Dunkin’ Donuts rebrands as Dunkin’ in a move that will start to take effect from next year. The company is the latest in a string of traditional corporations that are trying to breathe a new lease of fresh air into their brands by changing their names. However, Dunkin’ Donuts said that it will maintain its colors and font. The name change is occasioned by the chain’s growing beverage business that accounts for nearly 60% of the company’s total sales. It’s also in line with its popular slogan “America Runs On Dunkin.”
A statement released by the company noted that the chain is already on a first name basis with most consumers so this won’t be a big transition. Despite the name change, the donuts will still be available for customers.
Other companies too have been changing their names in an effort to revamp their brands. Just a few days ago, Weight Watchers, a popular fitness service, announced that it would rebrand to “WW.” The company says that “WW” focuses more on wellness instead of just weight loss. Weight Watchers is also getting a new tagline “Wellness That Works.”
In 2016, Tribune Publishing changed its name to Tronc. The company owns the Chicago Tribune among a host of other papers. However, the name change was not as enthusiastic among customers as it drew widespread criticism around the country.
Branding experts say that name changing is not an uncommon practice in marketing. It’s often used when a company feels its name is limiting its ability to engage in other sectors. In addition to this, name changing could also mean the company is taking a new direction. But mostly, companies change their name during a merger or an acquisition.
But name changes do come with some risks. Brand experts think that traditional names that have been in the public domain for a while may have some emotional or sentimental attachment to customers. Any change may damage the brand image if it’s not handled carefully.
Dunkin’ Donuts got its name for the first time in 1950. The original store was known as Open Kettle before it was renamed. Dunkin’ Donuts already has over 9,000 locations around the US making it one of the largest food and beverage chains in the country. Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer at the company, said that the name Dunkin’ was tested extensively last year, and the response so far has been quite overwhelming.
Weisman also added that over the years the company had developed a similar relationship with its customers to the kind of relationship that people have with friends. It, therefore, makes perfect sense to use the first names as friends do.
Dunkin’ Donuts CEO David Hoffman also noted that the renaming is part of a broader growth strategy to start selling coffee for people on the go. The CEO called the rebranding a major milestone for the company’s efforts to expand its business even more in the future. Overall, the response to these latest developments has been positive. After all, Dunkin’ is not that far away from Dunkin’ Donuts, and it’s definitely familiar to the customers who have bought from the chain for years.