Time to make the profit…

Working on our final project, “Big Ideas” are on the forefront of our perspective. While trying to find that “something spectacular” to win the battle of the brand for our section, I’ve had a tendency to look at the world around us for inspiration. One such example that I came across is Dunkin’ Donuts attempt to compete with the coffee mega-giant Starbucks by recently contemplating changing their name to simply Dunkin’ by testing the new name in certain markets. The test that will run throughout the year will start at a Pasadena location and is meant to showcase the company’s beverage services rather than its round pastries they are infamous for. But will this “Big Idea” be enough to save the company’s struggles?

Dunkin’ Donuts has seen a 1.5% sales growth since 2014 compared to Starbucks’ 5-7%. While it tried to get on the coffee bandwagon with its slogan “America runs on Dunkin” in 2006, that was years earlier from Starbucks dropping the “Coffee” from its name in 2011, showing that Starbucks encompassed more than just coffee. Would this “Big Idea” have worked better by dropping the doughnuts a decade ago? We may never know. However, there have been many cases where businesses have changed their name and have generated more success. Some of these may surprise you:

Research In Motion to Blackberry – 2013
Apple Computer to Apple – 2007
Backrub to Google – 1997
Datsun to Nissan – 1981

Will changing the name of your company bring you more success? There may be more than a name change that provides the consumer a reason to buy your product and revitalize your brand. Time will tell if this strategy will result in higher profits for Dunkin’ Donuts. Maybe they should bring back the slogan, slightly adjusted…”Time to make the coffee.”

Fairchild, C. 2013. The worst (and best) company name changes. Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2013/12/06/the-worst-and-best-company-name-changes/

Malone, C. 2017. Dunkin’ Donuts’s Name Change Is a Good Idea—If It Were 2006. Retrieved from: http://fortune.com/2017/08/07/dunkin-donuts-name-change-new-changing-rebrand-coffee/

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4 Responses to Time to make the profit…

  1. Krystina Francis says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I wonder what other in store changes Dunkin Donuts is considering along with this name change test. The abbreviation name being considered sounds good to me but I wonder if the slogan of “America runs on Dunkin'” will be changing as well.

  2. Stacy Miros says:

    Rachel,
    As a self avowed Dunkin’s addict, I was interested to learn about this early in the week. People already refer to Dunkin Donuts as “Dunkies” so why not align to how the market views them? I like your suggestion of the tag “time to make the coffee” – I wonder if they might consider that?
    Did you happen to see this humorous post from Adweek? They offer a few suggestions for other businesses to follow suit:
    http://www.adweek.com/creativity/10-food-chains-that-should-follow-dunkins-lead-and-drop-a-word/

  3. Elia Sanchez says:

    Rachel,
    I enjoyed reading you blog because I am a fan of Dunkin Donuts! Everytime that I visited the East Coast, I made sure to stop by and get my donut holes from this taste place. When I first learned that the company was going to drop the “Donuts” from their company name, I was caught off guard and felt confused for a moment. However, after reading your blog, my thoughts have shifted a bit. I actually think that the company has a shot at being successful in their approach; primarily because generally speaking, it appears that society is becoming more health conscious. This is not to say that they may not stop by to still pick up a delicious donut, but perhaps this name change will give the opportunity to compete by offering its customer healthier snacks in the future.

  4. Diane says:

    I have noticed, in some markets, Dunkin Donuts is simply DD. And maybe “America Runs on Dunkin” will stay the same and the place will just be cutting Donuts out of their name. I know their veggie egg white flat bread is really good. I think people already abbreviate Dunkin Donuts as DD or Dunkin. So I don’t think the change is all that drastic.

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