JONES KNOWLES RITCHIE, New York / DUNKIN’ BRANDS / 2019
To be to most loved on-the-go coffee beverage brand, and to keep America Running well into the future, Dunkin’ briefed us to reposition and refresh the brand to achieve 3 key criteria: 1) To be modern and contemporary and portray more energy; 2) to elevate their coffee offerings, demonstrating Dunkin’s leadership in quality; 3) stay on brand for loyalists while feeling fresh and appealing for a broader set of busy adult energy seekers.
Changing the name of one of America’s most iconic brands carried significant risk. Already witnessing early negative sentiment, our objective was to reframe the brand refresh to become an optimistic brand statement that Dunkin’ was an American icon and much like many other cultural icons, dropping their last name would bring their fans closer. We aimed to remind America that Dunkin’ has always been and will always be their favorite on-the-go brand. Anchoring the campaign in the brand, we maximized emotional connection with consumers by defining 3 key pillars; brand promise, design strategy and Dunkin’s refreshed personality and tone.
We worked with Dunkin’ to create a new visual identity, as well as develop brand-voice, store experiences, social media content, and strategic platforms for seasonal and new-to-world innovations. Our solution was to take away; simplifying Dunkin’s visual assets to colors, typeface and rebus, we create visual strength and focus to give brand/product messages greater clarity. Using more white delivers more modernity and freshness, while the creative use of assets delivers the desired energy Dunkin’ needed. From this foundation we were able to successfully drop Donuts and drive reappraisal as a coffee brand, without acting like coffee.
Ultimately, dropping Donuts from Dunkin’s name was a significant and emotional change for consumers which we bolstered with a frank, fun, and familiar visual identity. We worked to frame the rebrand as the more welcoming and empowering idea of “going on a first name basis with America” which served to drive important re-evaluation of the brand in the form of 3 billion impressions, 260 online articles, 24 broadcast placements, 30,000+ social media mentions and "Dunkin" becoming a Top 10 Trending Topic on Twitter - with no paid media support. Aligning with the goals of the brief, there was a 6pt swing in “coffee/breakfast” top of mind awareness for Dunkin’ in Q1 vs. Starbucks (-4pts) (Facebook). There was also a 28% increase in “purchase intent” post-name change (Nielsen); reinforced by sales milestones in Q1. Dunkin' confirmed that the name change was the most talked about campaign in its 70 year history.