Dunkin’ Drops the ‘Donuts’ as the Latest Brand to Shorten Its Name

Brand's new identity will take hold in 2019

Global brand design agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) worked with BBDO New York and Arc Worldwide on the brand’s new messaging. Dunkin'
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The latest in the name-shortening branding trend involves the stuff that America runs on: coffee. In what it calls an extension of its “first-name basis” with fans, the chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts announced at its Global Franchise Convention that it’s now just Dunkin’.

“Dunkin’ Donuts has been on a first-name basis with its fans long before the introduction of its iconic tagline, ‘America Runs on Dunkin’,” the company said in a emailed statement, “with customers around the world naturally and affectionately referring to the brand as ‘Dunkin’.'”

Global brand design agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) worked with BBDO New York and Arc Worldwide on the brand’s new messaging, which will officially take place in January 2019. While the new logo will appear on the brand’s packaging, advertising, website and social channels, it will retain the pink and orange colors, as well as the original font. The brand tested the new logo “extensively” and will roll it out on all new and remodeled stores in the U.S. and internationally.

“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,” said Dunkin’ Brands CEO and Dunkin’ U.S. president David Hoffmann in the statement.

The name shortening could arguably be about getting away from the donuts association in favor of a broader menu. However, the brand emphasized in the statement that despite dropping the “donuts” from its name, donuts will “remain a significant focus for the brand.”

“By simplifying and modernizing our name, while still paying homage to our heritage, we have an opportunity to create an incredible new energy for Dunkin’, both in and outside our stores,” said Tony Weisman, CMO, Dunkin’ U.S.

Dunkin’ is just the latest example of a longer-running trend of older companies shortening their names to be more colloquial for a younger feel. As recently as Tuesday, Weight Watchers shortened its name to WW with the tagline “Wellness that Works.” Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC in the early ’90s, while The Huffington Post shortened its name to HuffPost in a 2017 rebrand.

@sammynickalls sammy.nickalls@adweek.com Sammy Nickalls is a freelance writer and the former departments editor at Adweek.