Dunkin’ Donuts just launched a new service called Dunkin’ Run. For a quick intro, check out the short video here.
Though I am now in an environment where i rarely drink coffee that wasn’t made at home, i worked for years in offices, construction sites (this is a story for another time), etc. where it was common for a “coffee run” to occur at least twice per day. Dunkin’ Donuts appears to have done their homework on this one, and have come up with a social media campaign that shows a deep understanding of their particular customer habits.
Fills a Real Customer Need
Anyone who has worked in an office, in a school or on a construction site (especially in Massachusetts, which does actually run on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee) knows that “Dunkin’ Runs” are a frequent event. And these events are frequently and painfully carried out with the help of a completely unreadable list of co-workers’ orders scribbled on a half-crumpled piece of cardboard or note paper. The Dunkin’ Runs application addresses this problem with a mobile web solution, which allows a person going on a Dunkin’ Run to take co-workers’ orders remotely.
Fills Very Real and Specific Customer Needs
People who order Dunkin’ Donuts coffee don’t just order it straight up. Rather, they usually have extremely specific requirements for the type and amount of sweetener, dairy and other things that they want in their coffee. Both my wife and I have pretty entertaining stories of the extreme concoctions ordered by various veteran Dunkin’ Donuts officianados. The application asks the customer for all of these very specific details when ordering, making sure that the person making the run isn’t faced with the otherwise inevitable “Does Joe back at the office want equal or sugar?” quandary.
Fills a Very Real Operational and Employee Need
Dunkin’ Donuts workers who receive the aforementioned unreadable lists from a customer are put in the terrible position of trying to both decipher and fill a large order while a mid-morning or mid-afternoon line of other customers form into an angry impatient mob. The end result of the process is a printable order, no doubt very readable by a Dunkin’ Donuts employee.
Increases Business for Franchise Owners By Leveraging Social Work Norms
When a colleague makes the rounds announcing “Anyone want a coffee? I’m makin’ a run,” coffee sales no doubt increase. The time-cost to the employee who was too busy to go out and get a coffee on her own suddenly goes away, and she happily ponies up the money for a cup or a sandwich that would have otherwise go un-sold. In a sense, the “runners” in any business are some of the best Dunkin’ Donuts sales people, who love (a) the excuse to be the person who leaves an excuse to leave workplace for a few minutes, and (b) then loves the reward of being the bearer of what a good friend of mine calls “joy juice” (coffee) upon their return. This new digital service makes the runner’s task easier, and (as the video in the link above suggests) increases their chances for ongoing heroism.
Opens a Communication Channel
In order to use the service, folks need to opt-in using their email addresses and/or cell phone numbers, opening a potential channel for further marketing.
Supports Real Business Objectives
For me the most impressive thing about this effort is the fact that, despite its fun, tongue-in-cheek design, it clearly supports marketing, sales and operational objectives of the organization. Any social media effort, if it is to succeed, need to support real, specific business objectives, otherwise it will go unsupported and fail. More on this in a future post.