Vending machine wrap for Sakuntalas

The Subtle Psychology of Vending Machine Wraps

Impulse is not only an undeniably important element of marketing in the competitive world of retail, it’s also the surging internal force that drives us to both satisfy our needs and to indulge our desires. In fact, it was the notion of the “impulse purchase” that gave birth to the invention of the first vending machines to grace public and private spaces. Today, the vending machine industry in Canada alone is expected to reach almost $716 million dollars per year after recently enjoying an annual growth rate of around 1.9 over the past half of a decade.

Rise of the (Vending) Machines

They occupy shopping malls and retail plazas. They fill factory break rooms and public transportation depots and commercial office common areas. They’ve migrated from the hallways and cafeterias of universities, colleges, and trade schools to even the lunch rooms of the high schools, junior high schools, and elementary schools our children attend. For many of us, vending machines are a quick and automatic consideration any time we find ourselves away from home and in a situation in which food or a beverage may not otherwise be readily available to satisfy that unexpected hunger or thirst.

The newest developments in advertising are all about maximizing existing unused space. Minimizing overhead and utilizing existing under-appropriated assets are the keys to improving a company’s bottom line. Therefore, in a market where both physical and electronic advertising space are at a premium, it is essential that we take optimal advantage of the opportunities and surface areas for which we are already paying. This doesn’t just include our company vehicles, our exterior windows, and our event displays, but also the vending machines with which our customers interact every day while already in the process of indulging their natural impulses.

coca cola vending machine wrap

This eye-catching vending machine wrap beckons the customer with  vibrant colour and design

Take Advantage of the Buying Impulse

Any consumer psychologist worth his or her salt will tell you that invoking a “purchasing mindset” in the consumer is a landmark step in inspiring a sale. In the case of a customer interacting with a vending machine, you’ve already got a potential buyer with an immediate need approaching the point of sale with the intention to purchase and cash in hand. What better time to suggest your product, even if it is not the target of that specific transaction? The vending machine transaction sets the stage for a very hospitable advertising environment.


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Now, consider the assets we have available at our disposal in such a situation. There is the area around the vending machine to be certain, and it is possible that there is a relative level of effective suggestion opportunity on the walls or in the immediate vicinity of the vending machine. Let’s not overlook the fact, however, that the vast majority of the customer’s attention is focused solely and very intently on the physical form of the vending machine itself.

Traditionally, this space has been dominated by transparent glass that allows the customer an unobstructed view of the products for sale inside the machine itself and by the characterless metal cage that surrounds it. Aesthetically, however, while the colorful and visually pleasing packaging of the sale items inside the machine may be attractive to the customer, the scene is generally compromised by the mechanical inner workings of the machine itself and the often matte black or stainless steel exterior shape of the machine. It gives the machine a cold, industrial, functional air that fails to take advantage of the “purchasing mindset” with which the customer initially approached.

A Solution That Benefits Everyone

The solution could not be more obvious. When multiple square feet of flat, undecorated surface area routinely present themselves to a customer, it is virtually a crime to fail to use that space to send a positive message about your product or service. By employing a vending machine wrap, we transform this previously unused space into an attention-grabbing focal point that makes use of a number of contemporary advertising trends such as creative marketing, out of home marketing, and medium mobility.

Vinyl vending machine wraps provide full size, full color advertisements for your product, service, or company that’s capable of catching the eye from dozens of meters away. They’re an inherent element of your customer’s field of view that do not require an active effort on the part of the customer in order to be effective. They are less easily ignored than traditional wall hangings, and they feel less aggressive to the customer than salesman suggestions. They improve the warmth and life of what may otherwise seem a cold and industrial atmosphere, and they take advantage of a customer’s natural inclination to indulge their buying impulses. Most importantly, they extract untapped advertising value from an asset you already possess.