Differentiation

Like most American’s I cannot live without my morning cup of coffee.  I have an hour drive to work, which gives me time to prepare for the day ahead and to thoroughly enjoy my coffee.  Some days it might be a large, cream only from Dunkin Donuts and other days it could be a Grande Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks, but mostly it’s my 2 K-cups of whatever flavor coffee I am obsessing about at the time with 2 tablespoons of light cream, with an occasional tablespoon of sugar free caramel syrup.

Honestly, I don’t favor one coffee place over the other, but I have to admit that I am a big fan of Dunkin’s when they offer me a medium coffee for $0.87 when the Patriots win! And, since I am a big Boston sports fan, I love the Gronk and Big Papi commercials even if they are silly.

Dunkin Donuts is highly involved with local sports around the country, and it carries over on their Twitter account, and this time of year they are all about the #NHL All Star Weekend as they have partnered to NHL to be the official coffee of the NHL.  Creative hashtags like #BrewedForThis find themselves trending and help to increase the brand awareness of Dunkin Donuts among hockey fans.

When it comes to social media, Dunkin Donuts focuses most of their attention on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  With YouTube they tend to share their commercials, which for those of us here in the Boston area mostly contain local sports stars.  Starbucks tends to appeal to a different crowd, using Facebook and Twitter as well, but they also use Pinterest and Instagram, two social media channels that focus more on using pictures than actually interacting with customers.  Dunkin Donuts social media followers looks to be smaller than that of Starbucks, who has more followers on Twitter and 36.5M likes on their Facebook page which is about 22.4 more than Dunkin Donuts has.  You can see the difference between the two companies via their social media accounts, one reaching out to a more; I’ll say sophisticated or trendy clientele versus one that is looking to reach the blue/white collar workers.

Let’s face it; as I said previously, the clientele between the two companies tends to be vastly different, Starbucks tries to be a more hip location where people can come and enjoy one of their specialty coffee drinks sit in a comfy chair, meet some friends or get some work done.  Whereas Dunkin Donuts tries to appeals more to the everyday coffee drinker that is just looking for a cup of coffee to get their day started.  When you look at each company’s Twitter account, they are similar; sharing pictures of their latest creations and both using the terms “craft coffee”, but they are truly, vastly different.  Starbucks has a more polished look versus Dunkin’s more whimsical look to it.  I took the time to look over the Twitter accounts of both companies and was pleasantly surprised at how active Starbucks was with their customers.  Almost every post on the page that mentioned Starbucks in it, Starbucks was the first to comment on it – which tends to really resonate with consumers that their business means something to the company.  Dunkin Donuts Twitter page was similar, but it looked more like customer complaining and Dunkin Donuts trying to resolve it.  Dunkin Donuts did however have a lot of re-tweets of celebrity tweets, and since they have branded themselves with “America Runs on Dunkin” these kind of tweets help to support that.

They are both trying to strategically place themselves on the top of the coffee chain, but they couldn’t be any more different.

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