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What If Starbucks and Dunkin' Switched Branding?

by Chloe Gordon on 08/07/2023 | 2 Minute Read

The second Charli D' Amelio partnered with Dunkin' in 2021, I had an identity crisis. I always thought Starbucks was the superior coffee choice, but if the pinnacle of youth—the "it-girl" and TikTok legend—preferred her coffee Dunkin', then I must too. 

And then it dawned on me—fast-food coffee is just coffee. 

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Same with a burger. If you handed me a Big Mac and a Whopper, and I tasted each with a blindfold, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. As much as I wish I possessed a refined palette, the oil-spattered beef patty would likely taste the same. 

Yet, with my eyes opened, the branding will always sway my influence. 

Michael Irwin, creative director for ESPN+ at The Walt Disney Company, recently flip-flopped the branding for Starbucks and Dunkin' in a fun, exploratory creative pursuit. When Starbucks' classically emerald hue comes drenched in pink and orange, my perception instantly changes. In pink and orange and a bubbly type treatment, Starbucks ditches its classic-ness. Gone are the days of airport sophistication, and, in its place, you'll find a more youthful, playful approach. 

It's like when the word "yellow" is written in red. It's confusing and entirely amusing. The power of branding is everything. All it takes is a circular, green Dunkin' logo to prove it.  

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