Brand Battles: Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ Donuts

starbucksdunkin donutsFor years, two popular coffee brands have been battling for customer appreciation and have worked hard to get it. While there are many similarities between each company, there are also many differences. Take a look at the background info, audience, menu, and marketing efforts of Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts:



Starbucks – 1971, Seattle, Washington

Dunkin Donuts – 1950, Quincy, Massachusetts

Number of Locations

Starbucks – Over 20,890

Dunkin Donuts – Over 10,080


Audience Type

Starbucks – “premium” coffee drinkers: college-goers, music lovers, “adventurists”

Dunkin Donuts – “average Joe” coffee drinkers: social moms, sports fans, family travelers

Major U.S. Market

Starbucks – West Coast

Dunkin Donuts – Northeast


Drink Options

Starbucks – various coffee roasts & flavors, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, Frappuccinos, macchiatos, smoothies, teas, various hot chocolates

Dunkin Donuts – coffee flavors, cappuccinos, lattes, espresso, Coolattas, Dunkaccinos, teas, various hot chocolates

Breakfast Options

Starbucks – muffins, scones, fritters, bagels, parfaits, breakfast sandwiches, cookies, danishes, brownies, cakes, oatmeal, breakfast wraps

Dunkin Donuts – donuts, muffins, croissants, bagels, hash browns, English muffins, biscuits, danishes, cookies, breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal.

Lunch Options

Starbucks – “Bistro boxes”, salads, sandwiches, paninis,

Dunkin Donuts – sandwiches, wraps


Product Pushes

Starbucks – specialty coffees

Dunkin Donuts – iced coffees, breakfast items

Social Media Presences

Starbucks – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest

Dunkin Donuts – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine

Social Media Posts

Starbucks – artsy product photos, some fan mentions, coupons

Dunkin Donuts – product photos, lots of questions for fans, “Fan of the Week,” coupons,

Direct Campaign Attacks

Starbucks – None on Dunkin Donuts specifically

Dunkin Donuts – “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Starbucks” campaign

Marketing Mentions

Starbucks – introduced Pumpkin Spice latte for fall; bottles and sells its own iced coffee; launched mobile app in 2011; opened first LEED-certified store in 2005; has partnered with Apple, MSNBC, and Google

Dunkin Donuts – introduced brand k-cups for Keurig, has a slogan: “America Runs on Dunkin'”; ranked #1 in customer loyalty by Brand Keys for 7 years in a row; has partnered with a variety of celebrities, actors, and product makers

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