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Dunkin’ Loses 'Donuts,' Gets Creative With Branded Cups

October 2, 2018 | Joseph Myers

Along with tending to our penchant for coffee and sating our sweet tooth, Dunkin’ Donuts has always aided our appreciation for alliteration. But we know the 68-year-old company has much more on its mind other than showing off its literary technique, and so, come January, Dunkin’ will drop the “Donuts” from its name, with branded cups and other items already ushering in the chain’s change.

We have known a few people (we might even say we have been guilty of this, too) who have found it pretentious when folks have referred to the establishment simply as “Dunkin’,” but that will become the norm in a few months’ time. The alteration will bring to fruition the full shortening of a name that began in 2006, with the mega-popular tagline “America Runs on Dunkin’” inspiring the truncation.

Fast forward to the present, and the Massachusetts-headquartered business, having testing the name change in its home state and in Pasadena, Calif. earlier this year, wants to tab beverages as its go-to product—a sensible move since drinks account for around 60 percent of sales. And it certainly has the branded cups to support the switch.

Doughnuts and munchkins are no slouches in the Dunkin’ Brands Inc. set of offerings, as end-users purchase more than three billion of them each year, but liquids seem a more solid source of attention, and said treats will still be available for, well, dunking.

“We are bringing the iconic name Dunkin’ to the forefront in a bold way that brings to life how we refill optimism with each cup and bring fun, joy and delight to our customers each and every day,” said Tony Weisman, Dunkin’ U.S.’s chief marketing officer.

All signage will come to feature the customary Dunkin’ logo colors and font, and customers will become primarily accustomed to the novelty through the ubiquitous branded cups. And check out how the new logo and wordmark has allowed Dunkin’ to get creative with its branding:

Each of the three cups features a different logo treatment that fits the size. The small and medium cups drop the vowels, with the small version rearranging the wordmark into a square. The large cup displays the full name. These are small details, but they’re fun variations and hint at Dunkin’s willingness to play around with its branding and get creative with its promotional products.

The branded cups will obviously be the marketing standard-bearers for the apostrophe-reliant company, but someone would have to be mighty naïve—probably as a result of not having had a morning cup of coffee—to think that Dunkin’ will not use the name change to conceive of more branded merchandise opportunities. Time and again, companies have shown us that anything can receive a moment in the branding spotlight, so what goods do you suspect Dunkin’ might give the truncated treatment to in 2019 and beyond?

We’ve already got a look at one:

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