National Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) - InTouch Magazine, Summer 2022

Summer 2022 • NAMA InTouch 7 A Closer Look NAMA members are positioned to drive new approaches to convenience services in these and other industries we serve. Through strategic relationships with building owners, HR professionals, health and wellness services and designers of interior and exterior spaces, we can expand use of the services we offer. Their ideas and decisions lead to new spaces and opportunities for your business in delivering the customer experience. Think about Tesla, another company where Blankenship worked. Even though electric vehicles are amazing products and the wave of the future, Blankenship explained that Tesla is not disruptive because of the car — it is disruptive because of the customer experience. He added, “Engage with customers how they want to engage. When you do something unexpected, that’s when you get their attention. And you can’t always look at the business plan.” Imagination Way was just the start of the journey. See the article, “We’re Back!” on page 14 of this issue about The NAMA Show 2022 and the launch of Imagination Way to learn more about this inspiring concept. And I encourage all of you to continue imagining the possibilities and making them your own as you charge forward into this exciting year. a variety of companies. They make purchasing decisions that align with their values, including sustainability. They expect a fast and frictionless transaction, available when and where they want it. If it can be customized to their needs and offer a new, unexpected benefit, that’s a big plus. The new Imagination Way feature at The NAMA Show explored opportunities offered by the latest technologies in the context of customer experiences. These were demonstrated across a range of end-consumer environments including travel and transit centers, hotels, multiunit housing, campus and senior living spaces. Attendees had the chance to visualize how to transform their service portfolio to deliver upgraded workplace experiences, or to entirely new customer environments. And to interact with some of the owners of those spaces who came to see what we have to offer. “We need to think about what could be possible. Innovation and disruption. Doing things others can’t do or won’t do. Thinking about things differently. Seizing the moment.” — George Blankenship Customers connected with the Apple brand experience, and George marveled at how “people would dress up like an iPhone and wait in line to buy the latest and greatest model — it’s kind of crazy.” Will consumers mimic vending machines? Not likely. But in some moments of their lives, your unattended retail outlets and amenities are just as essential as those iPhones. Now this industry needs to leverage those essential moments — to take what it has mastered and make it do more, engaging current and prospective customers in new experiences. As George put it, “We need to think about what could be possible. Innovation and disruption. Doing things others can’t do or won’t do. Thinking about things differently. Seizing the moment.” This industry is ready to reimagine convenience services — adapting offerings and services to new consumer behaviors driven by the circumstances and places that are bringing people out and about. What do we know about today’s consumers? They want a broad assortment of products from