What We Can Learn from Domino’s New Brand

By Mash Bonigala

Domino’s recently unleashed a new marketing push. While this is nothing new for major corporations, the content is somewhat unusual. In a national commercial, the president of the company admits that the pizza simply isn’t as good as the competition. Clips are shown of unhappy customers comparing the product quality and taste to ‘cardboard’ and ‘ketchup’. The answer, according to Domino’s, has been completely redesigning their pizza from the crust up to taste better and include higher quality ingredients.

However, the marketing isn’t limited to a few well placed television spots. Domino’s also has dedicated an entire website to their pizza turnaround where consumers can leave comments about the new product. The brand also has been featured heavily on television shows from The Colbert Report to CBS’s Early Show.

How does this fit with the Domino’s brand? There are several aspects of this new marketing scheme that are downright revolutionary. First, Domino’s is completely changing their brand with this new campaign. The fact is, few Domino’s customers order this pizza because of its taste alone. On the contrary, many are attracted to its low price—one of the lowest in the pizza delivery field, with pizzas available for as little as five dollars—and the speed of delivery. In fact, Domino’s has spent the better part of a decade selling their half-hour delivery time as a major reason to call their number. People who want speed and low cost order from Domino’s; those who want a high quality pizza instead choose one of the company’s competitors.

However, value is one of the most potent brand values a company can claim, and this means far more than low price. To the new consumer, value means reasonable quality at a reasonable price. Domino’s can never be the true low price leader when supermarket freezers are full of low quality pizzas at half the price and fast food joints on almost every corner offer one dollar hamburgers. This company needs to offer something worth picking up the phone, and this new pizza is designed to do exactly that. This offers a powerful message to businesses everywhere: that price wars alone do not make a brand. In fact, as we have seen with Domino’s, low price can destroy a brand by reducing the quality of the product as more and more corners are cut.

It should be noted that Domino’s is not just branching out in marketing content, but in marketing method as well. While they are retaining old methods of advertising, such as television commercials, they are also hitting digital media and social networking hard. You can interact with the Domino’s Pizza Turnaround on Facebook, Twitter, and the company website. The television placement on The Colbert Report was particularly revolutionary, with the host cracking jokes and generally making a fool of the company while also clearly enjoying the product. This came across as authentic, which shows how important nontraditional marketing can be for companies of all sizes.

Only time will tell if this campaign can revive the Domino’s brand, or whether the new pizza is truly worth all of the fuss. However, Domino’s deserves serious kudos for stepping outside the box when it comes to marketing—no pun intended.