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Changing a Name Brand.

A name brand you recognize decides to change their name. The world is shocked, right? Dunkin’ Donuts goes to just Dunkin’. Weight Watchers goes to just ‘WW.’ Kentucky Fried Chicken is just ‘KFC.’

Well, annoyances aside, changing a company name can be a smart move, if aligned with the brand strategy. Changing a name brand in a vacuum is never a good idea, and the result will be a piecemeal company with glaring inconsistencies.

Real World Examples.

Take the above example. Dunkin’ Donuts changing their name just to Dunkin’. When this move happened, I saw numerous comments on the internet about how stupid this was. How this would be regarded as one of the biggest branding blunders in history.

Changing a name brand in a vacuum is never a good idea, and the result will be a piecemeal company with glaring inconsistencies.

I have to say, I was fairly skeptical at first. I had grown up with the Dunkin’ Donuts name and had always known them that way. Renaming to just Dunkin’ almost seemed sacrilegious  to me.

A Brand Strategy Applied to Their In-Store Experience.

However, I visited one of their newly revamped Dunkin’ locations by my office, and the results were impressive. The store featured touch displays for on the go ordering, phone charging stations, taps for their coffee beverages, and a nicely redesigned interior that was bright and engaging. This level of redesign demonstrates that changes are not merely, cosmetic. The store focused on the overall customer experience, infusing this in every stage of their redesign.

According to Dunkin’ Brands CEO David Hoffman, the brand’s efforts to transform itself is designed to honor its heritage while keeping it relevant.

In order to rename your company, you have to have a comprehensive and well articulated brand strategy behind it.

“Our new branding is one of many things we are doing as part of our blueprint for growth to modernize the Dunkin’ experience for our customers,” Hoffman says.

“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.”

Part of a Comprehensive Branding Overhaul.

Simplifying their name may catch everyone’s attention, but it’s just one element of a comprehensive brand strategy update.

Simply put, Dunkin’ did not go into this halfheartedly. They focused on a comprehensive and well-articulated brand strategy to go along with their new name.

— Ryan Kelley, Brand Strategy Account Coordinator

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