Dunkin Donut Localisation

Loc N Apps
5 min readSep 19, 2020


With around 12900 stores in 42 countries, Dunkin Donuts has not only become one of the largest coffee and doughnut chains in America but it has become a well-known companion alongside Baskin Robbins and has managed to survive against competitors such as Starbucks. Dunkin Donuts is an American multinational doughnut and coffee company which was founded by William Rosenberg in 1950. Since then, Dunkin Donut has undergone major shaping to make the brand what it is now. After being taken over by the label of Dunkun Brand Inc. (which also has Baskin Robbins as a subsidiary), the stores of both these subsidiaries were placed right next to each other at several locations to attract customers and make it much more convenient to serve beverages alongside doughnuts and icecream.

Localisation strategies
Innovation: Like any other brand within the food industry, Dunkin Donuts has tried to be innovative in its product ranges and tastes. A culinary innovation team who suggests and hunts to add more items on the menu of this brand- is the main responsible body for creating diverse offers for its customers. The companies good market research to understand and then localise their products according to the target market has paid off in the best way to make it one of the best coffee and doughnut brands out there.

source: seriousseats.com

For example, the brand has adapted and changed its menu according to the several locations it opened its store such as in China Kimchi-stuffed savoury doughnuts as the Chinese love spicy food and ‘kimchi’; is a staple Korean Cuisine which has become a heavily popular ingredient in Asian kitchens and other doughnuts like rice doughnuts etc. Also, in Thailand, one can find Mango doughnuts or Kai young (a doughnut glazed with dried chicken and Thai chilli pastes). Not only this but the brand launched Dunkin Donut trucks for the street food lovers which are more prevalent in America and compliments the American culture really well. The brand received positive feedback from this step since not many multinational companies pursued this approach back in the day, so, it intrigued many customers to see a company launch food trucks. This turned out to be one of the most convenient approaches towards the customers and helped gain a new outlook for the brand.

source: boston.cbslocal.comm

Marketing changes for localisation: Initially when the brand started its slogan was ‘America runs on Dunkin’ that was a clever move to target American audiences but when the brand had to extend its roots to the global markets. It changed its logo to ‘Get your Mojo back’, a slogan that is targeted towards its young audience and promotes them to come to their stores when having a bad day. This move helped gain a meaningful reputation for the brand within the global markets as the brand knew it had done its research and promoted the idea of positivity and inclusivity to its customers.

source: artsycraftymom.com

Apart from this, Dunkin Donut has been doing well as it not only adapts to different markets but it also adapts to special occasions within a culture, for example, Dunkin Donuts adapted to Diwali (festival of lights in India) by releasing new products within its Indian branch like a doughnut filled with rice pudding.

Changing in-store experiences: Since many customers don’t like the ideas of the traditional queue when in a hurry, the brand released an On-the-Go ordering program to tackle this problem in 2016. This not only helps gain customer loyalty but also increased their consumer base due to the addition of convenience services.

Also, since the brand knows that more than half of its consumer base belongs to the millennial and Gen Z generations, it knows the value of inculcating digitalization within its services. Keeping this in mind, Dunkin Donuts launched a mobile loyalty program in 2014 called ‘DD Rewards Program’. Within this, a typical reward from a free or medium beverage can be collected or members can earn 5 points on qualifying purchases for every dollar when they use either a Dunkin Donuts Card or by the mobile app of the brand to pay.

source: jillcataldo.com

This strategy is useful in many ways; first, the program of loyalty cards is the new trend that every fast food industry has followed and has gained a very positive response. Second, this promotes the knowledge that the company does engage with its customers. How? Taking the example of DD rewards program, it celebrates whenever it hits a huge landmark with its customers such as when the program had 2 million members, it celebrated its two millionth DD perks member Jae Choi and gave her a trip to their chain’s hometown (Boston), free coffee of a year and lastly a cash prize of $1000. As the customers know they might win prizes and are so valuable to the customers, the localisation strategy works the best for this brand as no other brand celebrates milestones like Dunkin Donuts does.

The idea of incentive has several times been used even in their social media promotion to increase their consumer base and guarantee a loyal base. On twitter, the tweets with a hashtag #DDPerksSweeps win a $1000 cash price daily!

What other things can customers want besides food if not money!

Dunkin Donut has cracked the right strategies of localisation and has used many things to their advantage which has enabled it to stand strong against its competitors and within many markets.

By Aiko Verma
Team Loc-N-Apps
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