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The Boston Globe reports that Dunkin’ Donuts decision to shorten its name to “Dunkin’” in select locations may have “jarred some longtime customers,” but it also reflects greater, more sweeping changes at a company looking to reinvent itself.

The big focus is on coffee and beverages, the company says, as it streamlines its menu and tests concepts like the one opening next month in Quincy, Massachusetts, offering mobile ordering and featuring “four drive-thru lanes: one more-or-less conventional lane with a microphone to speak into and a window to pay at, two lanes with touch-screen kiosks that drivers use to order and pay by card, and one lane for people who ordered and paid online.”

Interestingly, while the company may be dropping the word “Donuts” from some of its signs, it is not stepping away from the category. Rather, it is working to figure out if it can steal back some market share from boutique doughnut shops that have become popular - the idea is to offer the same kind of variety and quality, but at a lower price.
KC's View:
Dunkin’ management insists that all these efforts are tests, and that there is no guarantee that these changes will go chain-wide. But it sounds to me like this is a case of a company that knows exactly how the experiments are going to turn out.

That may not be a bad thing. These changes all sound sensible. It just doesn’t sound like there is much doubt at the company that these changes are the ones that a new generation of consumers will embrace, without disenfranchising traditional shoppers.