Design by Dunkin’®: The Dunkin’ Donuts Brand

dunkin' donuts brandThis blog post about the Dunkin’ Donuts brand, Branding Part One: Design by Dunkin’ is based on a post that appeared June 4, 2011 on the DBMEi Website by Basil Puglisi Blog. It was in the Marketing & Branding Category. I wrote the original as a DBMEi freelance blogger Alison D. Gilbert, The Entrepreneur.

Branding, Part One: Design by Dunkin’
This short video tour of my local Dunkin’ Donuts store illustrates the excellence of the use of the Dunkin’ Donuts brand. Notice all the visual information that reinforces their brand and their message, America Runs on Dunkin’. Watch this short video to see how well my local Dunkin’ Donuts illustrates the brand and their message, ‘America Runs On Dunkin’®.

We’ll explore the fascinating story of the Dunkin’ donuts brand going forward. But for now, let’s take a look back at branding in general throughout history. Here’s how it appears to have been meaningful a few thousand years ago up through the ages.

A Brief History of Branding: Ancient Times

Surprisingly, the branding industry has been around for thousands of years. There are examples of oxen hieroglyphics depicted on Egyptians tombs. They are supposed to indicate ownership by the deceased.

Dunkin' Donuts brand
Ancient Egyptian oxen Hieroglyphics illustration the importance of this animal to their deceased owners
The History of Tartans

In the 1500’s, woven woolen cloth, known as tartans, are believed to be derived from the French word ‘tiretaine’. They identified the geographic area from which a person came. Later, these fabric patterns became affiliated with families or clans, which is how we primarily know them today. Tartans are attributed to Scotland but also existed and still exist in Britain, Ireland, North America and in numerous other countries around the world. Some tartans were even created as late as the 20th Century. Societies, institutions, philanthropists and organizations inspired these.

dunkin' donuts brand

Livestock Branding

The original intent of livestock branding was to identify ownership, to be ‘a visible and permanent mark’ to distinguish between what was yours and what was mine. It was a clear-cut way to prevent theft as well as a simple way to identify animals and return lost livestock to their proper owner. Branding of cattle is still used in the same way today.

dunkin' donuts brand

Branding and Marketing in the Food Industry: Three Phases

Over time, branding has evolved into an indispensable marketing and advertising tool applied to a great extent, but not exclusively, to the food industry. As such, it has existed since the late 1800’s, a mere sliver of the total time line pie in branding history.

Culinary Ephemera

dunkin' donuts brand

Commercial food brands have gone through three phases. For the purposes of this article, they will not be described briefly to distinguish their periods, “the fragmentation phase (before 1870–1880), the unification phase (1880–1950), and the segmentation phase (1950 and later).” These are referred to with the source credit below. In addition, the ‘4P’ marketing theory is listed below.

History of Food Production

The History of Modern Food Production credited in the sources below.

Dunkin' Donuts Brand

I Want It and I Want It Now!

Present day branding has brought the science of marketing and the art of branding full circle. A brand with the proper marketing can now be known for instant product recognition. The goal of this immediate recognition is the advent of instantaneous acquisition and consumption. The Dunkin’ Donuts brand is working towards this goal of immediate delivery.

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Seamless Retail Experience
The Seamless Digital Retail Experience. Credit unknown.
The Seamless Digital Retail Experience

The purpose of the type of branding that identifies livestock is called, ‘what’s mine is mine’. But in retail, it is now ‘what’s yours is mine’ and ‘make it mine now’. This is becoming imperative and possible. Recognition through branding and acquisition through digital technology and online marketing make this process closer to seamless on a daily basis. In Part Two, we will see how the Dunkin’ Donuts brand is becoming part of this evolution.

With the evolving technologies of near field communication, local mobile fusion, radio frequency identification, QR code generation and identification, retailers are becoming able to make us offers we can no longer refuse. There is almost no time to reconsider offers as they become digitally seamless and irresistible.

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I Want It and I Want It Now. Credit Flickr jpg.
In Conclusion

When a brand is done well, the recognition factor is immediate. In today’s digital economy, we are now approaching ‘0’ time between seeing, wanting, purchasing (or consuming). With the continued addition of new technology, this process is getting even faster. The gap is lessening so much that our wishes will become the digital genie’s immediate command. See it. Want it. Get it. Just like that!

Sources and Resources

Ancient Egyptian Oxen Hieroglyphics
World Tartans by Iain Zaczek
A Brief History of Cattle Branding
Culinary Ephemera, An Illustrated History
A Brief History of Branding
A Visual History of Cookery

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