• Transform magazine
  • October 23, 2018

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Dunkin' drops Donuts, still has doughnuts

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According to Research and Markets, a market tracking and research organisation, global consumption of doughnuts is expected to rise by 5.47% by 2021. Anecdotally, artisan doughnut stands are popping up in markets and neighbourhoods around the world, breathing new life into an old-fashioned baked good.

Doughnuts were first brought to the US by Dutch settlers in what was then New Amsterdam (now New York). By 1950, doughnuts were firmly embedded in American dessert – and breakfast – tradition. It was in that year that Dunkin’ Donuts – as it was then known – first set up shop in suburban Massachusetts. Over 12,000 stores later, the popular global chain is now to be known simply as Dunkin’, eschewing the doughnut which helped make its name.

Despite its ditching of the Donut moniker, the new strategy should see the company broaden its positioning from simply a donut shop to one of the US’ leading purveyors of coffee. Its bold strapline, ‘America runs on Dunkin,’’ is in fact true in some places – particularly in parts of New England where over 50% of people say they’ve patronised a Dunkin’ in the 30 day period preceding a Seattle Times piece in March 2018. Broadening the brand to all Dunkin’ to build more awareness of its coffee offering may be a bold move, but it could also be a smart one.

Dunkin’ Brands CEO and US president of Dunkin’ David Hoffmann, says, “Our new branding is one of many things we are doing as part of our blueprint for growth to modernise the Dunkin’ experience for our customers. From our next generation restaurants, to our menu innovation, on-the-go ordering and value offerings, all delivered at the speed of Dunkin’, we are working to provide our guests with great beverages, delicious food and unparalleled convenience. We believe our efforts to transform Dunkin’, while still embracing our incredible heritage, will keep our brand relevant for generations to come.”

"Our creative journey began with the inherent truth of the brand, America loves Dunkin' and has been rooting for us since 1950. This heartfelt connection and the brand’s unapologetic personality led us to the big idea at the heart of all our work – Dunkin’ Proud; being true to who Dunkin' is and celebrating it with confidence."
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To affect this change, Dunkin’ worked with brand consultancy Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR), BBDO New York and Arc Worldwide. JKR ensured a consistency of heritage, and also avoided the loss of global brand recognition, by retaining the iconic hot pink and orange visual identity, chunky sans serif all-caps typeface and bright, cheerful packaging. But the new brand is modernised version of the more staid previous brand that featured an illustrated coffee cup and square wordmark.

The new brand is more flexible, translating well to packaging and digital touchpoints. JKR also worked on the in-branch experience, tone of voice and social media strategy to ensure consistency across the new brand. “By simplifying and modernising our name we have an opportunity to create an incredible new energy for Dunkin’,” says Tony Weisman, chief marketing officer of Dunkin’ US. “JKR’s strategic and design work has been outstanding as they brought this concept to life. Their work across channels, including the way they have imagined our packaging as a creative canvas, perfectly captures our vision for the next phase of the Dunkin’ brand.”

The new brand launched today, with updates on the social platforms. The shift complements the company’s push toward on-the-go drinks and new food ranges, including mobile pick up ordering capabilities. And not to worry, Dunkin’ will still offer doughnuts at its restaurants around the world.

Tosh Hall, global ECD of JKR adds, “Our creative journey began with the inherent truth of the brand, America loves Dunkin' and has been rooting for us since 1950. This heartfelt connection and the brand’s unapologetic personality led us to the big idea at the heart of all our work – Dunkin’ Proud; being true to who Dunkin' is and celebrating it with confidence.”

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