So you have couple of hours for your next flight and you go over to the vending machine and grab a bottle of water. You then pause and think…”you know, I could really do with a tube of mascara right now”. Well, now you can buy that mascara as Benefit Cosmetics have vending machines in girly pink buses taking their place at some US airports.
Companies such as Sephora, The Body Shop and even Chanel (though restricted to mascaras only) paved the way with their own vending machines for a few years now. At first I thought it was a useless concept, but the more I thought about it from all perspectives, it really started to make sense.
From the company’s perspective, it’s not only the easiest way to place their products in locations they otherwise may not be able to – such as smaller shopping malls, airports, fairs or festivals or anywhere there’s plenty of traffic etc, but it’s also cost effective. Although a vending machine can hold so much variety of products, it doesn’t require the set up of a whole store, staff, rent or all other expenses that go with it. And making your brand available even via a vending machine is better than not offering it at all.
From the consumer’s perspective, especially with Benefit Cosmetics targeting airports, it is indeed quite smart. These machines may not mean much to someone who can usually pop into their local Sephora or department store to purchase their Benefit products, but there are many international visitors who may not have access, nor the time whilst on their trip to the US to get that famous mascara or lipstick they’ve been hearing about. It’s also great if you want to freshen up after a long flight (or before).
And lets be honest, as makeup lovers, if we were at the airport and there’s a bus full of makeup staring back, I know I would be thinking “an extra Benefit product never hurt anybody” :))
***Benefit Glam Up and Away vending machines are currently offering 30 products, including the infamous They’re Real Mascara, Porefessional Primer and travel kits. The machines are available at New York (JFK), Austin, Houston, Las Vegas, Savannah and Cleeveland with more to launch soon.
What do you guys think about the vending machine concept?