No kidding. I went back into my pile of saved articles and found two great ones analyzing Dunkin' Donuts, "the most aloof fast-food franchise in the USA," as Bryan Curtis has written.
Among their findings: Like Dodge automobiles, Dunkin' is a male-centric brand. That doesn't mean that females aren't allowed (in fact, women make-up about nearly half of customers for both Dunkin' and Dodge), but it means that the brand has a "male" image and feel. Dodge has its ads that speak to guys and their desire for toughness and utility ("Yeah, it's got a Hemi"). Dunkin' is about quick service and irresistible beverages, pastries, and occasionally ice cream. Calories be dammed. And having the very large John Goodman as a spokesman certainly helps to reinforce the sell. Dunkin's dirty, florescent-lit stores are not warm and fuzzy at all.
Starbucks, it can be argued, is a more European and 'female' brand, that invites customers to sit and stay (a decent minority does). Starbucks has barristas who might ask for your name during peak periods, and take over 60 seconds to deliver a beverage, sometimes with a label and your name on it. At Dunkin', the guy or gal behind the counter pushes a button on a $10,000 machine, and your hot or cold beverage is ready in about 20 seconds.
And it is really something how Dunkin' Donuts went from being a Quincy / Dorchester chain favored by Bruins fans, to a mega chain popular with Patriots and Red Sox fans. It really is the #1 brand for the pickup truck driving Massachusetts male who loves pro sports.
Here is Bryan Curtis from Slate, in an article published on March 2nd, 2005.
Dunkin' Donuts: A More Perfect Pastry.
And here is a wonderful article by Mike Miliard in Boston Phoenix Magazine (now simply called The Phoenix) from March 2nd of this year, entitled, Choosing Our Religion.
Grab a cup of joe and enjoy.