Dunkin’ is dropping the donuts – from its name, anyway. Doughnuts continue to be on the menu, but Dunkin’ Donuts is renaming itself Dunkin’ to reflect its rising focus on coffee and other drinks, which make up 60 percent of its sales.
The 68-year-old chain has toyed using the idea for a while. In 2006, it released a whole 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 place the name on a few other stores since that time.
“Our new branding is really a clear signal that there’s new things at Dunkin Donuts menu prices. It speaks to the breadth of our own 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, when it will start appearing on napkins, boxes and signs at new and remodeled U.S. stores. The alteration will gradually be adopted as franchisees update their stores. It will probably be phased in overseas on the next year, the business said. Dunkin’ Donuts has 12,500 restaurants worldwide.
The newest logo will continue to have Dunkin’ Donuts’ familiar rounded font and orange-and-pink color scheme, which the company has utilized since 1973. The Canton, Mass.-based company isn’t saying exactly how much the alteration will surely cost.
Dunkin’ Donuts has always sold coffee, but hot breakfast sandwiches and specialty drinks like the fruity Coolatta and Cold Brew iced coffee have become increasingly vital that you the chain. Inside the second quarter of this year, the business noted that overall U.S. store traffic was down, but revenue was up due to sales of higher-margin iced coffee drinks and breakfast sandwiches.
Dunkin’ says the name change is just one of a number of things it’s doing to remain related to younger customers. It’s also simplifying its menu and adding dedicated mobile ordering lanes. But changing the name of iconic brands can be quite a big mistake, says Laura Ries, an Atlanta-based marketing consultant.
Ries says “Dunkin’” eventually won’t mean almost anything to younger customers who haven’t grown up with the full name. Specific words are easier for folks to remember and conjure emotional connections, she said. Having “Donuts” in the name is additionally easier for people in overseas markets who might not really know what “Dunkin’” means.
Messing with iconic brands may also have consequences. In 2016, 15 years after replacing Kentucky Fried Chicken with KFC, the company were required to issue a press release to combat an internet rumor that it was required to change its name since it doesn’t serve real chicken. And IHOP faced some backlash earlier this summer in the event it announced it had been changing its name to IHOb to remind customers that it serves burgers along with pancakes. That certain was actually a publicity stunt, but it annoyed some customers.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman said the business has done plenty of testing and doesn’t expect any customer backlash from your decision. “The reaction has become overwhelmingly positive,” Weisman said. “It’s just going to feel completely familiar to people.” But Reis said even if doughnuts have fallen away from favor among a more health-conscious subscriber base, people already know Dunkin’ Donuts as being a place where they could just get coffee and like the doughnuts’ smell.
“There’s nothing wrong with still having ‘Donuts’ inside your name,” she said. “Long term it had been helping them, giving them a brandname identity which had been the exact opposite of Starbucks.”
Starbucks representatives were unavailable for comment Wednesday. Going up against Starbucks, whose business was modeled following the espresso shops of Italy, could be a big challenge for Dunkin’, which always has been known more for its smooth coffees than a bold drink like espresso.
Dunkin’ has become remodeling its stores with cold-brew taps and drive-through lanes for mobile orders. Like Starbucks, the chain has struggled to attract new clients. Dunkin’s U.S. same-store sales grew 1.4% in the second quarter, as a rise in average check offset a decline in traffic. The company is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Thursday.
Dunkin’ has lagged behind in espresso sales as the category had become the fastest-growing kind of coffee in cafes recently. McDonald’s Corp. features a type of low-price espresso drinks, too. The new espresso beverages bdcovh be served at Dunkin’s greater than 9,200 U.S. stores in bright orange cups to differentiate them using their company Dunkin’ drinks in white or clear cups.
The organization is investing $100 million inside the U.S. within the next year, more than half of this in restaurant technology, including the espresso machines. Franchisees have committed even more money towards the upgrades. Dunkin’ wouldn’t say how much franchisees are contributing or just how much the brand new machines cost. Company executives chose the Swiss-made machine that might be the brand new standard, following trips to Europe and repeated tests to get the extraction from its 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 how to hand-pull espresso shots, steam milk and blend the different drinks with different flavors. He stated they may be already drawing in new clients in Baltimore.