It is no secret that New Englanders love Dunkin' Donuts. Coming from Pennsylvania, I grew up having heard Dunkin' was big in New England, but I did not realize to what extent until I went to college and met people from Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
In my town I think it's fair to say most of the residents choose Starbucks, and we definitely have more Starbucks than Dunkin' Donuts. Dunkin' is even a little foreign to me. I always thought of it as a gas station, like how people from New England think of Wawa. I love Wawa, they love Dunkin' Donuts, and none of us understand the other person's infatuation. However, today, home for the summer from school, I passed a Dunkin' and found myself craving a "small extra, extra" as the New Englanders call it. (It means a small drink with extra sugar and extra cream). Could it be that my time spent with my New England native friends has changed me into a Dunkin' Donuts lover? Honestly, maybe.
New England natives (or at least the ones I know) talk about Dunkin' Donuts coffee a lot, and like to go there often. They also talk about how the Dunkin' Donuts are faster and better in New England and throw in terminology like a "small extra, extra" that really throws me for a loop. I guess it's comparable to how Starbucks calls its small, medium, and large sizes tall, grande, and venti, respectively.
Now let's remember, New Englanders pay Dunkin' Donuts for coffee. I know, I know -- duh, of course, they do -- that's how business works. But think about this: New Englanders are Dunkin' Donuts best advertisements. I thought of Dunkin' Donuts as a gas station before I met my Dunkin'-loving friends, and now I consider going there over Starbucks. I rarely see a Dunkin' Donuts advertisement, and if I do it never sways me to want to go there. A picture of a cup of coffee does not mean anything because I still go get coffee that looks just like that at a different coffee shop, but the praise Dunkin' Donuts gets from its New England customers, now that's a game changer.
Why do New Englanders love Dunkin' Donuts? This article from Boston Magazine quotes Dunkin' employees and customers saying they think of Dunkin' as their local coffee shop, not a franchise. New England Dunkin' Donuts coffee drinkers are able to share this local coffee vibes with others as they experience Dunkin' in other parts of America.
Dunkin' Donuts has a sweet deal basically being paid by New Englanders for them to advertise. Really, Dunkin' should pay its New England customers, or at least hire a few of them to head marketing team, because they do the job right.