Dunkin' Donuts is making a major, risky change and people are outraged (Well, I am)


How can they do this? Oh, don't tell me it's to attract millennials.

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

I struggle with Dunkin' Donuts.

It's the Donuts part.

They represent the sweet penchant for excess that pervades America.

You know, like our meal portions and, well, our politics.

Still, I respect the fact that hordes of Americans cram into their local Dunkin' Donuts in order to prepare themselves for having their very soul ripped out of them at work.

Which is why I'm outraged on their behalf that their beloved restaurant is testing a name-change.

Yes, it's dropping the Donuts part.

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I know you'll think me hypocritical. I know I should be pleased. I know I should believe that this is the first step to weaning America off these sickly dough-rings.

But it's the reasoning that pains me.

As my irregular reading of Nation's Restaurant News informs me, the test is being run in Pasadena, California, one that might redefine American culture as we know it.

It seems that Dunkin' Donuts wants to be seen as a "beverage-led brand and coffee leader."

Wait, it's a cheaper Starbucks? That's all it is? Not even a purveyor of morning happiness?

Oh, I understand where the Dunkineers are coming from. They've been referring to their stores as Dunkin' in ads for some time.

And, to my great relief, I can find nothing from the Dunkin' Brands company that declares the name-change is about attracting millennials.

But it's one thing to hear the new name. It's another to see it up in lights.

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It's the end of an era. It's the beginning of the donut being turned into a wreath.

I fear, too, that many children will stare at the new signage, look up at their parents and squeal: "These people can't even spell Duncan. Let's go to Panera."

Worse, I fear too many parents will now name their first-born sons Dunkin'. Yes, with the apostrophe that will become an autofill catastrophe.

Perhaps, though, I worry too much. Perhaps McDonald's will soon follow suit and change its name to Mickey D's.

I can see Shake Shack becoming just Shake. Tagline: I'm going to Shake!

Fatburger would surely expand if it just changed its name to Fat. Let's all go to Fat!

And what if Chick-fil-A became just Chick? Hey, I'm just going to pick up a Chick!

The Dunkin' move could represent a brand new trend in brand-name brevity.

A new era in American glory, too.

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