Dunkin’ thinks dumping the word “Donuts” could help it transform into Starbucks

But what will we dunk?
But what will we dunk?
Image: Reuters / Jim Young
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Dunkin’ Donuts is testing out a sleek new image with plans to unveil a new store simply called “Dunkin'” later this month.

The brand synonymous with doughnuts has been toying with less doughnut-heavy branding for some time.

“We have been referring to ourselves simply as Dunkin’ in our advertising for more than a decade, ever since we introduced our ‘America Runs on Dunkin’ campaign,” a spokesperson told Nation’s Restaurant News, which first reported that the company will try changing its branding on August 2.

A new store bearing shorter signage will open in Pasadena, California, the first in a batch of locations chosen to test the new name, which is intended to position the company as “a beverage-led brand and coffee leader” on par with competitors like Starbucks.

If the image reboot proves promising, it will become part of a larger re-branding effort to roll out in 2018 and include streamlined new menus and new store layouts.

The risk to any rebranding of Dunkin’ Donuts parent company Dunkin’ Brands is losing the loyalty of die-hard New England fans.

But the Massachusetts-based company has already outdone Starbucks in catering to on-the-go caffeine needs in American and foreign markets, so focusing less on Bean Town has its benefits.