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 increasing focus on coffee as well as other drinks, which make up 60 % of its sales.
The 68-year-old chain has toyed using the idea for quite a while. In 2006, it released a 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 ever since then.
“Our new branding is really a clear signal that there’s new things at storeholidayhours.org. 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 take place 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 likely be phased in overseas on the next season, the company said. Dunkin’ Donuts has 12,500 restaurants worldwide.
The new logo will still have Dunkin’ Donuts’ familiar rounded font and orange-and-pink color scheme, which the company provides since 1973. The Canton, Mass.-based company isn’t saying just how much the change will surely cost.
Dunkin’ Donuts has always sold coffee, but hot breakfast sandwiches and specialty drinks just like the fruity Coolatta and Cold Brew iced coffee have grown to be increasingly vital that you the chain. In the second quarter of the year, the organization noted that overall U.S. store traffic was down, but revenue was up because of sales of higher-margin iced coffee drinks and breakfast sandwiches.
Dunkin’ says the name change is among numerous things it’s doing to keep highly 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 the full name. Specific words are easier for folks to remember and conjure emotional connections, she said. Having “Donuts” within the name is additionally easier for individuals in overseas markets who may well not really know what “Dunkin’” means.
Messing with iconic brands could also have consequences. In 2016, 20 years after replacing Kentucky Fried Chicken with KFC, the company had to issue a press release to combat an internet rumor which it was forced to change its name because it doesn’t serve real chicken. And IHOP faced some backlash earlier this season if it announced it was changing its name to IHOb to remind customers it serves burgers in addition to pancakes. That one was actually a publicity stunt, but it annoyed some customers.
Dunkin’ Donuts’ Chief Marketing Officer Tony Weisman said the organization has been doing plenty of testing and doesn’t expect any customer backlash from the decision. “The reaction has become overwhelmingly positive,” Weisman said. “It’s just going to feel very familiar to people.” But Reis said even if doughnuts have fallen from favor among a far more health-conscious customer base, people already know Dunkin’ Donuts as a place where they are able to 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 brandname identity which was the opposite of Starbucks.”
Starbucks representatives were unavailable for comment Wednesday. Going up against Starbucks, whose business was modeled following the espresso shops of Italy, might be a big challenge for Dunkin’, which always has become known more for the smooth coffees when compared to 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 bring in 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 organization is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Thursday.
Dunkin’ has lagged behind in espresso sales since the category took over as the fastest-growing sort of coffee in cafes in recent years. McDonald’s Corp. features a type of low-price espresso drinks, too. The new espresso beverages bdcovh be served at Dunkin’s a lot more than 9,200 U.S. stores in bright orange cups to differentiate them from other Dunkin’ drinks in white or clear cups.
The organization is investing $100 million inside the U.S. in the next year, over fifty percent of this in restaurant technology, including the espresso machines. Franchisees have committed much more money to the upgrades. Dunkin’ wouldn’t say how much franchisees are contributing or exactly how much the brand new machines cost. Company executives chose the Swiss-made machine which will be the new standard, following trips to Europe and repeated tests to have the extraction from the coffee beans perfect.
“The new equipment in a few 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 you can hand-pull espresso shots, steam milk and blend the many drinks with different flavors. He explained they may be already drawing in new customers in Baltimore.