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Dunkin Donuts Marketing Plan Essay

Founded first as a restaurant called Open Kettle, it was later renamed to Dunkin Donuts in 1950 by William Rosenberg and Stephen So in Quincy, Massachusetts. Dunkin Donuts has become most famous for its donuts over the years, as well as their coffee. They have approximately 3,000 restaurants in the US and around the world, and sell 2.5 million donuts every day. Dunkin Donuts has evolved into one of Forbes magazine “Top 10 Global Fast-Food Chains”, and tops the lists of other noted industry websites and magazines. Recently, Dunkin Donuts has changed the way they want customers to think about them by incorporating the tag line “America Runs On Dunkin”, and adding new menu items, to their marketing strategy. This tag line was introduced to focus on their coffee being a cheaper, down home alternative to the more expensive competitor, Starbucks. This tagline focuses on the fact that Dunkin Donuts is a broader “beverage company” and gains most of it’s profits from beverages.

A.Market Description

While all of the food choices and beverage choices offered at Dunkin Donuts can appeal to any age, we feel it’s best to focus on college students at the University of Iowa right now. College students are known for pulling “all-nighters” to cram for their hardest midterm the next morning, or to write their 20-page research paper the night before it’s due. What’s more appealing than being able to get their cup of coffee, or favorite beverage to help stay awake than from Dunkin Donuts? Another reason we want to focus on targeting college students is because they are known to have unique schedules. They eat at odd times of the day, and are also looking for a range of snack foods, rather than full meals, to satisfy their cravings.

There are currently no Dunkin Donut franchises on campus, but there was one just built in Coralville (neighboring town, 10 minute drive to the DD). This Dunkin Donuts only has a smaller target market, since it is not right in the college town and only students who have cars can travel to get their drinks and snacks. We want to integrate our franchise into one of the main buildings on campus to show students that purchasing our coffee is a better
option; it is more affordable, easily accessible and offers a range of menu choices, something that competitors don’t do as well today.

B.Benefits and Product Features

The Iowa campus has offers many benefits of why Dunkin Donuts should open a store here. One of the key benefits that Dunkin Donuts offers is the diverse set of menu offerings. They have created an appealing menu for any time of year. For example, Dunkin’s coffee is served hot, frozen, or iced, every day of the year. Another key benefit that would help Dunkin Donuts be successful in Iowa City is the affordability. Dunkin Donuts is known to have different promotions going on that makes their products cheaper, and even when their promos aren’t happening, their coffee is still more affordable than Starbucks’s coffee (also located on campus). Now I want to talk about some of Dunkin Donut’s products.

Product features are what sets your company apart from another, and it is important to point out that Dunkin Donuts has a wide variety of products. They serve hot, iced, frozen, and at home brewing products so that their products appeal to every type of customer. On the food side of products, there are both breakfast sandwiches and bakery sandwiches, bakery cooked goods, and even hash browns and oatmeal. Dunkin Donuts features many different products, which makes it a good place for any consumer to take their business.

C.Product Review

Dunkin Donuts provides a wide range of beverages and food items on their menu. First off, their beverages range from hot beverages, to iced beverages, to frozen beverages, and even to at home brewing beverages. In the humid, hot summers in Iowa City, students will be able to purchase their iced coffee or iced tea to cool off before class. In the freezing cold winters, students can warm up by purchasing their large latte or warm apple cider. If consumers in Iowa City are not coffee drinkers, they are able to opt to frozen “coolattas” in a variety of fruit flavors.

Dunkin Donuts also offers a wide variety of bakery items and sandwiches on their menu. The bakery items are sure to capture any consumers taste cravings by offering their famous donuts, bagels, muffins, hash browns, and more. The sandwiches on the menu can be for breakfast, or lunch sandwiches. On the sandwiches, you can choose if you want your meat to be bacon, sausage, ham, Angus steak, or turkey sausage. They are served on any type of bakery item included on their menu. This shows there are so many options for sandwiches, and even ranging to a few vegan sandwiches with just eggs or spinach. As for lunch sandwiches, you can choose from ham, turkey, grilled cheese, chicken salad, chicken, and tuna salad. This proves that Dunkin Donuts will satisfy any college student’s food craving by appealing to everyone’s appetite and drink needs.

D.Competitive Review

On campus, competition is fierce for student business. The biggest competition in Iowa City is Starbucks. Starbucks appeals to students in the area because of their well-known, national brand name. They like to appeal to consumers by offering a premium blend of coffees, as well as smoothies, teas, and bakery items. Also, Starbucks is a known hotspot with free wireless Internet, which tends to bring in the typical college student looking for a place to study. On the other hand, Iowa City is well known for their local coffee shops. One of these locally owned competitors is The Java House. The Java House attracts older customers rather than students, but a good amount of students still take their business there.

