A couple of years ago Dunkin’ Donuts decided that it was going to bring it to Starbucks, and bring it, it has. People apparently go nuts for Dunkin’s coffee. According to an October survey conducted by mobile survey company Placed, people prefer Dunkin’ to Starbucks 75 percent of the time in cities where both are both chains exist.
OK. Part of it’s undoubtedly the coffee itself. We think that Starbucks usually tastes pretty burned. But an even bigger part of it is the tremendous marketing initiatives that Dunkin has taken to bring itself into the 21st Century. The donut maker redesigned its stores to be more attractive and “user friendly.” True, they’re not coffee house cool, but they’re no longer 1950′s luncheonette, without the irony.
Another huge part of it has to be Dunkin’s prodigious social media marketing chops. In December alone Dunkin’ ran 5 social media marketing campaigns across various platforms: the HoliDDay Fashions Twitter and Instagram Contest, the Top of the WorlDD Photo and Video Contest, the Flavor-Full HoliDDay Coffee Twitter Sweepstakes, a Fan of the Week promotion, and the Dunkin’ K-Cup packs K-ountDDown.
Many of the campaigns are in the form of contests or sweepstakes and Dunkin’ takes great pains to actually engage with its customers, instead of just building follower or “Like” counts. “We focus more on engagement and that our fans actually own our social pages. Jessica Gioglio, public relations and social media manager at Dunkin’ Brands, put it this way: “Our primary focus is on responding to our fans, answering their questions, celebrating their loyalty, letting them be among the first to know about new products, and offering social media customer service support. Sprinkling in promotions as its relevant is a great way to surprise and delight fans on top of the day-to-day conversation.”
As described in Ragan’s PR Daily, here’s a description of the promotions:
- The HoliDDay Fashions Twitter and Instagram Contest invited fans to send in pictures of themselves in their favorite holiday garb for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Fans submitted photos to the Dunkin’ Donuts Twitter and Instagram accounts using the #HoliDDayContest hashtag.
- The Top of the WorlDD photo and video contest involved a special Facebook tab where fans could submit photos and videos, for one to be featured in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Grand prize winners scored a pair of JetBlue tickets; others got $50 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards.
- The K-Kup Packs KountDDown awarded entrants with daily prize packs—which included gift cards and coffee machines—and offered tips regarding home coffee brewing.
- The Flavor-Full HoliDDay Coffee Twitter sweepstakes asked followers to submit their holiday coffee flavor preferences-gingerbread, peppermint mocha, or white chocolate-using hashtags for the flavors and the hashtag #Entry. The Twitter header image of coffee cups would fill up as the votes came in.
- The Fan of the Week promotion has been going since mid-2009. “All fans need to do is submit a photo of themselves enjoying their favorite Dunkin’ Donuts food or beverage,” Gioglio says. “Then, a team of Dunkin’ Donuts employees go through all of the submissions on a weekly basis and vote for the winner. We look for creativity and passion for Dunkin’ Donuts and always love a good caption or story that goes along with the photo.”