Dunkin' Donuts Rolls Out Holiday Promotions

dunkin donuts cardIn a year when even quick-serve restaurants are scrambling to attract sparse consumer discretionary dollars, you can bet they will be pulling out the stops to lure exhausted bargain-hunting shoppers in for a quick pick-me-up, party goodies ... and maybe an inexpensive gift solution.

Dunkin' Donuts has gotten a jump on the holidays with its announcement of special holiday-themed treats, a bagel-with-coffee offer, and promotions of gift cards and gift packages.

Until Dec. 29, Dunkin' is promoting a new brownie topped with "creamy chocolate icing, white chocolate shavings and chocolate drizzle" ($1.39), as well as hot and cold versions of a Mocha Spice Latte (cinnamon and French vanilla flavors topped with mocha swirl syrup). The holiday latte offering is priced the same as Dunkin's other lattes ($2.09, 2.59 or $2.99, depending on the size).



In addition, during the holiday season, customers can get a special 99-cent deal that includes a bagel with cream cheese with the purchase of a medium or larger hot coffee.

"We're letting consumers know that we're aware that it's a tough economy, and we want to make things easier, particularly during the holidays when there's added money and time pressures," says Scott Hudler, senior director of brand marketing for Dunkin' Brands. "But that's really just a continuation of our existing brand positioning of Dunkin' offering good food, fast, and at an affordable price."

Offering quick, inexpensive nourishment such as a bagel and coffee or latte to help energize people during the hectic holiday season also ties in with the brand's "America Runs on Dunkin'" marketing theme, he notes.

The usual offerings of holiday-decorated donuts and Munchkins to serve party-going needs will be visibly promoted in-store, of course.

And with "affordable" gifts being a particularly key opportunity this year, Dunkin' is heavy-ing up on promoting gift cards featuring Christmas trees, snowmen and other holiday themes. Gift cards purchased as thank-you's for teachers, mail carriers and others have become a substantial business for Dunkin', confirms Hudler.

This year, for the first time--in addition to offering regular reloadable cards in-store and on its Web site--Dunkin' is offering a Web-based option of personalized, reloadable cards ($4.50 plus gift card value and shipping cost) bearing a photo chosen by the giver and accompanied by a personalized greeting card.

The personalized card option, which is "on trend with the whole customization craze," was first tested successfully by Dunkin' during this past summer, reports Hudler.

Also this year, an added holiday sharing element is part of the gift-card proposition: For every card purchased during December, Dunkin will donate $1 to its Dunkin' Brands Community Foundation. The foundation, a partnership of Dunkin' Brands and its Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins franchise owners, provides financial assistance and other resources to emergency response organizations.

Dunkin' encourages purchases of cards for personal as well as gift-giving use--and continues to employ various incentives to encourage card reloading. For example, after last year's holiday season, customers who registered their cards received a bonus $2 credit on them, says Hudler.

'Tis also the season to remind Dunkin' restaurant and site visitors about quick, inexpensive gift options such as the Dunkin' Donuts' Coffee Lover's Gift Set (two pounds of original blend Dunkin' coffee and two thermal travel mugs for $19.99), which is available only at holiday time.

Dunkin's holiday offerings are being supported with radio and TV ads, starting with spots focusing on the 99-cent coffee/bagel deal, and moving to ones promoting the latte and gifting options closer to Christmas, according to Hudler.

Online efforts, including Facebook and Dunkin's new Twitter presence, will begin to take on a seasonal spin near Thanksgiving, he adds.

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