Dunkin’s 2018/19 Rebrand

Dunkin’s 2018/19 Rebrand

The first time the world saw the name Dunkin’ Donuts was in 1950. The original shop opened in Quincy, Massachusetts, and it did not take long for the public to fall in love with the donuts and coffee it offered. Consequently, it only took five years for it to grow into a franchise.

Fast forward to today, and the chain has over 11,000 locations around the globe, making it one of the largest of its kind. Then, in September 2018, the company announced that it would go through a rebrand.

In and of itself, that is no surprise – successful businesses do this routinely to remain as relevant and up-to-date as possible. But what did come as a bit of a shock to many was the revelation that the rebrand would include a name change. As of January 2019, the “Donuts” part of the name was no more, and the brand would continue as “Dunkin’.”

The Reason

As mentioned, Dunkin’ is a hugely successful company, meaning there was no crisis that it needed to solve with a new brand identity. This means the underlying reason for the rebrand was a positive one – the company had outgrown its original name and needed to modify its corporate identity to continue growing.

As the company stated, the goal is to transform into a brand people will primarily associate with beverages and getting them on-the-go. It wanted to inject new energy into its image and bring it closer to a new generation of customers. Of course, it would still maintain its legacy – the donuts aren’t in the name anymore, but more than 50 varieties are still on the menu.

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The Solution

The goal of this rebranding was clear – preserve the legacy, but also expand the brand’s potential.

To this end, the company shortened the name. It is now simpler, modernized, and, most importantly, there is no longer the possibility that a new customer might confuse it for a specialized brand that only serves donuts.

Naturally, the new logo reflects the same philosophy and the company’s resolve to continue honoring its heritage is apparent. The logo is new, but the colors aren’t – it’s still the same combination of orange and pink that people are familiar with. In addition, the font is the same – the company introduced it in 1973 and will continue to rely on it.

Every aspect of Dunkin’s refreshed brand (mission statement, logo suite, typography, etc.) shows the same intent. That is to make the best of both worlds and create harmony between the old and the new.

Another reason this is a good rebrand is that it goes beyond the aesthetics. For instance, the company will invest around $100 million into the equipment and employee training needed to make it easier to order beverages through mobile and collect orders without waiting in line. This demonstrates a commitment to making the rebrand truly meaningful.


The Result

While it’s too soon to get concrete figures, the benefits of this rebranding effort are clear.

For one, the company has removed a potentially limiting factor from its brand without sacrificing anything. In truth, people were already using this shortened name to refer to the chain. Even the company itself would use it from time to time (think of their America Runs on Dunkin’ campaign from 2006). Now, this is official, and the main effect is that the brand will be in a better position to face fierce competition in the beverage market.

Secondly, the investment into mobile applications and expediency is something you can never go wrong with. In conjunction, this will make the company better suited to answer the challenges of modern times and fulfill its customers’ needs. And all the while, people will still be going to Dunkin’ to get their donuts.

Brandsonify offers high performance branding,
marketing, advertising, technology, and AI & Big Data
solutions for challenger brands.

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