Can you name one of the most popular coffee-focused eateries in America? If you guessed Dunkin Donuts, you’d be correct. Well, partially. You see, Dunkin Donuts has spent years building a brand that goes beyond ‘delicious coffee’. And as the marketplace has become more crowded, they’ve gotten bolder in their approach.
Did you know that between 2018 and 2019 they rebranded from ‘Dunkin Donuts’ to just the word ‘Dunkin’? Along with the name change, there were adjustments to the font type of the logo. This was a massive rebrand, and today, we’ll comb through their strategy to learn what worked and what lessons you can apply to your brand.
What was the intention behind Dunkin Donut’s rebrand?
Dunkin Donuts is the biggest baked goods and coffee chain in the world. They’re in 35+ countries and have over 11,000 locations. But their size doesn’t make them immune to competition. With competitors like Starbucks, Einstein Bros., and a few others, 2018 was time for Dunkin Donuts to do something bold to reestablish their dominance as the number one in their market space. And bold is exactly what they did.
They took on a massive rebranding campaign that would change the face of the company. Their overall aim was to position themselves as a ‘beverage-led, on-the-go brand’. And through the efforts of the rebrand, they hoped to:
*Attract new customers – As is common with most rebranding campaigns, a goal is to attract new customers. This brings an obvious revenue increase and also widens your customer base.
*Boost sales – New customers bring a boost in sales. But they also aimed to boost sales from their established customers. A name change is a big adjustment. It seems like a simple undertaking, but for a business of Dunkin Donuts size, it’s a massive modification. They had to spread the word early so that consumers, partners, and Dunkin Donut product resellers were aware.
Let’s look at what they did to rebrand
Now that we’re clear on their intentions for the rebrand, let’s look at what they did:
1. Shortened their name from ‘Dunkin Donuts’ to just ‘Dunkin’
2. Changed font type to a slightly more rounded choice
3. Invested $100 million into modernizing their stores. Another bold move but one that fit with the overall rebranding campaign.
Their goal was to enhance the look and feel of their visual assets so they didn’t just stop with the print and digital material. They took the commitment one step further by upgrading many of their interior and exterior stores.
It’s significant to note that they kept their exact same color palette, which was already working well.
This shortened name would appear on all packaging, advertising, website, and social media.
These changes might seem minor, but really, they reflect a direction toward more simplicity. Also, Dunkin is bolder, and with their already fun, bright colors (pink and orange), the shortened name has more packs more punch.
And with such a large change, they were actively promoting the transition in the media. It took months of social media campaigns, updates in their email newsletters, press releases, and continued messages to the public – and internal teams – to raise awareness of the upcoming changes.
What was the result of Dunkin Donuts rebrand?
A bold change like this generates press. A lot of it. And that’s exactly what Dunkin Donuts wanted. The change feels like an upgrade. Like Dunkin Donuts is moving forward in the ever-changing marketplace. Customers tend to prefer companies that are ‘keeping up with the times’ and maintaining modern standards.
What can you learn -and apply- from Dunkin’s rebranding?
If we had to choose one word to reflect Dunkin’s rebrand it would be bold. Boldness can work but not for every business and not for every rebrand. Dunkin’s color scheme and messaging were already bold. So the name change was bold, but not a radical shift. It wasn’t extreme. When strategizing a rebrand, you need to be clear that the changes you propose make sense for your brand, customers, and what your audience expects from you.
Another thing we can learn from this rebrand is a change doesn’t always mean a total rehaul of certain fundamentals. Dunkin’s bright, fun color scheme, for example (orange and pink) is fundamental to who they are. They didn’t change that because they’re aware that their color palette is working for them.
Is it time for you to create to rebrand? Get in touch for guidance and a solid strategy to help level up your brand.