The two companies I looked at were Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks Both are well known coffee companies with numerous locations.  Both have a number of social media sites but I focused on their facebook pages and instagram pages.  Due to the number of pages on both social media platforms I used the first one that pops up when searching the company.


Dunkin Donuts:

They are definitely looking focused engagement aspect of social media.  They promote use of the #mydunkin hashtag by using it on all platforms, including their tv commercials.

They do not seem to interact with the fans as much as one would expect.  They do post questions and have people vote or give their opinion but they do not then follow up with their fans if the fan posts a question or comment that would typically need to be addressed.


They do have a fan of the week and encourage their fans to post their Dunkin photos.  That seems to be working well for them.  Definitely helps promote brand awareness.


Dunkin Donuts is using the same photos and captions for both their Instagram and Facebook, making is a little less interesting.  They do however post to both social media platforms separately.  This is interesting because you can link Facebook and Instagram together and post on both at the same time, but Facebook shows that the post came from Instagram.


The social posts from Starbucks are mostly focused on coffee.  I found this interesting as they just paid huge money to have a full page ad on the back cover of Sports Illustrated promoting their breakfast options.


Starbucks is posting to comments and feedback from their fans almost every time on Facebook.  They are definitely are having more of a conversation with their fans, making them very engaging but in a different way when compared to Dunkin Donuts.

Similar to Dunkin Donuts Starbucks uses the same photos on both Facebook and Instagram.  They also post to both platforms secretly.  Starbucks uses all kinds of hashtags where Dunkin uses hostages rarely if ever.


Starbucks seems to use Instagram a bit better than Dunkin (in my opinion).  They like to use #regram when you use a post posted by someone else. This is interesting and I think really gets fans to from loyalty.  Much like how Dunkin uses fan of the day.


Starbucks has substation more fans than Dunkin on Instagram.  Both companies have about the same number of posted photos.

dunk fb fan count starbucks fan count fb

Personally I think Starbucks could focus a little action on their other beverages and food options. Dunkin is already doing this.

4 thoughts on “Differentiation

  1. Rachel,
    I like both Duncan Donuts and Starbucks coffee; although Starbucks is more expensive, but the taste and experience are different too. I’m originally from Texas, so when I came to New England, the first thing I noticed were all the Dunkin Donuts. I’m not fond of the cold donuts themselves, but never knew their signature was coffee. It is interesting that neither promote their food items as much as their coffee. It seems both are somewhat engaged with social media, but have different personas. Starbucks, I believe, is a larger company and has a broader geography than Duncan Donuts. However, based on my own personal observation, I see more TV ads and social media presence with Duncan Donuts than I do with Starbucks. Nevertheless, if I want a nice treat, I’ll go to Starbucks.

    • Thanks for the Comment! I too enjoy Starbucks over DD. I need a good cup of coffee in the morning and I know Starbucks will get it right or it is free.. DD does not offer that same type of promise. A few months ago I did a study on price of coffee and DD is not cheaper than Starbucks when it comes to just a small cup of normal coffee. I was blown away when I realized that. And to top of off DD small is 2oz smaller than Starbucks (Or it was at the time). Those 2oz mean a lot on a Monday morning!!
      I think we see a lot of TV ads in New England for DD because this is their market. Starbucks are located around the world. I just came back from Toronto and similar to DD here there is a Starbucks on every corner. Also I went to Singapore last year and there was a Starbucks there! and it blew my mind that my coffee tasted exactly the same!!! Talk about quality control from around the world!


  2. COFFEE! I don’t really have an allegiance to either one, I’ve have drank both and always will. It think it will depend on whats near me. Some very interesting stuff on the two social media pages for these two, it seems like Starbucks is more about promoting the company versus focusing on product. Which seems like what a lot of other companies do with their social media pages. I’ve seen numerous companies with MKT 555 and now 655 do this instead of focusing on products or even social aspects. Maybe things will change with time, till then, drink on!

    • I think product is becoming a thing of the past for a lot of companies. Think about fuel. It is so heavily regulated that you are getting the same regular from Exxon as you are from Shell. But if Exxon can get you to want Exxon Only! Than you will pay the extra.. or you will go out of your way for the Exxon gas!! It’s the same for the coffee.. If I know my small coffee is going to be 99Cents no matter where I go but I know that Starbucks is making the community a better place.. than I’m going to give my 99Cents to Starbucks.

      I’m no expert but I have got to believe this is why companies are moving away from product and moving their campaigns to image. I know in the banking industry it is the only way to stay relevant… lets be serious a checking account is a checking account is a checking account.
      Thanks for the comment

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