Move over chocolates; Donuts now a mithai alternative

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Preeti Arora, Head Marketing, Dunkin Donuts India

Preeti Arora, Head Marketing, Dunkin Donuts India

If you come across a Polar Bear standing outside the theatre after you have watched Dabangg 2, giving donuts and a coupon that says for every Rs 100 you spend you get a donut free, you are in for a treat. Dunkin Donuts has launched a new campaign for the entire winter season where every week there is winner who gets a pack of 6-12 donuts and a mug with their picture. A way in which Dunkin claims to do push and pull marketing simultaneously. With Jubilant Foodworks as the parent which has got Domino’s Pizza as the QSR giant under its banner, will Dunkin be able to strive and create a mark after completing few months short of a year in Delhi? In an exclusive interview with Preeti Arora, Head, Marketing, Dunkin’ Donuts India, Pitch finds out more.

What is your segmentation strategy as of now? Has it remained the same since the brand launch since the first quarter?
There are various kinds of people that Dunkin Donuts attracts. There were people who were waiting for Dunkin Donuts to come to India. They had gone abroad tried it and wanted it here. There are the second kinds who liked it as a brand but weren’t loyalists and the third were attracted by our promotions or were passing through the store – they got curious and tried it. The fourth kind are those who do not know the brand and are getting initiated to donuts and the category that we have created. So the first skimming that happened is when Dunkin opened its first store and there was a big queue that we saw outside the store. The hysteria of the new store has obviously come down and therefore the skimming has happened, so now it is about people who were loyal to it but also about those who are converting from first timers, to loyalists.

But you are not only focused on donuts and have an ‘and more..’ attached to your brand, who are your competitors in this field keeping this fact in view? Which other brand will you take as your competitor?
Actually it totally depends, when it comes to donuts. It is of course the other donut players, when it comes to the place it is like a hangout place for youngsters, couples, singles and families too. It is a mix of a cafe and a QSR. Of course donuts are the reason why people have walked in for the first time but our wide range of other products are also a hit. The space we are trying to create, we are not finding anyone as competition. If you go ask someone are you a cafe or a donut player or a sandwich player? Since we cater to all we are setting a category of our own. People try out our sandwiches and are happy with it but it is not the reason why they have entered our store.

What is the reason then?
I think the equity is of the world’s number one donut player, like people know McDonald’s as a burger player. Similarly, people want to come and eat donuts and the range of sandwiches, which is 20 different kinds in our menu as of now; they appreciate and like the brand. It is a surprise for the customer to walk into a donut shop and find so much more, it does not pintch the pocket and is value for money.

What are the different activities that you are doing on both ATL and BTL levels?
We just concluded the Dunkin Diwali campaign, which was about donuts as a gifting campaign. There was an insight that people like to exchange gifts in Diwali and especially in north India in Delhi, but they have been always been gifting ‘mithai’ dry fruits, home-made items etc.

The aim was to see if we can become the preferred sweet this Diwali? And can donuts become the consideration and preferred set for gifting this Diwali. For Diwali we did this whole campaign that said that don’t gift the old gift something new this Diwali, gift donuts.

So we did radio we did a lot of in-store activations, we did a lot of mall activations through radio also. We were present in all radio channels in Delhi. We covered Saket, and the seven stores we had in Delhi and NCR, including TGIP (The Great India Place).

WP_002018What is the latest in marketing that Dunkin Donuts is doing this season?
We are doing is the Dunkin Winter Blast. During Diwali, the whole insight was that people are going to gift, but when it comes to Christmas, New Year and this season, the main insight is that people are going to hang out and their socialising increases during this time. One wants to catch up and hang out with your near and dear ones. So the insight was that let’s make Dunkin Donuts a preferred destination for friends and family for Christmas. We then thought that we did not want to have this campaign for seven days. Instead, we took ‘winter’ the theme, which has a queue of festivities and celebrations.

For example, we have a polar bear as an engagement device, so people can click pictures, kids can play around, it gives people a reason to celebrate and feel nice and they have something to say.

This is a pure BTL activation which is relevant to people in the mall and the vicinity and are deciding which place to go to, so if they see a lucky dip happening or someone doing something for Christmas they are attracted. It is an engagement device that we are creating for the place and not only the food. It is a destination. Nobody has promoted the place in a core BTL manner.

If you see Pizza Hut they had a ‘ring the bell’ if you had a good time, we similarly are doing a strong BTL campaign to promote the place. Malls do it to attract people but you won’t see a QSR brand do it. We want this place to be consumed as a hangout.

This is engagement at a BTL level what all are you doing at the ATL level?
We did newspaper inserts, we did 10 lakh inserts all across colonies in Delhi and NCR. We did Facebook activations where the pictures of the daily activities and engagement get uploaded and people are tagging themselves. Since the time promotion has started 1,000 pictures are getting uploaded every day.  People are liking, tagging and commenting online.

What is your target and rationale behind this campaign?
Our biggest reason for the BTL campaign is to let people know what all we are offering. If there are 20 walk-ins, we want 100 because of this campaign. It is a walk-in related campaign; we have seen families that come too and not only youth, college, couples and singles. We want the donuts to be relevant to the customers, our TG is anywhere between 12 to 55. Digital is important for us; if you see Facebook we have a 90 percent match with the core target profile on Facebook. Primary target is the youth SEC A and B.

What are your spends for such activations? 
We are spending about 15 per cent of the marketing budget for this campaign which will include sampling that is a big thing going forward.

India is not a donut market, and we think that till the time we do not sample the product, people will not recognise the taste and the value of the donut.

In time, we will have a dedicated budget allocation for sampling. But this time we are doing mini donut sampling and hot chocolate sampling every evening. With that we are giving coupons to the customers to come and try, hence, going forward we see BTL and sampling becoming 20 per cent of our marketing spends.

What is your media mix?
The main medium that we are going to use is radio, salient read and outdoor.

Donuts is a visual category that has a tempt appeal; we are going to invest in outdoor visual and print visual etc.

What is your market share and what are you expecting in the future?
It is too early for market share; the category of donuts is not a clearly defined market as of now. Secondly, I want to see who is studying the market for this category since it is not an FMCG product. We don’t really have figures available.

What is the kind of ROI you are looking at?
I will not comment on that, because there are many ways of looking at ROI. There is store to store growth, space etc. We are very new in this journey. When you are 40-50 stores old, then you could be able to comment. Right now, we are setting the market expectation. It is a new category and a new brand. But we are seeing a positive trend.

Do you leverage the Domino’s brand to your benefit, in lieu that both the brands belong to the same family?
I think, in terms of expertis,e we have leveraged it, because a lot of people have come from Domino’s to Dunkin. People have already been trained and imbibed the efficiency of working in Domino’s. Dunkin is a new brand that has experience of Domino’s and the reliability.

Are you launching new variants?
In terms of donuts, we have a donut of the month where we launch a new donut. We will be expanding our menus, meals, food combos soon

What your future plans?
In five years, we are planning 80-100 stores across India. This financial year, we planned to open 10 stores, eight we have already opened. Expansion to other cities is in the pipeline too.

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