America Runs on Donuts!

SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

I have been noticing a trend starting, particularly in the service industry.  Businesses are looking to re-brand to generate social buzz and avoid pigeonholing themselves. Sounds like a bold claim, right? Hear me out first, I have three examples for you.

Exhibit A:

Image result for ihob

Now, we’ve already discussed the IHOb stunt in a previous post, but it is indeed a strong start for my argument.

Did it create buzz? Yes.

Did it sell burgers instead of pancakes? Definitely.

Did it work? Well…

The problem is, now that the campaign has ended and all the IHOb talk is over, I feel I can safely assume that no one is running to IHOP for one of their crazy burgers. That being said, if the objective was just to get the word out, I’d consider this, albeit temporary, re-branding stunt a successful idea. Which brings me to-

Exhibit B:

Logo of Domino's

I’m sure you’ve already read our article covering Domino’s recent marketing antics. Rather than roll out the new brand with one marketing campaign (i.e. IHOb), Domino’s ran several campaigns. None of them were very good.

But did it create buzz? Meh.

Did it sell something besides pizza? Possibly.

Did it work? Technically.

Dropping the “Pizza” was kind of a no-brainer because I’m pretty sure everyone was already calling them “Domino’s” so there’s very little room to backfire.  Moving on to our final example…

Exhibit C:

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a fresh label on an old business. It’s a great way to stay relevant and up to date with a growing industry. This, however, is the first example of a re-brand that I believe will fall flat on its face.

Dunkin’ Donuts is considering dropping the “Donuts” and testing it out on about 50 stores across the country. They have yet to make a final decision, but I have a feeling America will be running strictly on Dunkin’ come next year.

Now, I understand that Starbucks is a big competitor of theirs and I like that the name “Dunkin'” does better associate with coffee, however, I don’t believe any one is going to stop saying “Dunkin’ Donuts” simply because everyone appreciates alliteration.

Furthermore, Dunkin’ Donuts is the oldest company to use the phrase “donut”. How many people don’t know how to spell doughnut because of Dunkin’? That’s a pretty valuable word to toss away.

I refer to this recent re-branding spree as a trend because I really do think this is only the beginning. Before you know it, we’ll be ordering pizza from Hut and eating burgers from King. I suppose only time will tell.