Dunkin Donuts’ loyal customers and passionate fans welcomed it to the land of designer coffee via social media. Thousands of tweets and photos were shared as Dunkin Donuts opened a store in Santa Monica.
Before Social Media.
From the days of the corner grocery store to the bar down the street where everyone knows your name and neighborhood restaurants a la those highlighted in Food Network’s Diners Drive-ins and Dives the food world has understood how to build community and relationships. The better the establishment was at creating (positive) word-of-mouth the more the cash register rung. Oh sure there might have been a bad random review from the local food critic but in the ‘hood loyalty to friends ran higher. An off meal was not going to bring the business to a screeching halt. Customer Passion.
East Meets West Challenges.
What happens when a local iconic restaurant wants to expand outside of its home-base … way far outside of its neighborhood from East Coast to West Coast? That was the challenge facing, what Bostonians fondly call Dunkies, known to the rest of the world as Dunkin Donuts. After several false starts and failures Dunkin Donuts was trying again to establish a presence in the LA world of designer coffee shoppes. Would Dunkin Donuts find acceptance in the very competitive west coast coffee landscape?
After Social Media.
— Dunkin' LA (@DunkinLA) September 2, 2014
Customers Passion. Yes, Dunkin Donuts created a social media launch strategy including Twitter and Instagram. A special Twitter handle, @DunkinLA and hash tag, #DunkinLA, were developed so people could easily participate and feel part of this once in a lifetime experience. Yes, Dunkin Donuts did so many things right. They included photos with their tweets and did a fantastic job engaging with their followers. But the real work was begun years and years and years ago. Social media simply gave people who loved the brand an opportunity to share their memories and be part of something bigger than a Frozen Coffee Coolatta®..
Content To Share.
Dunkin Donuts had a few surprises that gave its followers content to tweet and share. Hundreds of people were waiting on the pink (!) carpet for the doors to open. Duncan Donuts had treats to reward some of their most ardent fans. There was a grand prize for the first person in line who entered the store — a year’s free coffee. The next 99 people were given bags of Dunkin Donuts swag.
There was more – a $55,000 donation to the LA Food Bank from the new Dunkin LA Team and the launch of the first Dunkin Donuts Rainforest Alliance Certified™ Dark Roast Coffee.
Dunkies’ Growth Challenges.
Dunkies hit the right social media notes. It built on the passsions of its past customers and fans. It encouraged raving fans from all over the country to be part of an exciting new venture. Now the questions become: 1. Can Dunkin Donuts grown a new local customer base? 2. Can Dunkin Donuts grow sales in a new market? Can Dunkin Donunts sustain its work in social to help win the west coast coffee war?