Still Donuts?

I saw a new re-branded Dunkin’ store and it was just weird. It has always been called Dunkin’ Donuts. They make donuts. Sure, they have lots of other things. Muffins, breakfast, sandwiches. They’re even known for their coffee. They have used the tagline “runs on Dunkin'” for a long time. And lots of people call it Dunkin’. That shorthand makes sense. But officially changing the name to Dunkin’ is too far. They have hedged their bets a bit and still show the “DD” logo next to the name on the outside of the store. Maybe some executive thought people would get confused and not know it’s still Dunkin’ Donuts. I doubt that confused person would be convinced by a pair of Ds. This feels like branding overly influenced by hashtags and the informality of social media. I’m not feeling it.

Branded Commodity

How do you create a brand with a commodity product? Do something different that stands out and is memorable. When was the last time you noticed the perforation on toilet paper? Probably never. Soft or rough. One-ply or two-ply. Patterned or white. These are product attributes, not expressions of the brand. But the perf? That’s a real opportunity. Normally it is straight across, as most perforations in our society are. But I came across one that was wavy instead. This creates something memorable about this product. If the product also works well – in the case of toilet paper I going to remember if it is soft – then I will tie those two things together. Now if I only knew the name of this soft, wavy-perfed toilet paper.

What a View

The view out of the airplane window was magical. There was a storm that had delayed our takeoff, so as it dissipated there were still some dark, puffy clouds that were illuminated from the inside with lightning. The sun was setting and other clouds were dabbed with orange light. As the sky darkened the flat Midwestern landscape was lined with lights off to the horizon. A low layer of diffuse clouds covered one spot, blocking the view of the city below. And a full moon rose above it all, higher and higher into the sky.

That’s You?

The TSA security agent asked me to take my glasses off while he over-scrutinized my driver’s license photo. No one looks that closely at IDs. What makes someone so earnest at 6 in the morning? He asked me if it was a picture from high school. I think that’s what he said. Maybe I was just tired. I told him that I lost a bunch of weight. After he handed back my license I looked at the picture. My hair was much shorter than it is now.