In 1950, Bill Rosenberg founded the Dunkin’ Donuts chain by opening the first location in Quincy, Massachusetts. By 1975, 1,000 locations nationwide were grossing a collective $300 million in sales. At the beginning of 2008, there were 7,988 Dunkin’ Donuts stores worldwide, including 5,769 franchised restaurants in the United States and 2,219 internationally. The company clocked worldwide sales of $5.3 billion during fiscal year 2007.
This impressive growth would not have been possible without extensive marketing research and a commitment to quality. Bill Rosenberg began the culture within the company of listening to what the customer wanted and then providing it, and that tradition continues today. Marketing research ill the form of focus groups and survey research revealed that customers select a.coffee and donut shop based on five factors: accessibility, quality, variety, image, and affordability. The company’s business is built around these factors. From research, Dunkin’ Donuts found that its customers wanted a coffee and donut shop that was very accessible-close to work or home and easy to get to. To accompany its stand-alone locations, Dunkin’ Donuts has opened locations in Home Depot, Wal-Mart, 7-11, and Stop & Shop stores to add to the convenience that customers desire. Every location is strategically placed and designed with these customers’ preferences in mind. Because these purchases are so convenience driven, the locations can be placed close together without cannibalizing business.Marketing research showed that customers preferred an image that related to the common person. They did not want a coffee shop that was flashy with lots of bells and whistles; they just wanted a common shop that made a great cup of coffee. Therefore, Dunkin’ Donuts appeals to just about everyone. During the late 1970s and the 1980s. the ad campaign of “Fred the Baker” brought this image to life. With commercials showing him waking up in the middle of the night with a commitment to quality, he appealed to the common person. The Mercedes and the pickup truck come together in an egalitarian Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot. In addition, Dunkin’ Donuts is affordable. Just about any consumer can afford the Dunkin’ Donuts experience. Dunkin’ Donuts is much less expensive compared to Starbucks and other upscale coffee shops
Dunkin’ Donuts realizes that first and foremost its donuts and coffee need to be up to par to customers’ expectations. Already the retail market leader in donuts and bagels, Dunkin’ Donuts knows that it takes a commitment to marketing research to stay there. Bob Pitts, the current Technology Product Developer, demands a continuing
commitmen to listening to what the customers prefer. Again, this manifests itself through constant research and taste testing. The customer is a very important source of wisdom and insight at Dunkin’ and customer opinion and feedback is important. Customers’ preferences have not only shaped the recipes of donuts and bagels, but they have also prompted the introduction of the Dunkin’ Decaf and flavored coffees such as Hazelnut and French Vanilla. The huge success of these introductions reaffirmed the importance of customers to Dunkin’ Donuts and its new products. This journey of innovation has continued with the launch of indulgent coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos. In August 2007, Dunkin’ announced a partnership with Procter & Gamble. In this alliance, P&G roast