A Delicious Brand
The Donut Connection Co-op serves as a purchasing cooperative for baker-retailers (“members”) who operate privately owned retail outlets for the sale of donuts and related food items under the trade name “Donut Connection®.” The Co-op is wholly-owned by our members and they also comprise our Board of Directors. Membership entitles a member to purchase shares of the Company’s capital stock, use and identify their stores with the trademark Donut Connection® brand name, purchase inventory and supplies at wholesale cost from authorized distributors, use the Company’s advertising & marketing materials, and to be eligible for annual patronage dividends in proportion to its purchases.
Freshness is Our Ultimate Goal
From our earliest start-up, the individual charter members of the Donut Connection Cooperative Corporation (a Delaware Corporation) have made it our goal to manufacture and serve the freshest mouth-watering Donuts, Coffee, Bagels, Muffins, Cookies, Soft Drinks, Juices and many other related confectionary and baked products that are made and served to our consumers. From our loyal customer base, we constantly hear that Donut Connection has the freshest and most innovative products available in the market — and we have to agree!
A Strong Nationally Known Brand
We presently operate over 150 stores in the United States, mostly in the Eastern half of the country. Our earliest charter members were privately owned donut shops in which many operated as franchisees of larger donut related companies. Lacking autonomy and growing weary of the strict rules and regulations imposed by the larger franchisor companies, our charter members started Donut Connection with a handful of independent shops. With many years of experience in the donut Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry, the charter members understood fully the importance of having a powerful and unique brand name that consumers would remember and identify with. Even the name “Donut Connection®” conjures up thoughts of a “connection” between our shops, our employees, our owners, and most importantly our loyal patrons. When you visit any Donut Connection location, you will find a camaraderie, or connection, between our customers and employees, often developing friendships as customers make Donut Connection an inspiring part of their everyday lives. Our goal is to satisfy our customers by serving the absolute finest products in the industry and to “connect” with them in a personal and friendly manner, every time they enter our stores.
Building a Brand
Yes, the charter members know the importance of a Strong Brand that builds loyalty and familiarity from our consumers. From the beginning, the bright and cheerful teal and pink logo was designed to be fun, uplifting and bold. Whether you visit a shop in Michigan or Florida, you can often see the teal and pink logo sign from a mile away at highway exits.
The bright Donut Connection logo has come to mean quality, freshness and consistency from store to store. Our standards are all the same, so our customers can be assured a great cup of coffee and a crisp fresh donut, whether they are in Michigan or Florida, and all points in between!
Marketing and Advertising the Brand
As our customers drive into any of our locations, the bright DC sign is only the first glimpse of our national brand. As the customer enters the store, he or she is surrounded by the bright pink and teal image on everything imaginable. From the “Welcome” sign to napkins, donut boxes, bags, coffee and drink cups, wax paper holders, menu boards, window signs and other parts of the store, the images are the same. In addition, we have invested thousands of dollars in implementing special promotions announcing new products and seasonal specials. Posters, banners, hanging mobiles, table tents and other collateral are strategically placed to pull our customers into trying new products or bundled specials, which ultimately result in increased store sales. Even our supplied advertising materials such as newsprint ads, free standing inserts, couponing and TV & radio ads are designed to have the same look, feel and image of our in-store point-of-sale and point-of-purchase marketing programs. As we enter the world of e-commerce, even our web site employs similar images that our consumers recognize, thus building more loyalty from our patrons. Note: we are still trying to figure out how to electronically e-mail a dozen donuts to our digitally enhanced customers!!!
Emotional Appeal of Branding Donut Connection
Our customers are our number one priority! We have invested thousands of dollars in building the Donut Connection brand in order to connect with our consumer’s emotional appeal to our products and services. Like old friends, our customers have stayed loyal to our brand, and in return Donut Connection benefits from our branding investment.
This is perhaps the most important reason for becoming a Donut Connection member. Other private “mom & pop” shops have tried to individually market their shops, but without the backing of a larger nationally known brand, these smaller shops have often faltered. This is the true strength of becoming a member of Donut Connection and we encourage all members to take advantage of our national presence.
See the subjects on the right for further information.