Big Data Shows Dunkin’ the Difference Between Coffee and Donuts

Dunkin Donuts and Big DataA really nice article by Ellis Booker at on the keynote speech by the President of Global Marketing at Dunkin Brands to kick-off the 2nd Annual Big Data Retail Forum in Chicago this week.

“Big data is not a strategy by itself. Big data should supplement judgment, not replace it,” Mr. Costello, told attendees in his speech on the opening day of the conference.

In the article, Mr. Booker captures the rival strengths and weakness of using big data to perform business analytics.

“For example, the company’s current understanding of its brand, which Costello described as mixture of ‘irreverence and authenticity,’ wasn’t established by a data study. Rather, this insight was provided, largely, by deep interviews with customer groups, as well as input from the company’s 17,000 worldwide franchisees in 30 countries.”

“On the other hand, in the past few years, an analysis of point of sale and social media data revealed a truth: While “donuts” is part of its name, it wasn’t the core of Dunkin’ Donuts’ business or the basis of future growth.”

Some interesting highlights from the article:

  • Over half of Dunkin’s business is beverages and less than 20 percent is bakery.
  • Dunkin introduced some 40 food products last year alone.
  • Earlier this year Dunkin’ launched nationally its first customer loyalty program to harvest data on customer habits.
  • The program provides “one-to-one marketing” to Dunkin’ customers.

Doug Atkinson