Magazine article ADWEEK

Tony Weisman: THE MAN WHO DROPPED THE 'DONUTS'

Magazine article ADWEEK

Tony Weisman: THE MAN WHO DROPPED THE 'DONUTS'

Article excerpt

When Digitas veteran Tony Weisman landed the job of CMO of Dunkin' Donuts in 2017, he inherited responsibility for the look, feel and personality of a 67-year-old doughnut chain. The only problem was, well, that "Donuts" thing.

Granted, the storied brand had no shortage of devoted fans. It had also broadened its menu over the years. But the fact that half of its name signified a high-fat sugary treat--this in an era of yoga and low-carb diets--mired the brand in the past. Weisman's response was both ambitious and decisive: Rebrand the chain as Dunkin', update the marketing and transform the culture of the back office. It was a multipronged effort that has since raised revenue by nearly 6%.

The brand of tomorrow

Dunkin' had sported "Donuts" in its name since founder William Rosenberg first put it there in 1950. And while there had long been talk about shortening the name to just Dunkin', it never happened--until last fall, one year into Weisman's tenure.

Though the move involved risk, Weisman understood that consumers had already shortened the name on their own--something they'd been encouraged to do with 2006's "America Runs on Dunkin'" campaign. What's more, to the CMO's thinking, it was essential to keep the brand in step with evolving tastes: Not only are more Americans avoiding sugar, but they've also gotten sophisticated about coffee.

"We are consciously pivoting the brand for the next 70 years," explains Weisman, who recently left the company. "It felt like an inflection point--not about the brand of yesterday but the brand of tomorrow."

Weisman also thought that Dunkin' should look like the brand of tomorrow, so he made the new name part of a larger brand refresh that included new packaging, a new logo and an updated store design. …

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