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Dunkin’ Donuts hopes Valentine’s Day iMessage integration will drive sales

Dunkin’ Donuts is looking to capitalize on the Valentine’s Day festivities by establishing a presence on iMessage through special features on its Dunkin’ Donuts Stickers & Cards application.

The features are available to any iPhone user running iOS 10, an update that was most notable for breaking open iMessage to a bevy of third-party features that Apple believe can be organically integrated into the messaging experience. Dunkin’ Donuts will join brands such as Yelp and Zillow in the messaging craze sweeping marketing and tech circles since the update.

“Dunkin’ Donuts is committed to leveraging the best and most innovative technologies to provide our guests with greater levels of convenience,” said Sherrill Kaplan, vice president of digital marketing and innovation at Dunkin’ Brands. “we are excited have stickers in Messages and create new ways for people to enjoy our coffee, food and beverages, and to share their love for our brand.”

Stickers & Cards
The stickers and cards are ostensibly more a brand move than a commerce one, and serve the purpose of making Dunkin’ Donuts brand seem more fun and approachable to younger users (who generally take more advantage of both stickers and overall iMessage third-party apps). The choice in target demographic is a play out of left field for Dunkin’ Donuts, which has made its bones contrasting a brand identity that caters to hardworking consumers on the move to Starbucks’ younger, more hip demographic.

Branded messaging amenities are especially popular with younger users, and the explosive success of such far-reaching brand efforts such as Kim Kardashian’s Kimoji app have many brands scrambling to expand their brand reach on mobile past mere app presences.

Dunkin’ Donuts’ effort is being touted as a fun way to remind partners (or soon-to-be partners) to grab a coffee on Valentine’s Day.

The app runs through iMessage, and requires users to choose a branded Dunkin’ Donuts background and decorate the card with stickers and other branded content before sending it to the recipient. The card can be captioned with any message of the users’ choice.

Recipients who have the Stickers & Cards app downloaded can also participate in the fun by adorning the received card with branded stickers and sending it back.

While the iMessage integration seems to be an experiment with the kinds of hats Dunkin’ Donuts’ brand can wear, do not be surprised if the coffee chain — which is in the midst of serious investment into mobile — parlays its success into a ecommerce opportunity in conjunction with its popular Dunkin’ Donuts app.

The chain has put its chips in its mobile rewards program in recent months, offering a free travel mug to any eligible rewards members in the New York metro area and informing them via a push-notification from Dunkin’ on its app (see story).

And an executive from Dunkin’ Donuts recently enumerated twelve “innovation insights” for an audience at Mobile FirstLook 2017, many of which were centered around the reduction of consumer friction, labeled as one of the top bulwarks for food-and-beverage consumers (see story).

“Valentine’s Day is an important time for us, and we’re excited to show our fans love this season with a variety of exciting programming,” said Melanie Cohn, digital and social media strategy at Dunkin’ Donuts. “We’ve focused on messenger innovation through our new iMessage app feature.

“Now, fans can create and send customized Valentine’s Day cards through iMessage to take their texts to the next level.”