- Dunkin' has launched its first online pop-up shop for the holidays, the Dunkin' Shop, according to a press release. A promotional campaign supporting the launch features Dunkin' fans like singer/songwriter Andy Grammer, as well as newlyweds Jared Haibon and Ashley Iaconetti from the TV show "Bachelor Nation."
- The Dunkin' Shop is populated with limited-edition branded products, including a holiday sweater, one-piece pajamas, a fanny pack, scarf and gloves sets, a metal lunch box, holiday hair ties, a phone case with floating donuts and glitter, wrapping paper, pint glasses and a dog bandana. At press time, a few items had already sold out, including joggers and the bandana.
- The shop was designed with creative firm Jones Knowles Ritchie, with the gear produced by branded merchandise firm Bamko. To promote the branded wrapping paper, Dunkin' said that the first 100 customers to buy a dozen donuts at participating shops will receive a sheet. Additionally, some items will be available to purchase at selected Dunkin' restaurants.
Dunkin' joins a list of consumer marketers that are trying to leverage their loyal fan base to evolve into lifestyle brands. In selling oddball, social media-ready merchandise, the company could turn customers into walking billboards. An e-commerce shop could also help Dunkin' connect directly with its customers and gather valuable information about them that it can use to optimize future marketing efforts.
Quick-service restaurant brands, in particular, have found e-commerce shops a key way to drive excitement with younger consumers, especially when they layer in a sense of exclusivity. KFC, for instance, has recently released limited-edition Colonel Sanders vinyl figures, a gravy-scented candle, Colonel-shaped pool floaties and firelogs that smell like its fried chicken. The Funko Pop figurines sold out with 11 minutes of going live in January.
Dunkin's new shop aims to return next year, according to the release. It follows other recent efforts by the brand to build excitement. In June, Dunkin' hosted a physical pop-up shop in New York City to celebrate the longest day of the year. It featured a "human charger" box with a can of Dunkin's Shot in the Dark coffee and espresso drink, a reusable straw that it called "a human charging accessory" and a tongue-in-cheek user guide.
The news arrives on the heels of the announcement that Dunkin' U.S. CMO Tony Weisman will leave the company. Weisman led the company through a rebranding that emphasizes offerings other than donuts, a more sophisticated use of digital marketing and expanded partnerships.