gift, Play a Game, Charge Your Phone

Posted by Dale Buss on October 8, 2012 02:17 PM

Now that PepsiCo has begun marketing in its flagship Pepsi brand in a much more significant way this year, investors, analysts and other pundits are giving PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi the benefit of the doubt as she continues to unfold her strategy for making the company a major player in better-for-you markets rather than just a traditional purveyor of snack foods and soda beverages. From Australia to India, from vending machines to sweeteners to ad agencies, PepsiCo is pushing to innovate.

Case in point: PepsiCo just announced a pilot rollout of its Pepsi Interactive Vending machine pilot program, allowing consumers in a handful of U.S. locations to not only buy a beverage, but also send virtual gifts, play games and even charge their mobile devices. In addition to buying a Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist Natural, Aquafina or Lipton Green Tea, users can also gift a 20-ounce bottled beverage to a friend by entering the recipient's name and email along with a personalized message. That person, in turn, can send a gift back to the gift-giver — or pay it forward by sending their own gift to another friend.

The next-generation social vending machine is "part of a broader global platform of equipment innovation we're developing to engage consumers," stated Mikel Durham, PepsiCo's Global Growth officer. "The pilot launch of our Interactive Vending equipment is an exciting step in transforming the point-of-purchase experience," added Margery Schelling, the company's Global Innovation officer.Continue reading...

event marketing

Not Your Mother’s Vending Machine

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 13, 2011 09:57 AM

Vending machines, long the home of candy and sodas, are changing rapidly. Technology is now allowing for credit- and debit-card enabled machines to offer fresh fruit, yogurt, and other such healthy alternatives instead of just the sugarfests of old.

So consumers across the land can take a gander at this new generation of vending machines, the National Automatic Merchandising Association is taking 20 newfangled machines to six major cities to show ‘em off, according to Crain’s New York Business.

NAMA's "The Gratitude Tour" started in Boston, stopped off in New York and is due to finish up its travels in Madison, WI, today. Along the way, it also stopped in Atlanta; Austin, TX; Phoenix, and Minneapolis.

The idea behind the mobile branding campaign, according to the organization’s website, is to hit cities that have large university and Gen-Y populations.Continue reading...

brand innovation

PepsiCo’s Social, Pay-it-Forward Vending Machine

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 29, 2011 03:00 PM

PepsiCo's new vending machines dispense more than beverages.

As unveiled at the National Automatic Merchandising Association's One Show in Chicago this week, the state-of-the-art networked unit features touch screen interactive vending technology, enabling consumers to "better connect with PepsiCo brands right at the point of purchase."

Users choose a beverage, then enter a recipient’s name and mobile number, and add a personalized text message with a code redeemable at another vending machine for the drink.Continue reading...

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