Dunkin' Donuts partners with Timehop, adds Alexa skill for National Coffee Day
- Dunkin’ Donuts, the coffee and bakery chain with 12,300 restaurants worldwide, is celebrating National Coffee Day with buy one, get one free offers and the rollout of several mobile-based promotions. On Sept. 29, fans can unlock two Snapchat geofilters at any of the chain's locations to share on the image-messaging service, according to a press release from the company.
- The chain also partnered with Timehop, an app that helps people see memories on their smartphones via old photos, to urge users to share coffee with a friend. Timehop users can share photos from previous National Coffee Day celebrations with branded filters on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Dunkin’ Donuts also unveiled an Amazon Alexa skill that responds to the voice command “Alexa, open Dunkin’ Donuts,” per the release. Users of the Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices can test their knowledge about coffee, doughnuts and Dunkin’ Donuts trivia.
Nearly every day consumers are hit with some sort of faux holiday, and brands often tie promotions to them, such as Jose Cuervo retrofitting some Los Angeles water fountains with tequila for National Tequila Day in July.
Dunkin' Donuts, in this case, is attaching itself to a similar celebration on Sept. 29 in a push to promote its products and remain top-of-mind among consumers, especially as it plans to test a rebrand to position it as more associated with coffee. By integrating a new Alexa skill into its marketing mix, the brand lets coffee fans learn about how its products are made and the history of the brand via voice, while signaling to consumers that it's committed to embracing emerging tech. The use of Timehop is interesting as it offers another way to engage with mobile users and their love of sharing images.
Many chains have begun to revamp their marketing strategy with a stronger emphasis on digital technology as a way to better connect with younger consumers. Dunkin' Donuts has been one of the leaders on this front, launching a digital loyalty program and being active across a number of different mobile platforms, including iMessage, Twitter and others to strengthen customer loyalty and drive store traffic.
In August, the chain asked fans to help select new iced coffee flavors based on ice cream from Baskin Robbins, another company under Dunkin' Brands. Voting was conducted with comments on pinned posts on the chain’s official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. In late June, the chain rolled out a summer-themed Snapchat geofilter that was only available when users were physically in its restaurants. It also promoted National Doughnut Day on June 1 with online content and a sponsored Snapchat selfie lens and geofilter, along with downloadable sticker packs and emojis.