Vending machines have a long history dating back to 215BC. Greek mathematician Hero created the first vending machine dispensing holy water in exchange for a coin. Now fast forward to 1880 where the more modern style vending machine was created in London dispensing postcards. From there, it didn’t take long for vending machines to pop up in the U.S. and the rest of the world.

The article is written by Cheryl Swanson, Principal at Toniq, USA

Here at Toniq, we are heavily rooted in the ongoing study of semiotics. Semiotics is a study of the elements of communication in our culture that we create, evolve and interact with on a daily basis. This includes symbols and signs, linguistics and semantics, and the effects of how these codes come to define trends and shape cultures.  With methodologies stemming from anthropology and social sciences, we are able to uncover the semiotics that defines current generational trends. Here are a few examples.

We welcome your comments on the article written by Cheryl Swanson, Principal at Toniq, USA
Time magazine recently reported on “The Lipstick Index” (Time, Special Money Issue, October 10, 2011). Lipstick sales have long been an economic indicator; when the economy is down, lipstick sales have traditionally gone up. Women would rather spend on little luxuries when purse strings are tighter and the economy is uncertain— and lipstick has been that one affordable luxury that makes a women feel pampered and more confident. Afterall, when you feel beautiful, you are more likely to be optimistic. According to Time magazine, lipstick sales are up 14% in 2011. But what’s more interesting is that nail polish is up 54%. Nail polish is evidently becoming the new US economic index. So if nail polish is the new lipstick, what other new indicators are we seeing in this recessionary economy?

We welcome your comments on the article written by Cheryl Swanson, Principal at Toniq, USA

Turn on the TV, look at the front-page of a newspaper, or go to your local mall and it is obvious that we are not recovering from the recession as quickly as some economists had predicted. We still have some of the highest unemployment rates in history (9.1% for Sept 2011 according to the US Labor Department), an ongoing protest against government greed called Occupy Wall Street that is quickly becoming the global campaign Occupy Together, and retailers worried about holiday sales at all levels with major companies bringing back lay-a-way programs. These are really alarming signs entering into an election year. And this is just the general observation.