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Opinion: Dunkin’ Won’t Make it Out of California

by Nathan Fleming

Dunkin’ Donuts recently announced that they would be changing their name to Dunkin’. Coffee and more.

Doh! Hang on, Homer. This smells like a stunt.

Remember when Burger King got rid of the Whopper? Yeah. People weren’t just upset. They freaked the f*ck out! And the buzz was epic.

More recently, IHOP turned into IHOB for a limited time to promote its burger options. Buzz, buzz, buzz…

The doughnut chain’s move is not without precedent. And, maybe they’re serious. If so, they’re seriously messing with one of the most powerful and alluring aspects of the 68-year-old brand.

To illustrate the problem, think about the names of a few beloved cartoon characters. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Fred Flintstone…

Now think of a few other brands with similar name qualities. Coca-Cola, Best Buy, Ted Talks, Krispy Kreme…

The allure of alliteration is too magical to mess with. (See?)

That’s not all. Another reason brands choose to revise their name is when the market has already done it for them.

Years ago, a freight and logistics client of ours called Averitt Express made the move to streamline their brand to just Averitt. Because that’s how their customers referred to them. Federal Express also changed their name to FedEx. AOL, IBM and a slew of other acronymic brands also eventually shortened their monickers after the market had already shortened it for them in everyday speech.

Such is not the case for Dunkin’ Donuts. People say Dunkin’ Donuts when they refer to it. Because it’s fun to say. And for the same reason that no one ever says they’re going to Krispy or Best or that they saw a Ted the other day.

Sure, people will say “I’ll have a Coke.” Few, if any, however have referred en masse to the brand as Coca.

So, don’t expect to start seeing “Dunkin’. Coffee and more” shops in your town any time soon. Unless you live in Pasadena. Then, take a picture. Because it will likely last a lot longer than the new name.

Originally published at https://ideas.redpepper.land/finding-work-life-balance-5937837c6290 on September 5, 2018

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