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Online Trends

Published August 14th 2017

The Data on Just How Much People Hate the Idea of Dunkin’ Donuts Changing its Name

People hate change. But just how much? In the case of Dunkin' Donuts and its potential name change, a whole heck of a lot. Kellan Terry investigates

There was one news story that dominated the headlines last week. Just one.

You know the story I’m referencing. In fact, you’re probably still seeing, and learning the latest developments, around it today. I didn’t want to write about that.

I was going to, however.

I opened a dashboard to look at how the perpetual Twitter conversation around Donald Trump’s assurance of reckoning. Much to my surprise, I found a lull.

A valley amongst the peaks of Twitter mentions. To see any real abnormality in his mentions you’d have to go back to the day John McCain returned to the Senate to vote on the continuation of health care negotiations.

Perhaps the most telling data point was the absence of one. So, I’m going to write about another topic! One that’s certainly caused waves.

dunkin donuts name change

Donut do it, Dunkin’

People are overly passionate about brands who supply them with their “fix.”

I’m not alluding to anything illegal, although the more extroverted enthusiasts will call them drugs, but the caffeine junkies of the world. Coffee has a cult following, and the brands that sling it don’t just have customers, but fans.

One of the largest cathedrals of coffee in the United States is thinking of changing its name. Dunkin’ Donuts announced that it’s flirting with the idea of dropping the “Donuts.” The result: people had feelings.

Dunkin’s conversation saw a healthy shot of mentions as people reacted to the news. The day that this started to circulate saw more than 11,000 mentions of the brand online which represented a greater than 72% increase in mentions from the day before.

The question, as always, is: was the reaction favorable?

In a word: no.

Since August 4 – the day the news broke – 70% of categorized mentions have been negative.

This is quite the turnaround considering that mentions on August 1 were over 70% positive.

You can see that Dunkin’s sentiment was recovering on the 10th as people were coming to terms with the possible name change (I mean, the slogan “America Runs on Dunkin” would stay the same).

Perhaps a better representation of the internet’s reaction is below.

This may serve as a moment of enlightenment for Dunkin’ Donuts. Don’t drop the “Donut.”

The loyal consumers you have already call your locations “Dunkin,” and a rebrand won’t make them love it more. The result will be something completely opposite.

By dropping the “Donut” you’re stripping away a beloved nickname that your fans have lovingly used forever. People will be losing more than a word. They’ll lose a small sense of their community.

See you next week. Same time; same channel.

If you’d care for any real-time data around any/all breaking news, please feel free to contact us by emailing Kellan at

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