Time to drop the Donuts? Dunkin’ Donuts is testing the waters to find out.
The 67-year-old brand has opened a new location in Pasadena, California, that will just use the name Dunkin’, CBS reports. The leadership at Dunkin’ Brands requested that this location and a few others use this name to see how consumers respond.
Dunkin’ Donuts has been pushing itself as a coffee seller in recent years and is hoping that consumers will see it as more than just a place to pick up a dozen glazed chocolate cake donuts with multicolored sprinkles. Dunkin’ has firmly joined the club of coffee providers trying to unseat Starbucks. It went so far as to battle the big chain directly last year over loyalty programs.
“While we remain the number one retailer of donuts in the country, as part of our efforts to reinforce that Dunkin’ Donuts is a beverage-led brand and coffee leader, we will be testing signage in a few locations that refer to the brand simply as ‘Dunkin’,” the company told CNBC. The brand’s last three videos on YouTube have all been about the beverages sold there more than anything else. In addition, NPR reports that the brand also hopes to attract more “health-conscious” consumers by dropping the calorie-heavy treat from the name.
As for the shift to Dunkin’, a company release notes its advertisements have been referring to the store without Donuts in the title for more than a decade in its “American Runs on Dunkin’” campaign, Fortune notes.
Like any service-based company, Dunkin’ Donuts (or whatever you want to call it) is dependent on its customers leaving satisfied. DD did not have that recently when an employee refused to serve two New York police officers. Now, the head of the detectives union is leading a boycott of the chain until corporate headquarters issues an apology to the NYPD, according to the New York Post. The store disputes the NYPD’s account, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from calling the store and complaining.
— Only In Boston (@OnlyInBOS) August 4, 2017
Despite that, it might be time to get your Dunkin’ Donuts collectibles, whether it’s a classic coffee mug, an official America’s Got Talent judge’s cup, a baseball hat, or, of course, Dunkin’ Donuts holiday ornaments. The brand may be changing, but there is a little bit of time before the double-D disappears (if it does at all). The word is that the big decision on a full name change won’t happen until the end of next year when the brand is planning a redesign its stores. Just hope somebody over there doesn’t get the idea of changing the name to Dunkin’ Booth.