REBRAND REPLAY: Dunkin' Donuts vs. Weight Watchers

Last week, two companies launched their rebrand campaigns. Who did it best? We battle them head to head. Doughnuts vs Diets. Weight Loss vs Chocolate Sauce. Let's get it on!

Dunkin' Donuts and Weight Watchers both focused teams toward evaluating, developing and executing their best direction for the future of each brand. One company hit a home run with their launch, the other had a fan run onto the field in football pads causing confusion. Wait, what?


MVP? Dunkin'.

Dunkin' Donuts has taken aim to be an all day food option with their growing product diversification. Not only do they have that desire, but the corporation recognized the public was already shortening their name to "Dunkin'" since this sufficed in conversation. Amirite? TTYL :)

The timing for the rebrand was right internally. The external audience was ready for it. So, Dunkin' listened and based the decision on demand. It's a small move that guarantees nothing that you might already love about this brand is gone. The style and sentiment remains; they aren't losing any of their earned reputation and it focuses on the strong side of Dunkin' rather than one of their product lines.

The company has just as good of a reputation in coffee as in donuts. The removal of “Donuts” in the branding and the apostrophe in favor of the  "ING” speaks to their speediness and efficiency. Those qualities perfectly suit the busy schedules of their customers. It's a differentiator. Starbucks wants to be a hangout café. Dunkin' targets helping people on the go. Ain't nobody got time for cafés!

Adopting the single-word name increases the brand’s flexibility to spawn other products, including apparel and other covetable brand-supporting items that may not have been possible with “Donuts” weighing it down.

Grade: A+, mostly for the awareness to make a change while strategically keeping all visuals and overall sentiment about the brand the same to what has already become iconic.

Player to be Named Later? Weight Watchers.

Before we get into our rebrand analysis, it’s vital to note that Weight Watchers didn't just move the brand to a monogram logo. They CHANGED THE COMPANY NAME to WW International, Inc. The company is all-in on the double Ws.  

Weight Watchers programs teach people how to eat for life. That’s powerful. Weight Watchers was something that worked. It helped people eat healthier, feel better. But even more important, it pushed them to a life-changing realization: With effort, lasting change is possible. The brand had high value to its customers, and I worry that WW may have been too large of a move for such a beloved name. With the switch, all that established trust and reputation is gone and the company has to start from scratch. WW means nothing. I immediately have thoughts of WWII, WWF, WWW, WWE, and even George W. Bush as it read, "Dubya Dubya." I can picture the SNL skit now!

The efforts to be known as a wellness company that inspires healthy habits is not a stretch from their actual impact. Once you dive in, the new mission is spot on to what Weight Watchers has been to customers.

Positive Feedback: I do think the move to drop Weight Watchers opens up their product lineup and target audience. There may be a stigma with the Weight Watchers name to "dieting" and whose defined audience doesn't have future growth potential without a change. Stepping away isn't a bad decision. The new direction is just not clear enough.

The name WW reflects that we’re becoming the world’s partner in wellness - WW

Good luck having people determine that out on their own. If only the "world partner" could also identify how this name works in other languages. In Brazil, Weight Watchers was known as "Vigilantes do Peso". Now what, VdP?

Overall, in my professional opinion, WW has made more work for themselves. What does the future look like? We'll be watching.

Grade: C. As in Confusing.