Data Intelligence

What We Can Learn From Dunkin’s Rebrand

Dunkin Donuts was founded in 1950; sixty-eight years later, a more health-conscious generation may not be flocking to an establishment known exclusively for doughnuts.  By dropping the “Donuts” from its name, the popular chain wants to be sure that customers, specifically millenials, understand that doughnuts are just one of its many offerings .  Dunkin Donuts is rebranding as Dunkin’, a concept they first rolled out earlier this year at 30 test stores in Massachusetts – the birthplace of Dunkin Donuts.  In addition to doughnuts, the new Dunkin’ stores will offer cold beverages on tap, a simplified menu, and digital ordering kiosks.

Dunkin Donuts isn’t alone in giving its brand an overhaul.  This summer, IHOP launched a shaky campaign to announce the addition of burgers to their menu by (temporarily) rebranding as IHOb.  In 2015, Kentucky Fried Chicken rebranded as KFC, completely eliminating the words “fried chicken” from its name.  More and more companies are dropping the specifics and opting for more vague, open-ended concepts.  This ensures that the brand has flexibility to grow while appealing to new customers. 

Rebranding is also an opportunity to capitalize on the positive aspects of your brand and improve on the negative.  Should your business rebrand; will customers be attracted or deterred?  Rebranding is certainly risky, but could be worth it.  Experts recommend asking some key questions.  Are you losing business?  Is your look dated?  Have your brand values evolved?  Could be time to rebrand.  But beware, rebranding is not the answer if your business is struggling with internal management, you’re simply bored with your brand or you can’t afford the task (rebranding typically costs around 10%-20% of your overall marketing budget). 

You don’t need to be a large chain to build a strong brand.  Typography, signage, colors and layout are all means of communicating your brand to your customer.  Integrating those choices into your website, your menu, your logo and beyond helps to solidify that brand identity for your customers.  When evaluating your current brand, or designing a new one, make sure that you have a clear mission statement in mind.  Next, focus on making branding choices that reflect that mission, and you’ll have a clear path to a memorable brand.


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