restaurants

New Site Makes 'Dunkin' Runs' Easier

Dunkin Run

Dunkin' Donuts has launched DunkinRun.com, an iPhone application designed to make it easier to coordinate those group-order "Dunkin runs" at the office and parties.

The designated "runner" can now initiate a group order through the site via computer, mobile device or a free iPhone app downloaded from the iTunes Store. The runner sends an interactive alert to a list of co-workers or friends, telling them when a trip to Dunkin' is planned and inviting them to place an order online. Invitees can view the Dunkin' menu online to order (registered site users may also select from their personal lists of favorites or previous orders). Core menu items are presented using interactive product images designed to make ordering easy and fun.

The orders are integrated onto a single page/screen. The runner may then either print out the list and give it to the Dunkin' store staff to help them fill the order quickly and accurately, or let them view the list on a mobile device.

"Our brand filters everything through the lens of helping to keep busy people going. The Dunkin' run is an existing activity; we just wanted to use technology to make it easier, more efficient and more viral," Cynthia Ashworth, vice president of consumer engagement, told Marketing Daily.

The site was a joint collaboration of Hill Holliday and Studiocom, Dunkin's agencies of record for advertising and digital, respectively. Hill came up with the concept two years ago, and with the "explosion" of social media and the iPhone, Dunkin' felt the time was right to begin developing it early this year, according to Ashworth.

To get the word out about the site, Dunkin' is engaged in heavy PR outreach to influential press and bloggers, and customers who are heavy users of its loyalty cards are being mailed special preloaded cards. The marketing plan also includes radio promotions and advertising, online advertising, messages integrated into Dunkin's sponsorship of the Boston Red Sox, and advertising in elevators in key office buildings in Boston (where Dunkin' has its highest concentration of locations), Ashworth reports.

While the site currently doesn't allow for sending orders in advance to be filled and ready for pick-up, Dunkin' will consider taking it that step further in a future iteration, she says.

1 comment about "New Site Makes 'Dunkin' Runs' Easier ".
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  1. Monica Bower from TERiX Computer Service, June 23, 2009 at 8:28 a.m.

    I find it interesting when companies and brands go to a lot of trouble and effort to create an app or component that in the end doesn't really DO anything.

    It's good that they would 'consider' adding the ability to purchase the items in advance, since that is both useful and a revenue source. As it stands this makes the mistake of thinking people are going 'I really want something from Dunkin but I have no idea what, and I need something other than their existing site to figure this out' rather than 'good GOD I need boston creme and a Dunkin Chai stat'.

    Of course if you're at a big company where you can't actually see your companion Dunkineers, this does have relevance - but since when did IT buy doughnuts for a guy in Marketing and a girl in HR? You go with/for your buddies that you already see at the office every day.

    What would make this cool and lend more credence to Dunkin's argument that they 'get it' (finally) is if individuals could pre-purchase their portions, so the designated runner isn't stuck sorting through a stack of five dollar bills to try to get correct change back to everyone, etc, plus inevitably a lot of people simply dont' use cash all that often any more.

    What this is instead is showy and safe; nice, but I hope they try again since I do go on Dunkin runs, and rather than help me, this reinforces the image that Dunkin employees are incompetent and need a printout to get anything but a simple order correct.

    *Cobbles together some change for a Boston Creme and maybe a nice cup of Chai*

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