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Dunkin' Donuts uses big data and advanced customer engagement techniques to bring a 1:1 experience to millions of loyal followers every single day. In this respect, Dunkin Donuts is helping to set a new customer experience standard by exceeding the rapidly changing (and rapidly rising) expectations of most consumers. It continually adopts and embraces new and innovative technologies that help it both authentically build relationships with consumers while remaining true to its core brand values in the process
Nowhere are these efforts more apparent that in the brand’s tremendously popular loyalty program. It’s called DD Perks, and it allows members to seamlessly connect with the brand across both traditional and digital channels. By almost every measure, DD Perks has been a success. Since its launch, DD Perks has accumulated over 4 million members. Furthermore, as of last fall, the use of the brand’s Dunkin’ Mobile App has also exceeded 16 million downloads.
Recently, Loyalty360 was able to speak with Sherrill Kaplan, Vice President, Digital Marketing & Innovation at Dunkin’ Brands, who provided an in-depth look into the brand’s forward-looking views surrounding customer loyalty, digital customer engagement and more.
DD Perks has been very successful. What are your plans or goals for the program going forward?
Kaplan: Our #1 goal is to maintain the momentum we’ve seen over the past several years with our Dunkin’ Mobile App and our DD Perks Rewards Program which have been extremely powerful marketing tools for us. All members appreciate receiving exclusive and personalized offers that allow them to earn bonus points toward their free beverage. Additionally, consumers have really responded very well to our incremental programs. We have seen tremendous success with our “Team Wins, You Win” program, which is a mobile marketing campaign with ties to local sports teams. As we learn more about how each guest is behaving as members within DD Perks, we will continue to refine our targeting to seamlessly fit in with their lifestyle and interests.
How does this factor into your views surrounding loyalty? Or what does the concept of customer loyalty mean to Dunkin’ Donuts, and how is it being prioritized today?
Kaplan: At Dunkin’ Donuts, customer loyalty means continuing to build and maintain relationships with our guests by not only meeting but also exceeding their expectations. What truly sets us apart from other coffee retailers is that we have an extremely loyal fan base and we value the great relationship we have with our guests. We’ve proven this fact time and time again as we’ve earned the No.1 ranking for customer loyalty in the coffee category by Brand Keys for more than nine consecutive years. Our guests’ satisfaction is our core principal as evidenced in everything we do: from providing speed of service through the Dunkin’ Donuts Mobile App as well as engaging with them outside of our restaurants through our social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat and more).
Loyalty is the main focus for all that we do at Dunkin’ Donuts. We’ve developed our DD Perks Loyalty Program to help harness and strengthen this relationship. The DD Perks program fits seamlessly into the Dunkin’ Mobile App and subsequently, into our guests’ busy lives. We prioritize developing new features to target our guests’ preferences and provide them with the most relevant deals and offers. We’re constantly working to make the DD Perks Program the best possible loyalty program for our guests, and we’re proud to be able to offer it.
What is your take regarding the changing nature of customer attitudes and behaviors, and how can brands hope to adapt?
Kaplan: The environment in which we engage with our guests is changing more rapidly than ever before, so it’s important to be agile and adaptable. While consumers have changed the way they learn about brands and consume information over the years, they are still looking for better solutions to their everyday challenges.
In order to adapt to the modern consumer we take a 360-degree approach through our traditional and digital channels to make our campaigns most relevant. We see a growing value in mobile, social and digital, so we will continue to support these channels as we find where they resonate best with our consumers.
A lot of the ways customers seem to be changing also surrounds their use of new digital and social media. So how is Dunkin Donuts using social media differently today than a year ago, and how do you see it changing over the next year?
Kaplan: When we utilize social media we do so with the goal of driving engagement across multiple channels and devices to meet our guests where they are spending time. As social media itself has evolved, Dunkin’ Donuts have continued to engage our fans in new and exciting ways and share valuable content with them. We know that today consumers are faced with more messaging than ever before from various media, so it is important to become and stay relevant within the digital space.
We find that by embracing all social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, we’re able to find the most optimal way to reach and engage with our desired audience. We’ve recently collaborated with social influencer and Viner Logan Paul to create content that highlights the DD Perks program and to reach a more millennial audience. Logan, a true brand advocate is the 8th most followed user on the popular social platform, Vine, with more than 8.7 million followers. His engaging content has helped us drive awareness and has encouraged his fans to sign-up for DD Perks.