Dunkin Donuts: Revisited

Back in May, I wrote about Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee, and the scourge of businesses following the “Sugary-Sludge-At-The-Bottom” method of product afterthoughtedness. This morning I was eating an Apple Pie from McDonalds (at 2 for $1, not a bad breakfast), and thinking about how many companies add products to their offerings without fully considering how it strengthens their brand or message. I’m not saying that McDonalds has done this with their Apple Pies, and in fact, I think they’re a great addition to the Breakfast menu, as well as the Dessert menu. Versatility is a big part of their thing.

But then we have Dunkin Donuts offering pizza and hot dogs and selling Sobe and Gatorade and Snapple, Subway introducing their own version of pizza-to-order, and some idiot asking Steve Jobs why Apple doesn’t put “Intel Inside” stickers on their gorgeous, sticker-free, computers.

The best restaurants (and the ones that command the highest prices) have the smallest menus. Some don’t even let their customers choose. Whatever the chef wants to cook on Tuesday is what they eat.

I don’t care what focus groups and user-testing tell you what people think they want your business to sell. They don’t actually know. If you listen to enough of them for long enough, you’ll turn your business into a convenience store.

A place where nothing matters but the fact that it is there.

Don’t let brand dilution happen to you. You know better than anyone what your business is and should be. Stay strong. Be honest.

Add value, not menu items.