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Social Media Differentiation.

When I think of two companies in the same industry that use social media I immediately think of Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks. Of course each company rivals the other. They are considered competitors.

However, when you look at the lifestyle of a Starbucks consumer s/he is most likely urban or traveling to an urban area for work or school. They tend to be more educated and affluent.

Walk into any Starbucks and you’ll see a warm, comfortable atmosphere with ambient lighting, comfy chairs and free WiFi. Watch as people enter in droves only to wait in line for their beloved Grande non-fat latte or half Cap with soy.

Dunkin Donuts prides itself on offering a good hot cup of coffee. It appeals to the average working American. The stores are brighter with limited seating and not the place where one lingers. They have more of a rush-in-and-get-out feel. Not to mention Dunkin Donuts as many drive thru windows. As big as the line of cars get, the line typically moves fast. The company has a slogan, “America runs on Dunkin.”

Starbucks has been widely recognized in the social media sphere. Technorati calls Starbucks the Nation’s most socially engaged company. IN fact the company is said to be one of the fastest brands to respond via social media. I have heard different stats but the turnaround time is a mere half hour or so.

In a post on iDigitalTimes a few days ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz announced the launch of the newest campaign called Indivisible. It is designed to encourage average citizens to voice their opinions on social media sites across the Web to let politicians know what they want from their government. Shultz hopes that the campaign can help “put citizenship over partisanship.” (iDitialTimes, 2012)

Just as their stores are different so is their social media presence. Dunkin Donuts brand identity is carried out successful via social media. The company is active on Facebook and Twitter as well as mobile devices. Much of the content is supporting local sports teams like the Boston Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins.

Its new social media campaign is called, “Get Dunk’d.” Dunkin Donuts is launching promotions to get customers tweeting and Facebook chatting about the brand.

Missy Maio, senior field marketing manager for Dunkin’ Brands Inc. told Diect Marketing News,  “We are really looking for ways that we can connect our brand with the people who want to be connected with us in a nontraditional manner… and we want to give back to our loyal customers who have signed up for our social media pages.”

A far cry from discussions and banter related to politics, the environment and social and political issues. However, when all you want is a good cup of joe who needs all that?


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