• Hugh McPherson

Don't Call Us Late For Dunkin'!

Over the past year we have trained sellers at over 145 great independent radio stations across the country. During these training sessions we have been telling sellers that Dunkin' Donuts is no longer in the donut business. They are really in the coffee business and they will be dropping "donuts" from their name and that Starbucks and McCafe are their #1 and #2 head-to-head competitors.

"After much speculation, today we revealed that we are updating our branding and will now be known simply as Dunkin’.”

-Tony Weisman, CMO

When I ask sellers, who is the #1 fast food restaurant they know instantly that it is McDonald's. Rarely does anyone get this question wrong as the fast food giant and their 36,999 stores keep their sales on top. When I ask who is #2 I get many answers like Burger King, Wendy's and even Chick-fil-A. Most are surprised when I tell them that the #2 fast food restaurant in the country is Starbucks!

Get in a dark room with yourself and ask this question, do I really know who the #1 head to head competitors are for all my key clients? Then ask yourself this question, do I really know who I compete with? If you think its the heritage country station or the big rock station or that AC station you probably do not see the entire landscape. Top sales trainer and Mobile Oil executive Don Beveridge taught me that "your customer's needs are changing!" If you are selling like you did 36 months ago your skills are antiquated!

Your customer's needs are changing, and their #1 competitor today might not be who you think it is and it will probably change again tomorrow! People assume that pro football, major league baseball, professional hockey, the NBA and the NCAA all compete head to head. Perhaps, but if you are chasing a younger, female audience you might want to sponsor 27-year-old WWE Superstar Alexa Bliss. She is a 5-time champion at 27 and a powerful vehicle for reaching the elusive young female consumer!

So, who do YOU compete with every day? Borrell Associates in their summer surveys this year reported that 9 out of 10 small businesses want to buy digital from traditional media like radio, television, newspaper, direct mail or billboards. They feel these medias are complimentary and that dollars are not traded. Well, they are not traded if they buy their digital from YOU! So, do you want to get back in that dark room and ask yourself again, who do I compete with?

The social media sites are already heating up with the topic of Dunkin' dropping "donuts" from their name and why it is a mistake because this brand has always had the word "donuts" attached to it. But Dunkin' understands that their customers' needs are changing and clinging to an identity just because you had it since 1973 is probably a bad idea.

Our country's population is shifting, our tastes are changing and Dunkin' understands that if they are still doing things like they did 36 months ago or 36 years ago they are surely antiquated! If America is going to run on Dunkin' in the new millennium, we will go farther and faster on coffee than on donuts!

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