Brands that totally nailed it: Doughnut Time

Some brands just get it, ya know? As a brand voice specialist, I see a lot of terrible branding. I also see a lot of incredible branding. Today we’re here to celebrate the folk who have absolutely, without a doubt, smashed it.

Carrying on last month’s Australian focus, I have another ripper of a brand for you: Doughnut Time. I’ve yet to have an unpleasant interaction with them, and it’s not just because of the baked goods. I’m not even ashamed to admit that I have the hugest crush on them.

Let’s get to the gooey centre of Doughnut Time’s branding, shall we?


Doughnut Time: who dat?

Doughnut Time is an Australian doughnut company, specialising in the most fun yet extreme doughnuts I’ve ever laid eyes on. They’ve only recently come to the UK, but were already notorious before they opened their first hole in the wall last year.

The ethos behind DT is pretty simple: they create ‘an unforgettable experience you can hold in your hand.’ And it’s oh so true. Although you might need a napkin, because DAYUM.

They put a heck of a lot of thought into the design of their doughnuts, the ingredients they use and the menu they rotate. I’ve never been particularly loyal to the doughnut as a dessert option (I’m a tiramisu girl) but anyone who follows my Ated & Rated Tumblr account will know that I somehow keep going back for more.

Before you get wide, just know that these guys are so much more than dessert to me. They’re a truly brilliant brand, too. Here’s why…

Dissecting the brand

What’s in a name? Everything, apparently…

Can we take a minute to talk about the menu? It’s bangin’ for many reasons, but the two most obvious are the names of the doughnuts and the allure of exclusivity—something we know encourages customers to buy and to remain engaged.

The basic premise of this winning menu is in taking much-loved childhood treats and translating them into a fantastic doughnut counterpart with equally fantastic names (Hans Rolo, you guys. HANS ROLO!)

They go extreme with flavours, decorations and names; there isn’t an aspect of this product which doesn’t ooze fun and creativity. When you’re aiming to create a product which is ‘unforgettable’, a bog standard name and product description just doesn’t cut the cake.

The exclusivity aspect comes in the form of limited edition flavours. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve rushed to specific outlets just to get my grubby mitts on an exclusive doughnut. I’m also not ashamed to admit that I ate most of them without even stopping to chew…

It’s a damn clever way of keeping customers coming back for second helpings. I always have my eye on their Twitter account, lest they release something new and delish.

Another step towards creating an ‘Insta-worthy’ experience are the ‘Megas’—giant doughnuts as big as your head. Yeah…that’s right. Go hard or go home.


Tempting with the tangible

Doughnuts are a luxury treat, so it makes sense to sell them by creating desire based on the decadent nature of the product itself. Let’s also not forget that DT is trying to create something unforgettable, so they need to make a bombastic impression from the first second you land on the page. And BOY do they!

The homepage is a montage of doughnut-making, doughnut-breaking sexliciousness which immediately puts the product front and centre in an inescapably delectable way. You see the creative process, the buying process, the eating process. You see it…you want it.

The same is true of their Instagram account, which boasts a plethora of—frankly—obscene doughnut-ripping/making videos.


Social slamdunk

While we’re on the topic of Instagram, I should touch on the sheer awesomeness of DT’s social media presence. You can’t be a young, fun doughnut company and sound like a stuffy douchebag.

Doughnut Time is a product for the Instagram generation, so they embrace the world of social accordingly. They chatter away like a 21-year-old on Whatsapp, using young, fun language (complete with slang) that perfectly compliments how fun and inventive they are.

As well as talking the talk, DT is flippin’ hot with their content. They upload a mix of fun promotional videos and ‘behind the scenes’ videos which showcase the craftsmanship and the ingredients. I think you’ll agree, for a company intent on showcasing passion for every aspect of the product and the process, it’s bang on brand


The inner circle

As branding experts, we know that brand tone of voice isn’t just reserved for the fancy bits that customers see all the time—it should be rolled out across everything, from Privacy Policies to triggered system emails.

Instead of hitting customers with a bland-ass sign-up form, DT has opted to make theirs delightfully doughnut-themed by inviting them to join the ‘Inner Circle’. That’s some clever copywriting right there.


Packing a punch

Like I mentioned further up the page, your brand tone of voice needs to touch every aspect of the business and the customer experience, which is why I need to extend my sycophantic praise to the DT packaging too.

These guys have sprinkled cheeky lil’ snippets all over their boxes, so you kinda want to read while you munch.


Right. I’m officially hungry now. Do you love a bit of Doughnut Time? Who is your favourite brand this month? Comment below and lemme know!

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