- Dunkin’ Donuts is kicking off summer with a Snapchat and Instagram promotion to urge consumers to visit one of its 8,500 U.S. locations on June 21. The company created a summer-themed Snapchat geofilter that’s available only at its restaurants, according to a statement by the company. Consumers who send a photo with the geofilter to the company’s Snapchat handle are entered to win $10,000, and six people will win free coffee all summer.
- The doughnut chain is creating a daylong Instagram story that urges fans to visit its Instagram page to follow the live adventures of a Dunkin' Donuts coffee drinker who celebrates the spirit of a carefree season with posts tagged with #SummerNotSorry. It's also offering a limited number of its new frozen drink for $1.99 through July 2.
- Dunkin' Donuts conducted a survey ahead of summer that found that respondents are eagerly awaiting the season this year more than most years due to poor weather last spring and lack of time spent with family and friends.
Dunkin’ Donuts wants to position itself as a summer drink destination as it rivals Starbucks' popular iced coffee and frozen cappuccino drinks and is leveraging two increasingly popular platforms with marketers to connect with consumers. As part of its mobile promotion, Dunkin’ Donuts is touting a study it conducted that shows 65% people say coffee makes their summer activities more enjoyable. Both chains have struggled with same-store sales growth, but Dunkin’ Donuts is still in a rapid expansion phase of opening new locations in the U.S. and abroad.
The chain’s Snapchat and Instagram campaigns are aimed at addressing a major industry-wide worry: weak foot traffic in stores. The first quarter of 2017 marked the fifth straight period of negative comparable-store sales for the restaurant industry as a whole, according to Zacks Investment Research. Dunkin’ Donuts drives 10% of its sales from its DD Perks Loyalty Program, which rewards its 6.5 million members for repeat purchases in stores. The chain’s adoption of digital technology, including its DD mobile card, DD app, on-the-go ordering and delivery, is also helping to make the chain more convenient to customers while boosting brand awareness.
Meanwhile, other restaurants are recognizing that doughnuts are a high-growth business among confections, according to Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery magazine. The trade publication said that “designer doughnuts” are especially popular. “Doughnuts are the top-growing dessert on restaurant menus over the past four years, jumping 66% in popularity,” the magazine said, citing data from Dataessential. “Cinnamon rolls and muffins were next in line, clocking in at 45% and 36% growth, respectively.”
With the nature of grab-and-go style coffee shops, Dunkin’ Donuts has a short window of time in the day to connect with its customers. But in the past few years, the global company that sells about 2.7 billion dooughnuts a year has made noticeable efforts to shift toward a digitally focused strategy. Special features for today’s promotion are just the latest examples that show how the brand is leveraging digital content to create fun and entertaining engagements. Earlier this month for National Doughnut Day, the company enlisted Microsoft’s chatbot, Zo, powered by artificial intelligence to let customers find out which of Dunkin’s classic doughnuts bests fits their personality. The new digital menu boards being tested in some stores, which can display daily specials or quickly switch between hot or cold drinks depending on the weather, along with digital-heavy campaigns demonstrates shifting priorities toward digital to improve the customer experience and boost brand relevance.