Donut worry about Dunkin’

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Bryan Murphy

I am someone that has literally run on Dunkin’ for years.

When traveling around, whether it’s to work or visiting family, my go-to stop has always been Dunkin’ whenever I need something to eat. I grab a bacon, egg and cheese on a plain bagel, sometimes an everything bagel if I’m feeling adventurous. I’ll even add on a hot chocolate to my order in the winter when the cold weather hits.

Sorry readers, but I’m just not a fan of coffee so I’ll leave you guys to get your medium iced regular with extra cream and sugar.

But for me, it doesn’t matter if it’s 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., Dunkin’ Donuts has always been the way to go – until now.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to get my delicious breakfast sandwich. But it won’t be from Dunkin’ Donuts anymore. It’s now going to be from just Dunkin’.

The popular breakfast chain announced on Tuesday, Sept. 26 that the company’s name would be dropping the “donuts,” leaving it just as Dunkin’.

The main idea around the name drop is to show that the company is expanding to things other than just donuts. Dunkin’ Brands CEO David Hoffman explained the change in a press release by Dunkin’.

“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,” Hoffman said. “We believe our efforts to transform Dunkin’, while still embracing our incredible heritage, will keep our brand relevant for generations to come.”

The difference in menu items is true. Dunkin’ has become a place that’s beverage-heavy, with breakfast sandwiches and baked goods as well. In fact, in a study done by Dunkin’ Donuts at the end of 2017, donuts were just the fourth highest item that customers ordered.

While this change may come as a shock to most, this has been a process that began last year, when Dunkin’ Donuts first began experimenting with just the Dunkin’ name, as stores in Massachusetts were renamed. But what started as just a handful is now going to be happening to all 12,000–plus stores located worldwide.

It’s a similar change to what Starbucks made in 2011. Formerly known as “Starbucks Coffee,” the coffee chain decided to drop “coffee” out of its name. This was to show that the shop doesn’t just limit itself to coffee beverages. In an article for NBC News, Harvard Business School marketing professor, John Quelch, explained the reasoning for the change.

“The brand is now evolving to a point where the coffee association is too confining and restrictive,” Quelch said. “Starbucks is fundamentally selling an experience, but by no means is coffee the only part of the experience. It is important that they not have a logo that is too confining.”

Starbucks has expanded its menu to not only just include beverages, but also baked goods and sandwiches. It’s been the primary competitor for Dunkin’ for years. That change in 2011 brought about mixed opinions for Starbucks and we’re seeing the same now with Dunkin’.

As per usual when breaking news comes out, people took to Twitter to express their opinions.

One user, JJ Lair (@jjmonmouth), quote-tweeted Dunkin’s tweet announcing the change, expressing his displeasure with it. “If not donuts, what is being dunked? #Dunkin what? #stupidideas #ihob.”

However, some users, don’t seem to mind the change. Twitter user STRAYA (@strayabishhh) didn’t seem fazed by the name change. “I’ve always called you Dunkin’ anyway.”

She brings up a good point. How many of us actually call it Dunkin’ Donuts? Personally, being a New Englander, I’ve always referred to it as Dunks, occasionally I’ll add on to make it Dunkin’s. But rarely ever do I say Dunkin’ Donuts.

So while the backlash may be there at first, ultimately I just don’t see the name making much of a difference. It’s not like Starbucks suffered from the name change. In fact, from 2011 to 2017, their revenue increased from $11.7 billion to $22.39 billion, according to www.statista.com.

With that in mind, I just don’t see how Dunkin’ will take any sort of a financial hit.

The fact of that matter is, it really doesn’t matter what the name is. Call it Dunks, Dunkin’, Dunkin’ Donuts, whatever. The company is still going to thrive as everyone still wants their wake-up wraps, their iced coffees or their Munchkins.

So you do you Dunkin’. I’m still getting my bacon, egg and cheese morning, afternoon or night, and I guarantee everyone else is still getting their Dunkin’s too.