Archive for the 'Dunkin’ Donuts' Category


Health Care and Franchising – A Growing Business Model

ImageHealth care in the United States continues to evolve. With changes forthcoming, and past obstacles still being overcome, health providers are looking for ways to provide better patient outcomes and manage a sustainable business model. However, these are irrelevant if there is no access to care. Coupled with one of the largest issues to come out of the 2011 Healthcare Franchising Conference is the fact that more doctors are retiring than ever before, leading to increased opportunities to deliver a number of health care services through the franchised business model.

In my opinion, franchising give us the access to care, provides quality assurance and creates a sustainable business model for the business owners and providers.

Franchising is at the cross roads of health care and business.

Franchising has successfully evolved thousands of from thriving local businesses into iconic household names. Think: McDonald’s, Chick-Fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts. The food industry possessed the beginning of the franchise era however, over the years franchising has branched out to include product distribution and services:  The UPS Store, Fantastic Sam’s, Curves. Today we are continuing this evolution. Everything we know about quality assurance, billing, marketing, and program development for franchising is being transferred into health care. It is time to put a greater focus on this transference of knowledge.

When we follow best practices in franchising, we can deliver quality assurance to patients. We can provide practitioners – physicians, nurses, medical assistants and licensed practitioners in many fields, with the ability to focus on service delivery rather than business operations. We decrease costs for service delivery and expand access.

The senior care industry jumped into franchising with great force, and the opportunity can be traced to the aging population. According to A Profile of Older Americans: 2011 developed by the Administration on Aging (AoA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; By the year 2030, one in five Americans will be a “senior citizen.” From 2010 to 2030, the number of baby boomers age 65-84 will grow by an estimated 80 percent while the population age 85 and older will grow by 48 percent. In addition, between 1994 and 2020 the nation’s population of 85 years and older is projected to double to 7 million, and then is projected to increase to 19 – 27 million by 2050. With the number of prospective clients growing exponentially, the franchise home health care/senior care industry is booming and will likely continue to grow.

Other health industries such as emergency care, dental services, chiropractic care, primary care, mental health companies, drug testing business and surgical centers are all growing in prominence in franchising. In essence, any effective healthcare business can replicate its model and begin franchising.

I do not believe we can or should solely rely on the federal government to provide us access to affordable health care. We are a country full of the entrepreneurial spirit and we house some of the best health care providers in the world. When you combine these traits, we have the opportunity to develop great health care franchises that will solve many of our cost and access issues. These solutions are right at our fingertips.

Weise Communications, along with Faegre Baker Daniels and Management 2000 will sponsor the second annual Franchising in Health Care Conference, October 24 – 25, 2012, in Denver Colorado. At this conference, we will cover challenges unique to this industry, including compliance and regulatory issues when across state lines. If you are interested in attending this conference visit our conference site for more information. Hurry, the Early Bird pricing ends September 15, 2012.

For more information about how Weise Communications can help your health care company franchise, contact me at


MOLOSO: Rewarding your loyal customers through mobile and social media


We’ve heard it over and over again: social media is a great, cost effective way to drive traffic into your business and create better brand awareness.

But what about the people who already know and love your brand? It is time that you show your loyalty customers some love.

First, ask yourself what makes your loyalty customers special and what do you want to accomplish? Do you want them to buy more or buy more often? Knowing your goals and the personality of your target audience is key is determining how likely they will respond to your attempts to reward their loyalty.

Second, do not forget about your social-loyal (SOLO) customers. For example, I am a huge SOLO customer of Dunkin Donuts. I follow them online and as soon as the Denver franchises open I will be a loyal buying customer. Here are a few ways to make your loyalty customers feel special:

Texting: Life revolves around our mobile devices. It has been shown that 73% of Americans send and receive text messages. This is a personal way to reach your loyal customers to offer them exclusive time-sensitive offers, notify them of their membership status and bring them in during your slower hours. Check out these examples:

  • Nail Salon: Monday & Tuesday special: free member only upgrade!
  • Frozen Yogurt: You only need 3 more purchases to qualify for a free 10 oz yogurt!

Facebook, also known as the face of social media, visually advertises your business, and allows you to interact with your followers. Loyal customers want to feel special, and through Facebook you can have conversations with them, give away specialty membership contests and reward loyal customers from their Facebook Check Ins.

Also, do not assume your loyal customers know all of the services you provide. Use Facebook to further advertise add-ons, special events, catering, monthly specials and new offers. If they are following your page, they are interested. They will be excited to know they can get more products and services than they may have thought.

  • Chick-fil-A: they offer their catering information (seemingly less known to the public) and (to date) have 2.4 million people talking about their page, and 6.2 million likes

Foursquare: Nearly half (46%) of American adults are smartphone owners as of February 2012. Foursquare is an app that lets you ‘check in’ at the businesses you frequent. If you go to one place more often than your friends do, you become the “Mayor.” The race to become the Mayor gives customers incentive to go, and to go repeatedly. You can further emphasize this incentive by offering the Mayor free products, upgrades, discounts and invites to exclusive events.

  • Arby’s Mayor special: they get to sit in the “4Square Mayor Booth” and get to taste test new sandwich offerings. They also get the special badge on their Foursquare profile.

Twitter: Tweeting may have less impact on purchasing behavior, but is a great outlet to educate your loyalty crowd. Customer service via Twitter is also useful because it will reach a vast number of customers and show them that you are concerned with their happiness. Exclusive offers for free products can also be advertised through a link to sign up with your membership or by registering to join your clientele base.

  • Morton’s: Peter Shankman tweeted to his 150,000 followers, “Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at Newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, Thanks :)” – and they did!
  • Subway: incredible customer service through conversations with their followers regarding what they like and dislike.

