Dunkin’, the quick-service restaurant chain, has made innovations in areas such as its menu selection, and even its coupon strategy, thanks to a focus on customer listening.

Tony Weisman, Dunkin’s CMO, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2019 Masters of Marketing Conference.

And he pointed to estimates that 47% of Americans cannot come up with $400 if they needed to cover the cost of an emergency as being indicative of shopper needs.

“That’s the primary driver of traffic in our industry these days,” he asserted. (For more, read WARC’s report: Dunkin’ re-energizes dated QSR brand with seven strategic principles of brand optimism.)

Although Dunkin’ seemed to have every size and shape of discount coupon, its marketing team listened to customers and simplified the discounting process with a “Go2s” program.

“Go2s meet the needs of our consumers,” Weisman offered, “who are watching how much money they have, how much appetite they have, and what their favorite products are.

Such an approach, he revealed, “[has] been a very important contributor to our growth, because customers know it’s there every day.”

Younger adults, Dunkin’ learned, were also focused on a particular beverage, in the form of espresso – an offering that the chain had available, but which was not a priority.

“We were not a player. We served it, but they probably didn’t know it. And if they did, they probably didn’t love it,” said Weisman.

In late 2018, each restaurant was outfitted with state-of-the-art espresso makers. And the additions to these physical capabilities were supported by a new “Sipping is Believing” campaign.

“We knew that nobody woke up that morning and walked out on the street and said, ‘I wonder where I’m going get my latte today?’ They already knew. What we needed was credibility.”

And, underscoring the boldness of the introduction, “We used an iconic exclamation-point graphic” to ensure the packaging refilled the brand’s optimism.

Dunkin’ also listened to people about their favorite foods. Turkey sausage, white cheese, multi-grain bread and the brand’s “very first” plant-based breakfast sandwiches were healthy additions to its menu.

“The products are very much on-trend,” Weisman said. “Customers flocked to our stores during our test in Manhattan.”

Sourced from WARC