Dunkin’ Minus the Donuts

Ahmed Sheikh ‘18

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Next time you have a hankering for a donut and some coffee, you may be surprised to find that your local Dunkin’ Donuts is going by another name.  Don’t be alarmed, the world renowned coffeehouse company is experimenting with name changes in locations across America.

Founded in 1948 by William Rosenberg, the world-renowned franchise has its humble beginnings in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Known as Open Kettle to locals, the joint was a staple for delicious coffee and donuts.  Accordingly, in 1950 the name was changed to Dunkin’ Donuts, and in 1955, due to increasing popularity, Rosenberg began selling franchises of the company.  Today, there are more than 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts across the globe.  However, that number is meager compared to the over 20,000  Starbucks worldwide.  The two companies have been competing for decades, though Starbucks continues to generate more annual profit.  

In order to stimulate growth and competition, Dunkin’ Donuts is experimenting with name changes for the face of the company in hopes of attracting more customers.  The first location they have tested is a store in Pasadena, California, where they dropped the word “Donuts”.  The company plans to go by the name “Dunkin’” in efforts to emphasize the importance of their coffee, and less on donuts.  However, this does not mean that they will stop selling the decadent treats Americans love.  Alison Lemke ‘18 exclaims, “I love Dunkin’ Donuts and I think the name change is short and catchy.  As is, many Ridge students refer to it as Dunkin’”.  

Ironically, most have not realized this name change has been evident for years, as Dunkin’ Donuts has advertised many of their products using the name Dunkin’.  For instance, you may have seen or heard the slogan “America runs on Dunkin’” on coffee cups, in commercial advertisements, and newspapers.  But the company’s recent attempt to change its name on storefronts is the ultimate test of success.  Whether or not the change is successful, the company depends on a new image that will boost profits and recapture coffee lovers everywhere.

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