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What About the Donuts? Going From Dunkin Donuts to Just Dunkin

Here we go again, another chain that changes its name. Remember IHOP’s incredibly smart campaign earlier this year? Well, now Dunkin Donuts is changing its name to just Dunkin. Is this really a change? This change stems from the restaurant’s desire to emphasize that it will mostly be a beverage chain. Because having Donuts in their name was limiting to just that. And since their campaign “America runs on Dunkin”…we all know that can’t be solely about donuts, so Dunkin it is. But with any change comes reaction. Just like the IHOP short lived name change, consumers don’t seem to be very happy about the Dunkin Donuts rebrand.What About the Donuts Going From Dunkin Donuts to Just Dunkin

Dunkin Donuts Rebrand

Earlier this year IHOP announced that it would change its name to IHOb. A sensation that was puzzling to consumers all over the nation. Now it appears to be that the same thing is happening to Dunkin Donuts. However, this does not seem to be a marketing strategy, but the real process of the rebrand of the company. The Massachusetts native wants to be known as a coffee empire. So their efforts to rebrand began last year with a few store dropping Donuts from its name. This initiative also comes with other alterations. The restaurant will feature a new store design and digital kiosks in a streamlined made-to-order fashion. As well as new and broader variety of caffeinated drinks. Do we foresee a coffee war in the near future? Is Starbucks on Dunkin’s radar?

The Issues Ahead for the Rebrand

If only a rebrand effort was simple. Let’s forego signage, website, other digital media, as well as current campaigns, what are some efforts that need addressed during this process.

DD Perks

Since they are dropping Donuts from their name, that means that DD must become D. So your DD Card and your DD Perks, may be known as D Card and D Perks. Really? That could easily be misinterpreted. Did they think this through?

Dunkin Still Sells Donuts, Right?

Consumers have expressed their opinion on this matter and to them, the real concern is if Dunkin will continue to sell donuts. 

DD Tweet

DD Tweet

DD Tweet

All In Strategy, Sort of

But do not despair! And believe that the chain is smarter than that. They would not NOT sell donuts and focus only on coffee. So take heart that Dunkin will keep selling their assorted variety of donuts… along with coffee, lots of coffee. Further, they mentioned that this name change will not be permanent contingent upon the success of this new brand identity. Hedging your bet much?

Loss of Strong National Brand

But this commotion in the consumers is not because they fear that the donuts will no longer be a menu item. It has more to do with nostalgia. Dunkin Donuts has been around for decades and is part of most Americans’ daily routine. So this change feels like something that we know will no longer be what we’ve always known. Did we lose you? It’s a matter of attachment and what it means to us, the consumers. We are encouraged to evolve and adapt to change. But when is it ok to not let go?

Energyhill Knows Branding

Before you decide to rebrand your business, think about what your mission is and what your services are. At Energyhill we make sure we define that from the get go. But if you ever need to rebrand your business, we know how to do that too. So don’t hesitate and contact us today and let us help your business grow.

IHOP Name Change – Marketing Stunt, Campaign, or Just Luck?

Remember that brief time in pancake history when IHOP changed its name to IHOb? Yes, it was a change that left the entire nation puzzled and somewhat feeling betrayed. However, this new identity was all too swift, as they went back to their old roots. And now, this change got us questioning, was this a brilliant IHOP marketing stunt or just luck?IHOP Name Change - Marketing Stunt, Campaign, or Just Luck?

Return on Investment for the IHOP Campaign

IHOP received great exposure that put it on the spotlight. Otherwise, how else would they bring attention to their new menu addition – burgers? We can speculate that this IHOP campaign to bring attention to their burgers worked. It got people lining outside their doors, including Food and Wine. Whatever the reason for this IHOP name change was, we sure are happy to see that the beloved International House of Pancakes would never turn their backs on pancakes – as they captioned on Instagram.

IHOP Backlinks

Getting these types of backlinks (e.g. Food & Wine) is ridiculously good for IHOP. When, if ever, would IHOP get this type of exposure? They wouldn’t. This clever IHOP marketing stunt was a success that gave the chain restaurant online prominence.

IHOP Campaign Media Coverage

With any major news comes major media coverage. And of course, this IHOP campaign was no exception. The media coverage for the IHOP name change illustrated their surprise as well as that of consumers. Fox News and NBC Right Now are some of the TV news stations that commented on this change. Sure enough people took this matter to Twitter where IHOP held a poll for users to guess the meaning of their new acronym.

Brilliant IHOP Marketing Stunt

We must admit that it was the best marketing stunt ever by a chain restaurant. Why? It’s simple. Not only did this unexpected name change shake consumers to their core, it also brought plenty of press to the chain restaurants. The fine dining magazine Food & Wine, equally as surprised as the rest of us, featured the IHOP name change in an article about the restaurant’s identity. This reflects the genius behind their marketing strategy because, again, when would IHOP get this type of exposure? It got people talking everywhere, on social media, on news channels, at work. Also, curious consumers and regulars now felt they had to go and try their burgers.

https://twitter.com/AntoniaMireles_/status/1012402427587416065

Faux Outrage?

Twitter is the platform of choice for people to take their opinions to. And surely consumers gave the world a piece of their mind, but did they take it too far? Did this new name call for a boycott?

IHOP Campaign or Mere Luck

We should also consider that luck played a role in the campaign. IHOP, a stamp for pancakes, has been around for decades. What better way to make national noise than to tease a brand change, while adding new menu items and increasing foot traffic to their restaurants? But how much more creative can one get to push a campaign for a menu item? Does that mean that other chain restaurants should pull the same strategy in exchange of exposure? I dare say no, this was just a one-time thing for IHOP and I do not think it will work for other restaurants. Think cry wolf. Our digital culture is quick to realize and adapt … and even filter out future attempts. So, yes, maybe the stars aligned just right to bring them the luck IHOP needed to pull this off. However, with smart campaigns, is luck even planned for?

Well done IHOP! You kept us entertained, confused, and intrigued for a while, all to present your newest menu item and tease that you were changing your brand. At Energyhill we were fascinated by this IHOP marketing stunt and think it was a smart move for the chain. As a marketing and advertising company, we understand strategies and always devise tactics to help businesses grow. Now, don’t worry, we will not use this card of name change, but we will use business strategies to push your business forward. Contact us to get more information and get the conversation started.

Engage with us on social and give us your thoughts on this brilliant campaign. It was a campaign right IHOP?