Dunkin’ is dropping the donuts – from its name, anyway. Doughnuts are still on the menu, but Dunkin’ Donuts is renaming itself Dunkin’ to reflect its increasing focus on coffee as well as other drinks, which make up 60 percent of their sales.
The 68-year-old chain has toyed using the idea for quite a while. In 2006, it released a brand new motto – “America runs on Dunkin’ – that didn’t mention doughnuts. Last fall, it tested the “Dunkin’” logo on a new store in Pasadena, Calif.; it provides put the name on the few other stores since then.
“Our new branding is really a clear signal that there’s new things at dunkin donuts prices. It speaks to the breadth of our offerings,” said David Hoffman, the CEO Dunkin’ Brands, the chain’s parent company, in a conference call with media.
The name change will officially take place in January, if it will begin appearing on napkins, boxes and signs at new and remodeled U.S. stores. The modification will gradually be adopted as franchisees update their stores. It will probably be phased in overseas on the next season, the organization said. Dunkin’ Donuts has 12,500 restaurants worldwide.
The brand new logo will still have Dunkin’ Donuts’ familiar rounded font and orange-and-pink color scheme, that the company provides since 1973. The Canton, Mass.-based company isn’t saying just how much the modification will surely cost.
Dunkin’ Donuts has always sold coffee, but hot breakfast sandwiches and specialty drinks such as the fruity Coolatta and Cold Brew iced coffee have grown to be increasingly important to the chain. In the second quarter of the year, the business noted that overall U.S. store traffic was down, but revenue was up thanks to sales of higher-margin iced coffee drinks and breakfast sandwiches.
Dunkin’ says the name change is just one of several things it’s doing to remain relevant to younger customers. It’s also simplifying its menu and adding dedicated mobile ordering lanes. But changing the name of iconic brands could be a big mistake, says Laura Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing consultant.
Ries says “Dunkin’” eventually won’t mean anything to younger customers who haven’t evolved with all the full name. Specific words are easier for people to consider and conjure emotional connections, she said. Having “Donuts” inside the name can also be easier for individuals in overseas markets who may not understand what “Dunkin’” means.
Messing with iconic brands may also have consequences. In 2016, 20 years after replacing Kentucky Fried Chicken with KFC, the business were required to issue a press release to combat a web-based rumor that it was required to change its name because it doesn’t serve real chicken. And IHOP faced some backlash earlier over the summer if it announced it was changing its name to IHOb to remind customers which it serves burgers in addition to pancakes. That certain was actually a publicity stunt, but it annoyed some customers.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman said the company has been doing a lot of testing and doesn’t expect any customer backlash from your decision. “The reaction continues to be overwhelmingly positive,” Weisman said. “It’s just going to feel totally familiar to folks.” But Reis said even when doughnuts have fallen out of favor among a far more health-conscious customer base, people know Dunkin’ Donuts being a place where they could just get coffee and enjoy the doughnuts’ smell.
“There’s nothing wrong with still having ‘Donuts’ in your name,” she said. “Long term it was helping them, offering them a brand identity which was the opposite of Starbucks.”
Starbucks representatives were unavailable for comment Wednesday. Increasing against Starbucks, whose business was modeled following the espresso shops of Italy, might be a big challenge for Dunkin’, which always continues to be known more for its smooth coffees than a bold drink like espresso.
Dunkin’ continues to be remodeling its stores with cold-brew taps and drive-through lanes for mobile orders. Like Starbucks, the chain has struggled to attract new customers. Dunkin’s U.S. same-store sales grew 1.4% in the second quarter, as an increase in average check offset a decline in traffic. The business is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Thursday.
Dunkin’ has lagged behind in espresso sales because the category became the fastest-growing type of coffee in cafes lately. McDonald’s Corp. has a collection of low-price espresso drinks, too. The newest espresso beverages bdcovh be served at Dunkin’s more than 9,200 U.S. stores in bright orange cups to differentiate them off their Dunkin’ drinks in white or clear cups.
The company is investing $100 million inside the U.S. over the following year, over half of this in restaurant technology, including the espresso machines. Franchisees have committed even more money to the upgrades. Dunkin’ wouldn’t say how much franchisees are contributing or just how much the brand new machines cost. Company executives select the Swiss-made machine that might be the newest standard, following trips to Europe and repeated tests to get the extraction looking at the coffee beans just right.
“The new equipment in certain ways is faster than the old equipment,” said Scott Murphy, chief operating officer of Dunkin’ U.S. Parag Patel, a franchisee who owns 25 Dunkin’ shops in Baltimore and five in California, spent months teaching his employees the best way to hand-pull espresso shots, steam milk and blend the many drinks with assorted flavors. He stated they may be already drawing in new business in Baltimore.