CHAPTER 13: DUNKIN' DONUTS AND THE 4 Ps
Describe the four Ps of marketing.
Explain how marketers apply the tools of market segmentation, relationship marketing,
and the study of consumer behavior.
Key people and companies
John Costello – President, Global Marketing and Innovation for Dunkin’ Brands
Coffee and donuts: what’s a more natural combination? Dunkin’ Donuts participates in two
of the most popular segments of dining out, coffee and breakfast. Dunkin’ uses marketing to
differentiate its brand by focusing on the Four Ps: Product, Place, Price, and Promotion.
Dunkin’s brand purpose is to get you up and running in the morning and help keep you running
all day long. They do this by providing the best combination of coffee beverages and food at a
great value in a fast, friendly and convenient location. Dunkin’ takes pride in offering an
exceptional quality coffee. They call their product development strategy familiar with a twist;
along with their regular offerings they like to provide seasonal varieties of their coffees.
Convenient locations are also a very important consideration for Dunkin’ and most locations
have a drive thru. Reasonable pricing, special offers and DD perks are part of Dunkin’s pricing
strategy. Dunkin’ uses their mobile app to offer national and local promotions. By understanding
their customers, serving a high-quality reasonably priced product at convenient locations, and
mixing in some fun promotions, Dunkin’ Donuts has earned loyal fans.
Preparing students before the video
Discuss the marketing mix and the Four Ps with students before watching the video. Ask
students if they are familiar with Dunkin’s marketing mix. See if they can identify Dunkin’s
marketing mix before viewing the video.
Major issues in the case
The 4 Ps – product, price, place, promotion
The marketing mix and the marketing environment
The Emerging Mobile/On-Demand Marketing
DUNKIN' DONUTS AND THE 4 Ps
For more than 60 years, Dunkin' Donuts has been a popular spot to grab a quick coffee and
donut breakfast. But while these core products have allowed the company to flourish for
decades, Dunkin' Donuts must also update their offerings regularly to keep up with current
tastes. After all, not many people these days rely on a simple cup of coffee to get them going in
the morning. Many modern consumers drink coffee throughout the day and enjoy variations
including iced coffee, espressos, and flavored blends like hazelnut.
The increasing popularity of coffee has also brought a bevy of competitors into the breakfast
market that Dunkin' Donuts deals with on a daily basis. That's why the company makes
extensive use of marketing to make their brand stand out. This video highlights the four Ps of
marketing—product, price, place, and promotion—and shows how Dunkin' Donuts utilizes the
marketing mix effectively.
At Dunkin' Donuts, everything starts with the product. If the coffee or food does not meet the
customer's expectations, the chance of developing brand loyalty is lost. Dunkin' Donuts
regularly develops and tests new products in order to understand what people want. For
example, consumer research convinced the company to start offering seasonal blends like
pumpkin spice coffee.
Place is another critical part of Dunkin's success. The company studies where people live, work,
play, and go to school in order to make sure their stores are located in convenient spots.
Dunkin' Donuts tries to place its stores on the right side of the road so customers can easily stop
by on their way to work. They also provide drive-thru locations that allow customers to visit at
any time during the day. Ultimately, Dunkin' Donuts knows they will lose out to competitors if
their stores are not located where customers want them to be.
The company also makes sure their high-quality products are available at reasonable prices.
Dunkin' Donuts offers everyday value pricing along with special deals to encourage consumers
to try new items. The DD Perks program lets customers accumulate loyalty points for every
purchase they make. When a person collects enough points, they receive a free coffee. Sales
promotions at Dunkin' Donuts are generally offered through their mobile app. The company also
ties in with local sports teams for special giveaways. Dunkin' Donuts views its approach to
marketing as one that is focused on developing, cultivating, and expanding customer
Dunkin' Donuts demonstrates the full range of marketing activities, including the use of social
media and market research to promote and sustain their brand. This video also shows how
important relationship marketing has been to Dunkin’s success. And as long as the company
remains committed to the 4 Ps of marketing, Dunkin' Donuts should continue to thrive in the
increasingly competitive world of breakfast and coffee.
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