Dunkin’ wants New Englanders to think of their favorite local coffee chain like they do their favorite local ballpark
Tony Weisman, the Canton-based company’s chief marketing officer, told Boston magazine in an interview published Tuesday that Dunkin’s recent name change and larger shift in brand strategy hasn’t gotten the backlash one might expect from cantankerous New Englanders.
In fact, the response has been generally positive — which Weisman says they expected.
“The metaphor that we used was Fenway Park,” he told Boston.
“Fenway has done a beautiful job over modern ownership to both modernize the ballpark but retain its essence,” Weisman explained. “I think if you look in the last decade, whether it was seats on the Green Monster or video screens, or what have you, generally speaking maybe there was a little grumbling at first. But by and large, I think the community of Sox Nation has very much embraced all of these because they were done with the essence of the brand at heart.”
Dunkin’s own rebranding consisted of shortening its name (goodbye, Donuts); revamping its stores, coffee-making equipment, and even cups; and paring down its menu. It also includes a greater emphasis on caffeinated drinks and on-the-go ordering, which Weisman says were already integral for the company (even if their new stores look a lot more like Starbucks).
“In the end, Boston and New England consumers are very focused on your intent,” he said. “They are very much about authenticity. You can say a lot of things about New England stereotypes, but I think it boils down to authenticity matters above all else. If what you are trying to do is authentically you, then you’ll get a green light.”