Published in the November 30, 2017 edition.
By MARK SARDELLA
Dunkin’ Donuts announced recently that it is considering shortening the name on all of its stores to simply, “Dunkin’.” A few select stores around the country are now testing the truncated name, including one in Boston.
This move could have serious implications for a town like Wakefield, which has a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner (and thankfully not one Starbucks).
The new store on Tremont Street in Boston already sports the familiar orange letters spelling simply “Dunkin’” on the building. Next to that, on another part of the façade, the orange and purple letters “DD” are displayed, a respectful nod to the original name.
Most customers will hardly notice, since they already tend to refer to the store as “Dunkin’s” or “DD.” No word as to whether the company will further shorten the name to “Dunks,” as many customers prefer to call it.
The company will still make the donuts, but the change is a way to put more emphasis on its hottest sellers like coffee and other beverages.
Well, you can’t keep a good idea to yourself. Other companies and organizations are now following suit and shortening their names too.
Not to be outdone, local rival Honey Dew Donuts was quick to hop on the bandwagon and will reportedly soon be known simply as “Honey.”
And Honey’s more upscale neighbor at the head of the Lake, the Gingerbread Construction Company is considering rebranding itself as “Ginger.” There’s no truth to the rumor, however, that the two are in merger talks to become “Honey & Ginger.”
Thanks to Dunkin’, name shortening has become the latest corporate rage. I’m proud to say that the firm I work for was way ahead of the curve of this trend. Our Twitter handle has for years been “@WakefieldDaily.”
Other companies are jumping on the bandwagon.
The Lord & Taylor corporation may soon drop Taylor and be known simply as “The Lord,” while Home Depot will welcome you to its comfy and cozy, “Home.”
The General Mills companies will soon be saluted as “The General.”
In an effort to soften its tony image, Ralph Lauren, will reportedly rebrand its chic line of haute couture as “Ralph.”
The Robert Half Company is taking the name-downsizing craze a step further and will shorten its name to Robert but wants to known to friends as “Bob.”
Darling Ingredients has decided that henceforth it wants to be affectionately known as “Darling.”
Even the entertainment industry is getting into the act, retroactively shortening the titles of classic movies, including what was once one of the most popular movies of all time, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Despite the fact that in 1940 Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar for her performance in this film, it has been deemed “racially insensitive” by today’s standards and the movie has virtually disappeared from public view, making its newly truncated title, “Gone,” oddly appropriate.
But it’s not just corporate names that are on the chopping block. Street names are candidates for shortening too. The sign on Salem Street formerly directing motorists to Pleasure Island Road now looks intriguing as it points the way to “Pleasure.”
Locally, the School Department has decided it might as well go ahead and make it official, so Wakefield High School will henceforth be known as “Wakefield High.”
If only Dunkin’ had rolled this idea out a few months earlier, our Board of Selectmen could have simply shortened its name to “The Board” and saved everyone a lot of trouble.
Alas, timing is everything.