Dunkin Donuts to Dunkin`: A Rebranding Exercise

Case Code: MKTG436
Case Length: 9 Pages
Period: 1948- 2019
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization : Dunkin Brands Group, Inc
Industry : Food & Beverage
Countries : India
Themes: Branding Strategy, Advertising & Promotion, Brand Revival, Brand Strategy
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The Need for Rebranding

Dunkin’s rebranding was part of the company’s strategy of focusing more on beverages and adding a wider range of drinks to its menu. The company had another symbolic reason for the name change, which was to keep the brand name simple, in tune with the organization’s increased focus on simplifying the business further. Hoffman said, “This isn’t a change for the sake of change. For two years, we have been focused on evolving Dunkin’ into the premier, beverage led, on-the go-brand and have been implementing what we call our blueprint for growth.” The two blueprints for growth were simplicity and focus on beverages...

The Main Elements of the Rebranding

Apart from the name change, Dunkin had embarked on a drive to redesign its stores, introduced a mobile order drive-through lane, placed baked foods within the reach of customers instead of their being placed behind the counters, and launched new drinks such as cold nitro brew coffee at the Dunkin tap bar (Refer to Exhibit II for the Image of Dunkin Tap Bar). The rebranding was done as the company aimed to be on a “first name basis” with the customer. The single name of ‘Dunkin’ was chosen for the brand to be flexible while expanding in new international locations..

Testing the Rebranding Initiative

The testing of the name change began in late 2017 at a store in Quincy, and a few other stores. The positive results of the testing led to the rebranding strategy being implemented at all the locations, even though there was a backlash from some hardcore customers to the name change..

Investments for the Rebranding

Dunkin invested US$100 million in its stores to modernize, rebrand, and open 50 next generation outlets in the US by the end of 2018. The increased interest of the franchisee owners in the new store format resulted in Dunkin exceeding the target of 50 test outlets and opening 60 outlets by the end of the third quarter of 2018. The exercise focused more on providing customized care for its customers. With more customers placing orders via the mobile app, there was a dedicated pickup area, drive through windows, and digital kiosks in the next generation outlets...

Major Role of Franchises in the Rebranding

Hoffman opined that the success of the new store format was the result of continuous collaboration with the franchises. Scott Murphy (Murphy), COO at Dunkin, said the organization was constantly interacting and working with a group of franchisees for feedback on the current initiatives and also collaborating with them on new initiatives. Murphy said, “We are very inclusive with our franchisees when working through this process..

Reactions to the Rebranding

Dunkin’s rebranding exercise received mixed reactions from analysts, branding experts, and customers. Some branding experts were of the view that name changing or rebranding was routinely done by organizations and was a common practice. Rebranding was usually undertaken when the company realized that its ability to foray into other sectors was restricted due to the current brand name...

Looking Ahead

Dunkin posted revenues of US$ 1,321 million in 2018 and US$ 1,370 million in 2019. With the increase in revenues, the Earnings per Share (EPS) had increased from US$ 2.71 in 2018 to US$ 2.89 in 2019 (Refer to Exhibit IV for the Financial Statement of Dunkin from 2015 to 2019)...


Exhibit I: Changes in the Logo and Brand Design of Dunkin Donuts over the Years
Exhibit II: Image of Dunkin Tap Bar
Exhibit III: Images of New Logo and Store Design of Dunkin Donuts
Exhibit IV: Financial Statement of Dunkin from 2015 to 2019 (In million US$)

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