How white label machines can maximise your brand.

By Jay Jackson

Find out how FMCG brands like PepsiCo use designed vending to maximise their brand, and how Mother's white label service can help you achieve the same.

If you grew up in the 90’s or noughties, chances are, when you think of a vending machine, you’re probably picturing a non-descript black machine filled with assorted snacks, or maybe even a blue Pepsi machine emblazoned with their famous logo.

Looking towards the next generation, there’s an important gap in the market to become the next iconic brand that springs to mind when thinking about automated retail. Looking at FMCG giants can be a little intimidating from the offset. But we do think that understanding their story is your first step to success.

In this article, we’ll look at how the fizzy giants at PepsiCo have dominated the vending machine industry, and examine a solution that will put your own business across the map, too.

PepsiCo: The disruptors in the vending wars.

Let’s talk Pepsi. PepsiCo were on the vending scene from the word ‘go’, exploding into the vending machine business in 1937 in a bid to maximise their reach across the US by combining on-the-go soft drinks with heavy footfall hotspots. The company didn’t stop at vending machines with their outward branding either, spreading their reach further in unique ways like offering a fully branded delivery service to their customers' doorsteps.

Move forward 50 years, and vending machines stocked with their own products or branding were everywhere you turned. They became part of pop culture, offering a youthful, refreshing and most importantly ‘cool’ message to their younger target audience.

PepsiCo’s success has seen them competing with other major brands, and to this date, their market cap is at a staggering $241.2 billion. To get here was no easy feat, and the kings of branding at PepsiCo took a different journey, aiming to disrupt the market with their rivalry with Coca Cola, as well their celebrity endorsements and sponsorships.

The Coca Cola versus Pepsi war in the 1980’s, dubbed the Cola Wars was, and still is one of the biggest brand rivalries of all time. There were cans launched into space, a myriad of TV events and advertising campaigns, and even a rewards based programme that caused controversy, where Pepsi jokingly offered a jet as a top prize. Among these tactics, PepsiCo famously offered its consumers ‘The Pepsi Challenge’, a blind taste test that went overwhelmingly in Pepsi’s favour.

Disrupting the market didn’t stop there either. In 2021 PepsiCo also released an advert across the US which featured a vending machine that showed a young boy buying two cans of Coca Cola, only to use them as a platform to reach the Pepsi dispensing button. This advertisement was banned from mainstream media, but not before it had its intended impact.

Who won the wars, or if they have even ended yet, is still up for debate, but it’s certainly a masterclass from the team at PepsiCo in how to grab an audience's attention and leave you thirsty for more.

The importance of white label branding.

Supremely popular businesses like PepsiCo rely on the technology and innovation of others to push their brands. While they manufacture and distribute their own products, pushing them out to the public is often utilised by third-party suppliers, like Mother.

Branding for third party products (or vending machines) is often referred to as ‘white label branding’. With competition fierce in retail industries, branding is more important than ever to help you stand out from the crowd. For example, consumers are 81% more likely to recall a brand’s colour than remember its name - an interesting statistic to note when we spend so long on naming conventions within business.

“Branding for third party products (or vending machines) is often referred to as ‘white label branding’. With competition fierce in retail industries, branding is more important than ever to help you stand out from the crowd.”

But, it’s true - when we see a certain shade of yellow, we think McDonalds, red we think Coca Cola, and blue fills our brain with Pepsi. It’s really as simple as that. Getting an audience to connect the dots between colours and brands is the more difficult part however, and that means putting it in front of customers at every conceivable opportunity. When they’re on their daily commute, when they’re hitting the gym, or even while they are working.

That is where vending machines come in.

Vending machines offer a brand the chance to instantly hit the automated retail sector in heavy footfall locations - 24/7, 365. They offer you that very opportunity to go that extra mile and include outward branding through design and colour, and to get that product and branding in front of consumers without investing heavily in square footage or premises. Take a look at Penguin Publishing, who very recently did just that, offering a fully-branded vending machine in St. Davids Station, Exeter. But of course, sourcing and designing this retail solution comes with its own set of challenges.


Joining the battle with white label retail products.

The good news is that a service which excels amid these challenges already exists in the marketplace. White label retail is a service from Mother providing brands an accessible solution to take their products beyond traditional bricks and mortar and into new retail territories. We supply the fully branded machine, software, maintenance, data analytics and customer support. And they handle the stocking and fulfilment. Simple.

The benefits of turning smart are endless. Using smart technology caters to the evolving demands of modern consumers, who have come accustomed to smart integration in their homes, workplaces, and now in their retail too! Adding another level to traditional vending services adds another element to the customer experience - and can even offer a level of personalisation to transactions through recommendations. Not only this, it has stark business benefits too, with unique smart services offering opportunities for enhanced engagement and awareness.

Designed vending and more with Mother.

So, what’s the deal with designed vending? Throughout history, designed vending has become iconic for FMCG brands, and it’s time to follow suit. At Mother, white label retail solutions give you that very opportunity.

We have a solution to fit all business challenges too, offering managed services and self stock for those quick wins. Check out our services section to find out more about our white label retail solutions.


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