America Runs on Dunkin’, but Will They Stay?

Dunkin’ Donuts prides themselves in promoting their image as the coffee spot for the average Joe. However with Starbucks and McDonald’s as competitors, Dunkin’ Donuts has decided to revamp their stores in an effort to pull in more upscale coffee drinkers. Dunkin’ Donuts is now attempting to reach customers that are interested in the coffee-drinking experience rather than just a quick morning pit stop. Owners have the ability to choose from four different schemes that they can remodel their store as. These themes include “Original Blend,” “Cappuccino Blend,” “Dark Roast,” and “Jazz Brew.”


-Pictured above is the “Jazz Brew” scheme.

By redesigning their stores, Dunkin’ Donuts hopes to give their customers a better overall experience. In turn, customers will be more likely to form a strong attachment with their brand and chose them over Starbucks or McDonald’s.  Just as the CEO of Starbucks states in a quote from author Bryant Simon, “I think we have managed to, with a simple cup of coffee and a very unique experience, enhance the lives of millions of people, by recreating a sense of community, by bringing people together and recognizing the importance of place in people’s lives.” If Dunkin’ Donuts would like to be able to brand itself as what we call in IMC, a “third place,” they will have to take a page out of Starbucks’ marketing plan to create an atmosphere that draws people in to not just drink coffee, but stay.


-Pictured above is the “Cappuccino Blend” scheme.

So far the new change in atmosphere has led to positive results for Dunkin’ Donuts. The remodeled locations include new additions such as faux-leather chairs, digital menu boards, and relaxing music. These changes have already fostered a greater sense of community because more business professionals are stopping in around lunch time for business meetings and interviews.

Improving the consistency in the appearance of their locations, Dunkin’ Donuts can reach a stronger brand identity. It is evident that their stores need to be redesigned after receiving the second lowest atmosphere score for beverage and snack shops in a 2012 survey done by Nation’s Restaurant News and WD Partners. As of June the company had redesigned 90 locations and hopes to have 600 finished by the end of 2013. Have you recently been to a Dunkin’ Donuts and noticed a difference in the atmosphere? Have you wanted to actually sit down and stay a while?

-Aaron Love, Kara Zimmerman, Rachel Clay, Rebecca Hobbs