On Monday, September 29th, 2014, Dunkin Donuts celebrated National Coffee Day with their new product, Rainforest Alliance Certified Dark Roast Coffee. All day Monday, customers could get a free medium hot Dunkin Dark Roast Coffee. As a self-described, “coffee-person,” and a former employee, I eagerly partook in the festivities of National Coffee Day. I can say first hand that this is an exquisite brew that offers the quality Dunkin Donuts taste that we’ve all come to love with a smoother finish and is easy on the stomach without the bitterness that many other dark roast coffees tend to have. As far as the quality of the product, Dunkin Donuts can be confident with their newest addition. However, time has shown that having the right product is not the only factor of running a successful operation. There are many other dimensions to making the Dark Roast a successful product line. This is where the marketing team comes in and blesses us all with the miracle that is National Coffee Day!
Dunkin Donuts biggest competitor is Starbucks. DD’s newest product and marketing tactic shows a clear understanding of this. Starbucks coffee is stronger and bitterer. However, Starbucks has another dimension working in their favor. They are a proud proponent of social responsibility and sustainability. Originating in one of the most liberal states in the union, the Washington based coffee company thrives off of the customer relations of the socially concerned and environmental cautious coffee shoppers. These aspects of Starbucks’ success were single-handedly attacked by Dunkin Donuts brilliant marketing maneuver on Monday. The product in itself goes toe-to-toe with Starbucks’ coffee. DD’s Dark Roast offers the rich dark taste you want from Starbucks’ freshest brewer without the bitterness. But that isn’t the only way DD’s new brew steps to the plate to compete with Starbucks. It is also Rainforest Alliance Certified. The Rainforest alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods. With their indorsement of DD’s new blend, those who previously supported Starbucks’ socially conscious business plan may begin to accept Dunkin Donuts as equally responsible and respectable as a business.
Now that Dunkin Donuts has a product that compares with and arguably trumps Starbucks’ unique, dark, bold taste, as well as presenting themselves as a socially responsible organization, they still lack conviction of getting Starbucks’ faithful customers to consider trying their competitor’s coffee. That’s where National Coffee Day comes in. Free! That’s right. Free Coffee. All day. Who in their right mind would chose to pay for a coffee, when they could get it…FREE!
Yes many people got their free coffee on Monday and went right back to Starbucks on Tuesday, but a lot of people didn’t. As I said before, Dunkin Donuts can be confident with their newest addition. Their Dark Roast Coffee is very good! That was never their issue. They needed people to try their product and let them see for themselves how good their product really is. If a quality product is presented to the people the way it was on Monday, it will sell itself. All the factors are there. Dunkin Donuts did an outstanding job of knowing their enemy and developing the right product to compete with them and presenting it in the right way.