Dunkin' Donuts Is Changing Its Name

Written by Jennifer Clark
Posted September 26, 2018 at 3:39PM

Does re-branding make or break a company? Or is it all just a marketing attempt to bring some attention back to a company that the public has forgotten?

Image means a lot to a company — as it should. It used to be all about brand loyalty. You'd use a specific brand's product because your mother used it. And before her, your grandmother used it. It was the closest thing to a family tradition that some people had.

But nowadays, there's not much loyalty when it comes to specific brands. We exist in a world where what you buy is heavily influenced by a company's image. Marketing is everything for a company. It's the way companies engage customers and attract them to products.

And it's only become easier with how much bigger and more important social media influences have become in our society. A marketing campaign to re-brand a company's image has to be witty. It needs to gain the attention of millions of online users. After all, that's where most of us get our news and keep up with current events and on what's trending...

Dunkin' Donuts Changes Its Name

Yesterday, Dunkin' Donuts (NASDAQ: DNKN) announced that it was changing its name to just "Dunkin'." This change will come into effect in January 2019. And the company is already preparing its customers for the changes to come.

Dunkin' Donuts has been around since 1950. The first Dunkin' Donuts shop was opened by William Rosenberg in Quincy, Massachusetts. Five years later, a franchise legacy had emerged.

I remember my dad sometimes bringing home a dozen donuts on Sunday mornings. Those mornings were special to me because we didn't get them every Sunday. It was a real treat and something that I'll always remember as a special memory from my childhood.

Since then, the brand has grown a little stale. Over the past few years, in an attempt to remain fresh, the company has introduced seasonal products and remodeled most of its stores. It did this as a way to try to stay relevant, especially as more and more local coffee shops popped up. Dunkin' Donuts wants to make sure that American still "runs on Dunkin'."

Last year, the company announced that it was considering a change. It tested the name change in a store in Pasadena, California, and another store in Massachusetts. The name isn't the only part that Dunkin' Donuts is changing.

Dunkin' has incorporated digital kiosks, expanded its grab-and-go section, and given customers more incentives to use its app. This includes customers being allowed to cut the line if they order ahead on the app.

The company is dropping "Donuts" from its name, but that doesn't mean it'll be dropping donuts from its menu. After all, the company is the top retailer of donuts in the U.S.

What would make this transition to a shorter name and a slightly altered business plan successful is if Dunkin' managed to deliver a trending marketing campaign.

Tony Weisman, U.S. chief marketing officer at Dunkin', said in a statement:

By simplifying and modernizing our name, while still playing homage to our heritage, we have an opportunity to create an incredible new energy for Dunkin', both in and outside our stores.

Companies like Dunkin' that have been around for a while need to stay relevant as newer brands come onto the market. A marketing campaign that keeps the company fresh and on the minds of consumers is the first step...

Dunkin Isn't the Only One

A few months ago, IHOP, another company that was founded in the 1950s, recently introduced a new business plan with a trending marketing campaign. The company made news when it announced that it would be changing its name to IHOb for International House of Burgers, instead of International House of Pancakes.

The headline got people talking. And it drew attention to a company that had been forgotten. It turned out to be a joke, but it didn't matter if the name change was actually happening or not. The company had people talking about its brand again.

People will continue to check social media for what's trending so they can stay on top of current events. No one, and no company, wants to fall behind in a trend. Being left behind would be the slow demise of a business.

With DNKN's announcement yesterday, the company saw a spike in share prices. It opened on Tuesday at $73.34 and opened up Wednesday morning with a share price of $74.48. That might not seem like much, but at the beginning of the week, the company was trading at $72.65. Even though it's no spike increase, DNKN's investors are interested in the changes that Dunkin' is trying to implement.

Until next time,

Jennifer Clark
Pro Trader Today

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