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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 rising emphasis on coffee as well as other drinks, which make up 60 percent of the sales.
The 68-year-old chain has toyed with all 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 over a new store in Pasadena, Calif.; it provides position the name on the few other stores since that time.
“Our new branding is a clear signal that there’s something new at Click here for the full Dunkin Donuts menu. It talks 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 occur in January, when it will start appearing on napkins, boxes and signs at new and remodeled U.S. stores. The change will gradually be adopted as franchisees update their stores. It will 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 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 grown to be increasingly important to the chain. Inside the second quarter with this year, the organization 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 a number of things it’s doing to stay relevant to younger customers. It’s also simplifying its menu and adding dedicated mobile ordering lanes. But changing the name of iconic brands can 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 grown up with all the full name. Specific words are easier for people to consider and conjure emotional connections, she said. Having “Donuts” within the name can also be easier for people in overseas markets who may well not understand what “Dunkin’” means.
Messing with iconic brands could also have consequences. In 2016, fifteen years after replacing Kentucky Fried Chicken with KFC, the business needed to issue a press release to combat a web-based rumor it was forced to change its name as it doesn’t serve real chicken. And IHOP faced some backlash earlier this season if it announced it absolutely was changing its name to IHOb to remind customers it serves burgers in addition to pancakes. That certain had been a publicity stunt, nevertheless it annoyed some customers.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman said the business has been doing 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 very familiar to people.” But Reis said even when doughnuts have fallen out of favor among a much more health-conscious subscriber base, people already know Dunkin’ Donuts being a place where they can 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, providing them with a brand identity which was the contrary of Starbucks.”
Starbucks representatives were unavailable for comment Wednesday. Rising against Starbucks, whose business was modeled after the espresso shops of Italy, might be a big challenge for Dunkin’, which always has become known more for the 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 draw in new business. Dunkin’s U.S. same-store sales grew 1.4% in the second quarter, as a rise in average check offset a reduction in traffic. The organization is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Thursday.
Dunkin’ has lagged behind in espresso sales since the category had become the fastest-growing sort of coffee in cafes recently. McDonald’s Corp. includes a type of low-price espresso drinks, too. The new espresso beverages bdcovh be served at Dunkin’s more than 9,200 U.S. stores in bright orange cups to distinguish them off their Dunkin’ drinks in white or clear cups.
The company is investing $100 million within the U.S. in the next year, over half of it in restaurant technology, including the espresso machines. Franchisees have committed even more money towards the upgrades. Dunkin’ wouldn’t say exactly how much franchisees are contributing or just how much the newest machines cost. Company executives select the Swiss-made machine that will be the new standard, following trips to Europe and repeated tests to get the extraction looking at the coffee beans perfect.
“The new equipment in some ways is faster compared to 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 many drinks with various flavors. He stated these are already drawing in new business in Baltimore.