Major companies and corporations, it appears, are finally understanding how significant this whole "Internet" thing must just actually be. For a series of tubes, it’s become a pretty big deal.
The potential benefits of this are fantastic, both for companies and consumers. For us, the consumers, it means we get more personal, transparent, and efficient interaction with the huge companies that used to just ignore us and put us on hold for 37 minutes, playing the same Sting song over and over. And over. Thanks to the Web, things might just be looking up – though Sting’s royalties’ll go down the tube.
One of the best examples of the changing landscape of the corporate Web is Dunkin’ Donuts. The company is hugely active on Twitter and Facebook, offering everything from discounts, to contests, to cool factoids about the company. They’re interacting with their customers to improve their products, their reputation, and their consumer commitment – and it’s a plus for us, too!
There’s also DDPerks, which is essentially a VIP email list. Sign up, and you’ll get notified of important news, in-store and online offers, and discounts that no one else gets. It’s a little more volume than I might want, but I’ll take a few extra emails if it means the coffee I can’t be without anymore is cheaper.
The latest and greatest from DD is called Dunkin’ Run, and is just flat-out awesome. The application, which has both a Website and an iPhone app, lets you create what they’re calling a "Dunkin’ Run." The idea is this: you send out, to your coworkers, friends or whatever, a notice saying you’re going to DD. You set a deadline for when you’re leaving, so everyone knows they have 15 minutes to get their order in before you leave.
Everyone can see the menu and pick what they want; once everything’s compiled, you can access the list from the Web or your iPhone app. Then go get your coffee, and rejoice in the undying love and adoration of your coworkers!
The app is a huge time-saver. No running around with a pen getting orders, or having everyone yell as you’re leaving, saying "hey, you’re going to Dunkin Donuts? I’d like the following 41 things. Thanks!" Everything goes into one place, and you can even show the order to the people at DD and they’ll make it all for you – you don’t have to remember a darn thing. Except your iPhone.
I’m a huge DD fan myself (better than Starbucks? Check. Cheaper? Check. Less pretentious? Check.), and I love that the company is trying to stick out as a user of social media and the Internet to promote its product. There’s more that could be done, sure, but Dunkin’ is very much at the forefront of interacting with users over the Web, and through social media. They’re making their product easier to use, their brand more friendly, and are getting the Dunkin’ Donuts name out on the Web in a way that’s pretty hard to miss at this point.
Here’s hoping more brands come along and do it! Come on, Huggies!