Today marks my 1-month anniversary in Los Angeles (LA-versary, perhaps?). Since driving out here some days have been amazing, some have been overwhelming, and some are too silly to recount. Overall I’m still basking in the decision I made last November to trek out here.
However, there is one (blaringly obvious) void in my life: Dunks.
Born and raised on the East Coast, Dunkin’ Donuts was a vital presence throughout my childhood. They sponsored the hot chocolate hut at our local skating rink. The Dunks on the Epsom Traffic Circle in New Hampshire (locals shoutout) was always the first stop on the way to the beach, my step-dad fueling up with an extra sugary iced coffee and treating us to munchkins as a first-day-of-vacation celebratory kick-off. As soon as I got home on the day I (finally) got my license, the first place I drove on my own was to the Dunkin’ Donuts Drive-through.
Attending Emerson College in downtown Boston, MA provided an endless Dunks parade at my disposal. I lived on a street in Beacon Hill sandwiched between two DD shops and frequented the two locations on Emerson’s campus daily (and more, if it was winter, a stressful day, or I was heading to work…basically every day).
Then I moved to California. Driving across the country, my road companion, Kasey Fielding (a fellow Dunks enthusiast), and I made sure to stop at every accessible Dunkin’ Donuts (some highlights: the only Dunks in Missouri, a 24-hour Dunks in Santa Fe, NM that welcomed us at 4 am, and our last stop before LA: Las Vegas, NV where we procured, and then traveled with, over 150 fluid ounces of iced coffee for some Dunks-deprived friends). And it’s now been 30 days without my energy-inducing, smile-supplying friend.
And yet, the love is still there.
As a social media addict, I also can’t help but appreciate the presence Dunks has so carefully and skillfully crafted. Their Twitter feed is both informative and fun while interacting with real customers every day. On Facebook, Dunks sports a Fan of the Week as their profile picture, a Dunkin’ Perks section touting their loyalty card, limited and local news/promos, and an extensive fan-uploaded photo gallery. With their own YouTube channel, Dunkin’ Donuts seems like one of those companies that “just gets it” when it comes to social media (a big win, in my book). As FastCompany shows us, Dunkin may not be ahead in followers, but their social currency comes from advocates, who are 35% more likely to recommend their favorite coffee brand to a friend than Starbucks consumers are.
They’re engaging, consistent, and trustworthy. As a brand that’s visibly jumping to join the conversation, I’m never not impressed with their corporate input. On Monday, September 27, Dunkin’ Donuts released a survey that, paired with CareerBuilder, explored coffee’s affect on corporate America. Proving their “America runs on Dunkin'” slogan, the poll reported 32% of workers “needing coffee to get through the workday” and 43% thinking that they were “less productive if they don’t drink coffee on the job.”
So, really, there’s only one question left in my mind: WHEN will Dunkin’ Donuts get its act together and establish some franchises in L.A.??
In line with my LA-versary, look out for my guest blog entry on Westwordly–East to West: A Chronicle. Their blog has definitely helped me realize I’m not the only East-to-West transplant going through Dunks-withdrawal and other, similarly harsh, changes. And besides that, they’re a fun bunch who keep me laughing. This weekend will mark their first guest entry, so I’m hoping I set the bar sufficiently high for future guest posts!