When it comes to relationship building, Dairy Queen (DQ®) knows how to make you feel like part of the club. The Sweetest Club in the Solar System to be exact.
Since 1940, DQ, subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., has been serving great tasting food and scrumptious treats that all started with an experimental soft frozen dairy product. Since then, the company has evolved into the franchise giant that it is today with over 6,000 restaurants in the U.S., Canada and 18 other countries. Its success has revolved around pairing their products with enjoyable moments in life like a little league celebration or a birthday party. Their mission is clear: “Fan Food not Fast Food™”. Their recipe for success is simple: Satisfied customers lead to successful restaurants.
What makes DQ’s strategy so successful is that they listen and celebrate the fans. According to MarketWatch (2015), “The Cotton Candy Blizzard Treat makes its return as May’s Blizzard of the Month following a landslide vote from the DQ brand’s most loyal fans” as part of celebrating their 75th Fanniversary. They even offered a free cone day on March 16th, 2015 in honor of the Fanniversary. Barry Westrum, executive VP of marketing, states, “This is all about connecting with our fans and not just about telling them, but showing them how much we appreciate their loyalty” and DQ will continue celebrating their fans by surprising and delighting them throughout the year.
DQ’s mobile app, website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tumbler pages have wisely been executed to support their current #SUMMERNOW campaign. Their #SUMMERNOW campaign is a nation-wide call-to-action to grab a Blizzard, declare your favorite, and share it with your friends encouraging them to share their favorite as well. I declared Oreo Blizzard my favorite. Share yours here.
DQ is taking advantage of their key product, the Blizzard as a competitive advantage over its competitors, Basking Robbins and Carvel. In just its first year, more than 175 billion Blizzard® treats were sold. They also capitalized on the summer season for their campaign which is when the urge for ice cream surges. It’s the right message at the right time.
Personally their Best Blizzard Menu Ever campaign is conjunction with #SUMMERNOW is genius and I would recommend that DQ take a page from Doritos playbook asking their fans to come up with new Blizzard flavors. Since a key target audience for ice cream is children, it would be great if they could tie it into a science or culinary lesson and make it part of school curriculum for a day. Another suggestion would be to develop creative that shows more family celebrations incorporating a more lifestyle approach to reach parents. Parents should see the content and think “I’m going to surprise my kids with ice cream tonight”. A final idea is to be inspired by Starbucks’ previous “Tweet-a-coffee” program and allow people to share a Blizzard via tweet. It’s social currency that is starting to trend and DQ can be at the forefront of the movement.