They are similar to any other coffee shop, offering different blends of coffees, as well as bakery items to eat. The Java House is known for their artwork and interesting atmosphere in their shops, which makes it stand out to a chain company. Two other local coffee shops are TSpoons and Capanna. They both attract a fair amount of students as well. Both of these shops offer students a refuge to study instead of going to the library and a good cup of joe, along with a quick snack. A last form of competition Dunkin Donuts would be competing with in Iowa City would be other fast food restaurants. Places like The Pita Pit, Jimmy Johns, and Which Wich all offer breakfast and lunch sandwiches for on the go college students. Jimmy John’s catch phrase is “Freaky Fast”, for example. When it comes to coffee and sandwiches, Iowa City has a good amount of competition in the area for
Dunkin Donuts to compete with.

III.SWOT Analysis


Dunkin Donuts has many strengths in the way that they market their food and drinks. First, Dunkin Donuts has a wide variety of items for customers choose from. Not every coffee shop in the area has their range of drinks on their menu, as well as the amount of breakfast sandwiches and famous donuts on their menu. This aspect of Dunkin Donuts is a definite internal strength to help the company reach their objectives. Another strength Dunkin Donuts has is that they are a major global company. They have franchises in numerous other countries other than the United States, and most people around the world know the company’s name.

This strength also helps the company be able to market on the television and signs on the street, which is a major advantage from competitors. Another strength is that there is strong brand loyalty within their customers. Just like their biggest competitor, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts has customers who love their service and products so much that they refuse to go elsewhere for their cup of coffee in the morning or snack in the afternoon. This sense of loyalty is what Dunkin Donuts has accomplished over the years and is a major marketing strength.


Dunkin Donuts has a few internal weaknesses that have interfered with the company’s ability to reach their objectives. First: they have not developed into emerging economies. Introducing their franchises into emerging economies could make the company more profitable than they already are. A second weakness Dunkin Donuts has is limited market share growth due to increased competition from other sales in the industry. This limited market share growth shows that Dunkin Donuts is very competitive with others in the industry and is not growing their revenues as fast as others in the industry. One last weakness facing Dunkin Donuts is the struggles with
franchise owners in different parts of the world. There have been numerous instances where Dunkin Donuts franchise owners have been sued by the company because of disagreements. These fights make the company look dysfunctional internally, and take their focus and dollars away from their customers.


Dunkin Donuts has many opportunities to make their company even more successful than it already is. One major opportunity Dunkin Donuts could do is introduce low calorie snacks to their menu. In recent years, consumers have started to feel the need to eat healthier and not eat at fast food restaurants as often as in past years. If Dunkin Donuts introduced a healthier side to their menu, they could gain many more customers.

Another opportunity is to increase their market to newer countries and economies. The world is growing exponentially right now and a great thought to create more revenue would be to open franchises in these new, uprising countries. Another opportunity in today’s market to increase customers is to start using effective online marketing strategies. Life today is all about the cyber world, and almost every country around the world has access to the Internet or computers. As effective as television commercials and advertisements on billboards are, Dunkin Donuts could further their marketing plans by extending advertisements to cyber space.


In every market, there are external threats in the world that companies cannot control. One of the largest threats in the fast food world is the threat of customers moving to healthier ways of eating. The world has finally realized that greasy fries and sugary drinks are not going to keep you healthy. Dunkin Donuts has a fair amount of healthier options on their menu, but the majority of products are greasy, sugary, and calorie filled treats. If Dunkin Donuts realizes this threat, they could change their menu for the better to attract the health conscious customer. Another threat for this company is the recent increase in raw materials.

Pricing is very important in a company, and with this increase in materials, the company has had to increase prices. This is not Dunkin Donut’s fault, but customers may see it in that way. Another huge threat is the constant competition from other cafes and local joints. In the Iowa City area, specifically, the number of local coffee shops outnumbers the large chain shops. Many consumers like the thought that they aren’t giving all their money to large franchises and prefer to take their business to the locally owned spots. If Dunkin Donuts finds ways to decrease these external threats, they could make their company even more successful than it already is.

Wide range of products for consumers to choose from
Global company
Strong customer brand loyalty
Introduction of lower calorie menu
Expand market to new countries and emerging economies
Use of effective online marketing strategies
Have not developed into emerging economies
Limited market share growth due to competition
Fights/suits with franchise owners
Trend of people eating healthier
Increase in prices of raw materials makes menu prices higher Constant competition from local coffee and café joints

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