A subtle name change for one of the biggest doughnut pushers in the country has spawned a rather important discussion. Let’s talk about branding! Dunkin Donuts recently announced that several of their locations were going to drop the Donuts from their name. Doesn’t seem like such a big deal, right? Wrong!
“What’s in a name?” William Shakespeare, or whoever modern day scholars are alleging him/her to be this week, asked an extremely important question! What actually is in a name? A lot. It’s more than a name. It’s a title, it’s a feeling, it’s one of the first things people know about you. True you are more than a name, but in terms of branding and “selling yourself” your name is the golden ticket. Once patron
Once patrons, customers or your core audience has associated you with a name for so long, it might be a little hard to adjust to future changes.
No longer will hungry doughnut goers say, “Hey, let’s go to Dunkin Donuts!” It will just be, “Wanna go to Dunkin?” It doesn’t have that same ring to it. More importantly, this seemingly small change can give rise to larger issues. For example, say that weary travelers are on the road looking for refreshment. Someone says, “I think there is a Dunkin’ Donuts over here somewhere, look it up?” Another passenger interjects, “But wait, didn’t they change the name?” “Will it pull up in the GPS differently?” “Who cares,” the driver pipes up, “Let’s just go to Krispy Kreme.” Obviously, that’s an extreme example, but I’m merely illustrating the reliability a name is supposed to have. Sometimes customers, whether consciously or subconsciously, do not know how to adjust accordingly to change.
We cannot forget when our dearly beloved Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, an
d the music world collectively lost their minds. In that same year, he released his first album under the symbol entitled “The Gold Experience.” Although it is one of my personal favorites, and one of his best pieces of work, it failed to chart as outstandingly as his previous albums. (But you can do what you want when you’re Prince *shrugs*)
Now I’m all for rebranding WHEN NECESSARY, but if your empire is built on an already strong brand and is thriving, rebranding can be more work than it’s worth. The rebranding also doesn’t have to be a strictly financial decision either. Prince simply rebranded himself to make a statement on how big record labels were mistreating artists.
At the end of the day, Dunkin Donuts, shortening their name to Dunkin is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.
Yet it does make you think about the importance of brands and names. That’s what I got from it. As a writer, I often wonder what I want my “brand” to be, and if you are a content creator of any kind, it is something that you should consider cementing early. Do you want to use your real name? A pseudonym? Or will you have a plethora of brands with different names? It can seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s exciting to think about.
Everyone has a name, and everyone has a brand of some kind that they want to present to the world. With that being said, happy trails “Dunkin!” The world will continue to turn as always…….that is until I’m driving down the street and see a sign that says “Krispy” instead of “Krispy Kreme.” Don’t start nothing won’t be nothing.
Have peace in your presence