AisleChatter Blog: Surfing for Food

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AisleChatter Blog: Surfing for Food

The canopy of the Dunkin’ Donuts near our office, on Second Avenue at 12th Street in New York City, grabbed my attention as I walked to meet my friend and PG columnist David Diamond for our monthly lunch of pierogis at Little Poland.

What struck me as interesting about the awning is that more space is dedicated to advertising the fact that the coffee shop has free WiFi Internet access for its customers than the space it provides for the Dunkin' Donuts logo. And the front of the canopy has the word “Internet” printed twice -- one on either side of the central Dunkin’ Donuts logo. The letters are also double the size as those on the logo.

When I thought about it for a bit, I realized the logic behind it. Consumers typically don't think of Dunkin’ Donuts when they think of coffee shops. What immediately comes to mind is Starbucks and similar chains that feature lounge-like seating areas and free wireless Internet -- especially in New York City, where there’s a Starbucks on every other block. And these lounges are an integral part of the Starbucks experience.

So the Second Avenue Dunkin’ Donuts is just trying to make itself heard.

The real story is why.