How to build your micro market: 5 simple steps

Want to leverage your vending offer? Reach new markets? Re-purpose existing catering offer? A micro market could be the answer. Let us help you build yours.

Why a micro market?

Micro markets have become an increasingly popular unattended retail solution favoured in the workplace. A self-service supermarket that now brings the high street to a list of sectors:

  • healthcare facilities
  • schools
  • universities
  • food retail outlets
  • gyms & fitness centres
  • hospitality and holiday venues
  • airports
  • train stations
  • accommodation complexes and manufacturing hubs.

The micro market now goes beyond the workplace, made possible by its versatility, and remember, a micro market can sell non-food items too.

Micro markets currently bridge the gap between vending machines and traditional manned canteens.

Micromarkets Vending Canteens

How do you begin building a micro market for your vending operation?

Let’s break it down into five simple steps:

1. Produce a brief

Already have vending equipment, retail technologies and SKUs? Just need the housing to deliver your offer? You need to onboard the expertise of a commercial catering interior design specialist.

Prepare a design brief, it will make your project aims and objectives clear. Providing a budget and timescale are essential in ensuring all stakeholder’s expectations are met.

The complexity of your project may need a 3D visualisation. This aids with equipment and ergonomic decisions. Ultimately, it will bring your project to life.

2. Appoint a commercial interiors specialist

Commercial interior experts will help avoid costly mistakes with a site survey that often highlights potential opportunities and pitfalls!

Find an organisation that has expertise in catering interiors. In-depth knowledge of commercial catering and vending equipment will ensure a smooth professional micro market installation. They understand the specification, operational and maintenance needs of machines, service access points, water supply and electrics.

Utilise the experience they have gained and the skills of their designers. They know what works and, what doesn’t. Their joiners will carefully craft furniture and know each project inside out. 

If a turnkey service is offered, then it’s a win-win. Who is better placed to install your project than the people who made it? 

3. Configure your micro market

Your brief will be interpreted by the interior specialists who will in return, produce a design proposal showing how your space can be best optimised. This process quite often highlights areas that may need changing, which again, prevents costly alterations later.

Use this part of the process to play around with configuring your micro market. The modular micro market furniture system by Nebrak allows you to build bespoke to suit your needs, optimise capacity, facilitate staff productivity and enhance your vending offer.

Arrange your micro market system with as many elements as you need. Choose from retail shelving, dairy decks and closed chillers (Nebrak can provide), fridges and freezers, microwave units, coffee and payment bays. Remember, non-food items can be incorporated into your retail offer too.

Micromarket System by Nebrak

4. Choose furniture finishes and ancillaries

You can quite happily leave this to the designers of your micro market. They will advise on the best colourways or finish combinations, trends and innovations. 

Alternatively, if your project must fit with existing interiors or brand guidelines they will happily match or complement. Not all materials are suitable for commercial use so ensure that you check the specification of the proposal. Today, many have anti-bacterial properties, like the Egger Decorative Wood Collection and Durasein solid surfaces. Quality materials will come fully fit for purpose with credible warranties providing you with peace of mind.

Ancillaries can be fun and creative. Functionality doesn’t have to be boring. This is your chance to add personality, stand out from the crowd and create an experience. The coffee brand below did just that, using hardware and ancillary items in line with its military story and theme.

micro market design

5. Brand your micro market

There are many benefits to branding your micro market furniture. It can be the deciding factor for a purchasing decision by giving your operation an identity and setting you apart from competitors.

Not only will familiarity and a positive brand experience increase the likelihood of purchase – it supports consistency across your business and marketing efforts. Brand awareness provides visibility, trust and a sales uplift of 33% (Hubspot).

Choose to use your own brand or get designers to create one for you. Your micro market branding with create a go-to in what may be a busy environment. It will direct the consumer and signpost your offer.

‘Branding provides value inside of your company as well. Of course, you want your employees to love working for your company and feel like they’re a part of a team. A company with great branding will have an easier time getting employees to feel like they’re involved with something more than just a job.

The Importance Of Branding In Business – Kristopher Jones, Forbes Agency Council.

We have attempted to simplify the process of building your micro market, but have no doubt raised a whole host of new questions. Not to worry, find further micro market resources here or contact Nebrak, an award-winning micro market furniture design, manufacture and installation company. 

Nebrak is happy for you to utilise its expertise in micro markets. They work with the leading UK vending operators and global food and beverage brands creating turnkey company break areas and refreshment experiences.

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