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Dunkin’s Snide Snipe at Starbucks

Excuse the multiple coffee-related postings today. Last one for a long time. I promise.

In a cost-saving move, Starbucks no longer requires its stores to have brewed Decaf coffee ready-to-serve after 12 noon. (You can read all the hubbub on StarbucksGossip here and here.)

Dunkin’ Donuts is again sniping at Starbucks. This time, Dunkin’ is chiding Starbucks for its cost-savings Decaf decision with a creative print ad that includes this brilliant line, We don’t work around our schedule, we work around yours.

(Ouch, Starbucks. Ouch.)

Kudos to AdFreak for the hook-up.


  • Liz says:

    You probably already know about this, but Caribou gave out free coffee last week all afternoon because of this. They sent out an e-mail to loyal customers (blog post on it here) and openly slammed Starbucks for this decision. Looks like everyone is taking swings at ‘bucks!

  • klcreative says:

    It amazes me that there is nothing in Starbucks’ strategy to maintain the competitive advantage. It’s almost as if the unnatural growth forced them to throw all the fundamentals out the window. This is coffee. They should be scalable and flexible enough to remain creative and on top of things.

  • m says:

    the wolf are out for the hunt.Will DD raise to the challenge?will it change itself with a new image of comfort and cosy cafe corner instead of a fast food spot environment?I’ve seen DD have began investing on the packaging.. more aware about the romanticism of the coffee bean origin.. the price is not bad too, and they have their strongest ‘under-dog’ product: donuts.

  • Scott says:

    I think this “idea” submitted by someone in Starbucks’ own community is something to watch. The idea being “Go back to the original values of the company.”@m – I disagree. I’ve been a DD coffee drinker all my life and the in and out atmosphere is what I like. I don’t want to see it have that ‘cafe’ feel. I think part of what makes them successful is their quick customer turnover.

  • Scott … the core values are there and have been there. Starbucks just needs to live their existing core values.One famously celebrated Starbucks core value has been: “Develop enthusiastically satisfied customers all of the time.” Obviously, the decision to have customers wait four-minutes for a just-ordered/just-brewed cup of decaf coffee doesn’t do much for enthusiastically satisfying customers.In April 2008, Howard Schultz didn’t seem too concerned about pouring out coffee that had been sitting atop a burner for more than an hour. When announcing the revised hold time for brewed coffee down from 60-minutes to 30-minutes, Schultz said, “We’ll be pouring out more coffee than most people serve.”This change in hold times for brewed coffee was part of a larger initiative to re-establish Starbucks as the “premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world.” The aspirational value of being the world’s “premier purveyor” of coffee has been a celebrated Starbucks value.There is another core value Starbucks (and any other publicly traded company) follows and it is the value of “recognizing that profitability is essential” to a company’s success. This value blatantly collides with the other two values mentioned above.The current financial health of Starbucks is forcing it to question its values. And the more they question their values, the more they run from them. It’s tough to watch.It wasn’t too long ago when the company learned to believe “profit happens as a direct result of doing everything else right.”Doing things right at Starbucks used to mean having faith in its core values and steadfastly following those values despite the circumstances. Now, Starbucks is content to do some things right and other things wrong. We’ll see where its gets them.

  • WSJ 02/09/09″Coffee Empire Seeks to Seem Less Expensive in Recession”It would appear SBX is testing “pairings” as a repostion tool for customers who perceive SBX coffee to be too expensive.Good luck. McD and DDough have already proven it’s an extremely price sensitive marketplace, and SBX customers are confused at best with SBX’s blended “old with new” offering.What is of interest is Schultz’s quote, “I strongly believe we are going to be in this environment for years.” Referring to economic downturn.I’m not out on a limb here when I say he’s posturing for additional cost reductions and lower analyst expectations on earnings.Is SBX done building on what they know, and headed downstream? If so, that could be VERY exciting.Our marketing mantra to clients: All’s Fair in Love, War and Recession!

  • Let’s look at this from a different point of view. Dunkin’ Donuts spent 44 words – almost half of the real estate – talking about the competition before they even got to talk about themselves.THAT’s the sign of a follower.