When a brand has an existential crisis, it tends to express itself in less-than-conventional ways.
While changing the font or the color of their mark has become status quo, lately new identities have been more than just decorative—they've adopted a character limit.
We've seen stunts in which brands change single letters in their name temporarily, to companies that have decided to remove punctuation marks to distance themselves from controversy and, well, some that figured abbreviating their names to acronyms or initialisms would simplify their cultural footprint (or potentially create an influx of new business).
Enter the artist formerly known as Dunkin' Donuts, which has announced that it's removing, in stages, the word "donuts" from all of its branding to create "a shorter, simpler more modern version of who they've always been," according to CMO Tony Weisman.
The change goes into full effect in January.
The announcement didn't go unnoticed as people attempted to poke donut holes in the move. Below, a sprinkling of some reactions from the Twittersphere.
Dunkin' made its intentions clear with a simple tweet:
It's official: We're going by Dunkin' now. 🤗 After 68 years of America running on Dunkin', we're moving to a first-name basis. 🧡 Excited to be #BFFstatus with you all 👯☕️🍩 #firstnamebasis #besties pic.twitter.com/hmzd2Bamlm— Dunkin' (@dunkindonuts) September 25, 2018
It didn't take long before the brands (er, brand managers) decided to engage:
You can call us DiGiorn'— DiGiorno (@DiGiorno) September 25, 2018
Dunkin' & WW inspired Penguin Random House to change its name too!— Random House (@randomhouse) September 25, 2018
Introducing: RANDOM PENGUIN 🏠🐧 pic.twitter.com/Jcfzu9XcEK
There was also a bit of a snark-fest:
Come on. Dunkin', you had 2 words in your name and you're dropping the more appealing one?— J. Elvis Weinstein (@JElvisWeinstein) September 25, 2018
In response to Dunkin' Donuts shortening their name to Dunkin', Taco Bell will now be known as diarrh— Joe DeVito (@JoeDeVitoComedy) September 25, 2018
what did dunkin originally sell— Riker Googling (@RikerGoogling) September 25, 2018
Dunkin Donuts board meeting:— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) September 25, 2018
Overpriced Consultant: Guys, we need something disruptive, edgy, fresh.
Loyal Employee: How about a tasty new donut or food item?
Consultant: Or, how about we just eliminate donuts and call it Dunkin!
Employee: That's a terrible id--
Dunkin Donuts changing its name is like your high school friend Christine coming back from college like "actually everyone calls me Krys now"https://t.co/ksqpgBQexz— Rhett & Link (@rhettandlink) September 25, 2018
Dunkin' Donuts rebrands after management decided the name was too closely associated with the human rights violations committed by its private military contractors in Iraq— beloved comedy institution "the pixelated boat" (@pixelatedboat) September 26, 2018
Dunkin' Donuts has officially shortened its name to just "Dunkin'." Similarly, the White House has decided to start going by just "White."— Keating Thomas (@keatingthomas) September 25, 2018
is the dunkin' in dunkin' donuts a transitive verb? by removing the donuts, are they becoming an intransitive company?— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) September 25, 2018
IHOP, KFC, Boston Market, Starbucks, Dunkin' - love when places are named for their speciality and the specialty is good enough to launch hundreds of locations and then the growth monster comes along and says "WHAT IF WE ALSO SOLD PRINTERS"— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) September 25, 2018
At least one person, however, came to Dunkin's defense (sort of):
there's some discourse on the timeline today about the quality of the donuts at dunkin donuts and here's what i have to say about that: their donuts are cheap and insubstantial that's why they're good— This Is The Tweeting Song (@bombsfall) September 25, 2018