With 12 million Americans using social media daily, you have a high probability that your loyal customers will be reached and appreciative that you have taken the initiative to thank them for being loyal. A little appreciation will keep them coming back, and more importantly, spreading a positive word about your business.

What advice do you have for businesses that are trying to reach their loyal customers? Give us your thoughts from the loyal customer point of view on Facebook at Weise Communications or on Twitter @Weise_Ideas.


My Favorites: Dunkin’ Donuts, Halloween, Good Advertising

Halloween is just two days away and I love Halloween. I also love Dunkin’ Donuts. So as Colorado continues to get blanketed with October snow, there is nothing I would like more than a cup of Dunkin’ coffee and a nice warm donut to enjoy as I plan my costume for this year’s festivities.

In that spirit, I found some Dunkin’ Halloween commercials that I wanted to share with our fans. If there is a Dunkin’ Donut franchise near you, run out and have a donut for me!


franchise public relations. integrating national and local pr efforts.

From my experience, franchises implement public relations programs across their systems in a variety of different ways, depending on their needs and budgets.  A few PR scenarios I’ve encountered include the following:

1.    The franchisor has a national PR agency and hires, like many franchisors do, locally-based agencies in order to have boots on the ground in specific regions.
2.    The franchisor has one agency that manages national PR but has no local support.
3.    An agency creates PR support work that franchisors provide to local franchise businesses with implementation instructions.

I understand the purpose and need for all of these PR scenarios. But I wonder if, in the age of integration, how relevant each of these scenarios are or if there is a better way altogether to implement effective PR for franchises. I don’t know that I have the answers right now, but this is something I will continue to look into and I will determine best practice scenarios. What I do know is that franchisors should be paying attention to where they are spending their PR money and what results they expect to gain from those tactics.


Man speaks in megaphone

Here are some things to consider:

National PR: National PR was traditionally used for brand building and reputation management.  Now, unless you are in a crisis or trying to rebuild the image of your business, your PR company should no longer be doing national PR for brand building and reputation management only.  PR pros should be helping you become the thought or service leader in your industry. The agency should be developing programs that get people into your stores or using your service. The people working on your account should be creating online dialogue opportunities and events that drive people to local franchisees. We are not currently in an era where many companies have the money to spend on merely “getting your name out there.” PR should be just as much about sales as advertising is.



Dunkin' Donuts Twitter Messages

Dunkin' Donuts Twitter Messages

I love what Dunkin’ Donuts does from a national communications standpoint.  They Twitter all day, and their posts make me want a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and a donut. If they would just come to Denver already…

Local PR: Whatever is being done nationally needs to be focused like a laser in your local market. How are you communicating with your customers on a local level? How are you retaining them and increasing their loyalty to your brand? The local PR program needs to help position your brand as the most important and the most valuable to your target audience. And it needs to get people talking.

Yesterday I found an entire string of Twitter communications about Fantastic Sams. Unfortunately, Fantastic Sams is not currently responding to them on Twitter a la Dunkin’ Donuts communication style. Participating in this dialogue can help increase and retain customers.

Picture 4

Twitters about Fantastic Sams




Local PR Support Tools: A few questions for franchisors providing these PR support tools (i.e., templates, recommendations, etc.): do your franchisees use them? Do they implement them? Do they care that you provided them? If they do, then job well done. I, however, see these as propaganda from the franchisor -“We provided you the tools you need. You can’t complain that you don’t get the PR coverage you want.” This is bogus. Move some of your national or regional PR funds to help support local outreach where it’s needed. When you have national conferences, train the franchise owners on what they can, realistically, implement on their own that will get them results. Remember, most of your franchise owners are not going to have the skills, the time or the inclination to implement PR programs on their own. Or, alternatively, work with an agency than can provide discounted rates to your franchises and implement nationally approved programs.

What is your franchise system doing that works? What isn’t working? What changes would you like to see made in your franchise PR (or marketing) programs. If you could get some PR support on the side, what would you want?








Much of what is discussed online is meaningless.

This is a common social media myth. I hear this statement often from clients, business owners and friends. And honestly, they are somewhat right. I stress somewhat because not much is meaningless but some is. However, this can be said for any form of marketing communications, from direct mail to pay-per-click advertising to television, if not executed properly.

Franchises that are using social media networks to their true potential are seeing a significant increase in traffic (online and at store locations) and increases in sales. Both large and small franchises can benefit.

A great example of a franchise using social media well is Dunkin’ Donuts.

Dunkin' Donuts logoIn January 2009, Dunkin’ Donuts used their fan page on Facebook to reach more than 500,000 potential customers and discover how “fans” felt about their new healthy menu items. Following is an interviewee’s statement about their social media campaign:

“…was a great opportunity for us to test what I see as one of the great benefits of Facebook, which is that it’s a cost-effective way to get real-time feedback from real customers who want to talk to your brand and engage directly.” For the whole article click here.

You may be questioning, why should you consider social media for your franchise? What should you do and how much should you spend? First, just get involved in social media. Start reading blogs and articles. Set up a Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn account. Watch what others are doing. Network with other franchise owners.

I have to say I have not been an early adopter. I like to think of myself as a private person. Once I know you, then I share.

So, what has made me an advocate for social media? Well, I see this trend and have experienced the results. I was one of the driving forces behind us implementing our social media channels. Yet, I chose to stay “behind the scenes.” Not anymore.

As I talk to clients about their campaigns and share our agency results, I witness all angles of this amazing network. This is what intrigues me most… the connections and relationships made all over the world.

What intrigues you about social media? What results have you experienced?

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