Global Marketing

Dunkin’ Donuts Does Global Branding Better

By, Natalie Filice, Katie Kirk, & McKenna McVicker

The nature of today’s society makes it difficult for an organization to obtain a successful, sustainable global brand strategy. In the article, Time to Make the Donuts: How the Dunkin’ Donuts Brand Stays Relevant, Steve Olenski explains that brand longevity is a difficult dynamic to achieve. Organizations that do maintain a strategic global brand strategy, have an invaluable resource that is achieved by staying relevant. Today’s market is characterized by constant innovation. This leads to rapid changes in consumer preferences and purchasing habits, as well as major shifts in demand and market trends. Olenski continues to explain that Industry giant and household name, Dunkin’ Donuts, proves to be an exemplary example of what “extraordinary brand longevity” looks like.

The infamous Dunkin’ Donuts was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950. Founder, Bill Rosenberg, established the single-restaurant under the mission of serving customers high-quality coffee and donuts at a reasonable price, with fast and friendly service. Nearly 70 years later this mission still remains a driving strategic force; the mega-chain now operates in 45 countries with more than 12,000 locations. While much of the brand has remained the same, Dunkin' Donuts implements strategic changes and modifications in order to maintain relevance, and ultimately, build a sustainable competitive advantage. Olenski outlines that the following 4 factors serve as instrumental tools to the brand’s success.

  1. “Stick to the Basics but Make Them Better”
    Dunkin’ Donuts strives to embody its founding characteristics of fast, friendly service and affordability. These key elements have been the building blocks of brand success. Through implementing digital strategies and a mobile customer rewards program that helps customers save money through loyalty points, DD continues to build value by increasing customer convenience. Capitalizing on online and digital platforms allows for DD to stay relevant and competitive.
  2. “Global growth and Local Relevance”
    Relevance cannot be attained without constant growth. Dunkin' Donuts is 100% franchised, a business model that lends itself to promoting growth in local markets, and ultimately, growth on an international scale. DD locations are operated by local business owners who are connected to the population they service, and understand local tastes. This allows for DD to capitalize on meeting consumer needs through modifying small details, such as menu offerings, and further promote their strong brand.
  3. “Partnerships that Leverage Key Influencers”
    Dunkin' Donuts has also established valuable partnerships with celebrities, athletes, and influences the world over. The brand can leverage these relationships to increase visibility and further ingrain themselves in the mind of their customer.
  4. “Change is a Key Ingredient for Sustained Relevance”
    The next step for DD is, without question, to continue to evolve and embrace rapid change. By embracing modern consumer technologies and mobile applications, Dunkin' Donuts can become a part of their customers daily life and continue to meet consumer expectations.  In today's society, consumer tastes, preferences, and purchasing habits, rapidly shift.

Dunkin’ Donuts has proved to be an ideal example of how a successful global strategy can allow a brand to not only survive, but thrive.