Coca-Cola is adding Wi-Fi to its vending machines
Many people believe that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory has to be modified, as Wi-Fi or internet access becomes a basic need in our lives.
How about some free Internet browsing with your ice cold beverage? Coca-Cola and British Telecom are teaming up to test out Wi-Fi-enabled vending machines in South Africa, hoping to bring invaluable online access to some of the poorest communities in the world. The scheme will start in two locations to begin with before rolling out further if it proves a success.
There is no charge or purchase necessary to take advantage of the Wi-Fi. Why Coca-Cola is doing so? We may have a guess.
In 4Ps model, a good location (Place) is very important. However, with Wi-Fi, the vending machine doesn’t need to be located in the best location at an expensive rent, because people themselves will try approaching to the machine no matter where it is.
- Name your own price
Remember the case we learn about Radiohead’s album? Although the Wi-Fi of vending machine is free, but some people may feel that it’s more reasonable to buy one or two Cokes, in return for the Wi-Fi service they enjoy.
- Corporate Social Responsibility
The sites chosen for the launch of the free Wi-Fi service are close to schools and communities which are strategically chosen as“free Wi-Fi will enable students and school children in the area to increase their knowledge through research while also giving entrepreneurs and small business owners in the community the opportunity to manage some of their business aspects online”.
But some people are also wondering if scammers will set up lookalike fake hotspots to steal data. Additionally, they also doubt how much traffic these hotspots can handle.
What about the future? In my own opinion, if the Coca-Cola vendor machine with Wi-Fi is installed in a store which promises not to sell Pepsi any more, it may be a win-win for both Coca-Cola and the store.
What do you think of this IT transformation? Will they succeed in putting a same machine in your own country, and how?