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On December 12, 2015, Awhittemore commented on Dunkin’ Brands: A Cup of Coffee is a Cup of Coffee :

Thanks for writing about the Dunkin. “Its website explains how it is ranked #1 for customer loyalty in the coffee category for nine years” – I can vouch for this statement. While attending UF, once or twice a month my brother, girlfriend at the time (now wife) and I would often drive 40 minutes to get a cup of Dunkin coffee. Unfortunately, Gainesville built their first Dunkin only 3 months before we left, but we made the most of it until we graduated!

Two questions I have always had about Dunkins strategy is what’s the point of owning the Baskin brand and how do they deal with market saturation, particularly in the Northeast? Baskin seems to have overpriced ice cream treats and a weak brand name so I am curious how much value it is adding to the Enterprise Value (see what I did there – pulled a lil Fin on ya). Also, all of the Dunkin stores that I know, that used to have Baskins within them, have since been remodeled to solely be Dunkin restaurants. Drive a mile on any stretch of road in the Northeast and you are pretty much guaranteed to past 17 Dunkins. How is this even possible? How do franchisees maintain their stores with such intrabrand competition?

On December 12, 2015, Awhittemore commented on To Infinity and Beyond: Pixar’s Movie Making Success :

Very interesting article James. I would be curious to understand more about the breakdown of costs associated with the movie developments – specifically how much is salary from their technical personnel and how much is dedicated to animation tools/software, as 175M for an animated film in 2009 still seems steep. Although I can never wrap my head around any hollywood movie budgets as they all seem extremely inflated.

The quality point is definitely apparent in Pixar films. Seeing Toy Story for the first time was mind blowing and the film went on to pave the way for Computer animated films, which was both awesome – as new effects and realism could be brought into animations, but also sad as these films essentially put the nail in the coffin of hand animations which we know and love from our childhoods.

I think the most important part of the Pixar, which you highlighted, is the ability to tell their own stories. From their short films to their feature length films, they have been able to consistently deliver stories and characters that audiences truly care about.

On December 12, 2015, Awhittemore commented on Enterprise Holdings – Three Brands under One Roof! :

Nicely written. I was actually surprised to find out that National/Alamo was a part of Enterprise. I have had very consistent service with National and Alamo as they were the preferred rental car of my previous employer. Traveling to many different markets with tremendous fluctuations in rental demand, I always received quality service and quality rentals from National/Alamo and became loyal to their brand. Enterprise on the other hand has been nothing but a nightmare in my past experience. Poor rental choices, as well as terrible customer service, including trying to charge for damage already present on the vehicle, left such a bad impression that I would never rent from them again. Perhaps my limited experience with enterprise is too small a sample to represent the brand as a whole, but it left a large enough impression for enterprise to lose a customer for life.