Domino’s Does Some Brand Tweaking

domino pizza rebrandThe war for consumer’s hearts when it comes to fast-food pizza has seen its share of wacky marketing campaigns over the years. The biggest companies, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, and Papa John’s are heavily reliant on traditional and online marketing campaigns to sell pizzas. Domino’s recently told the world that they’ve made some changes to how they do business.

Is Speed all that Matters?

Selling pizzas at first glance might seem like an easy business model. Everyone loves pizza, right? There is certainly a large portion of the population that does. I know I do – I’m getting hungry just writing this post! Anyway, back to the point. Domino’s is tweaking their brand slightly and getting away from its 1990’s reputation of fast pizza that many consumers still hold in their minds.

According to Joy Jernigan this morning on TODAY, “Domino’s … is slowing things down” and the company “launched a new advertising campaign touting its Homemade Pan Pizza, which “takes a bit longer to make.”” Remember the 30-minute delivery or less deal? That has been toast since 1993 after causing more problems than was intended. Domino’s has been shifting into a more quality focused brand after receiving varied complaints about bad pizza quality.

Is it Working?

In Fall of 2012, Domino’s introduced their latest and most successful pizza, the Handmade Pan Pizza, two years after the slow beginning of its marketing campaign focusing on quality. As Matt Brownell writes yesterday on Daily Finance, the shifting of Domino’s brand to one of quality over speed has been “a huge success” and “Domino’s same-store sales soared by 10% in 2010.” On top of that, Domino’s stock has increased more than three-fold in the last three years.

With these stats in hand, Domino’s decided to make the move to totally re-invent its brand. That’s what the latest news out of the company is about. This re-branding looks like it’s working, and Domino’s certainly went about it very carefully with a long-term plan, evaluating their success as they went to determine if the shift could continue.

Re-branding Works, Slow or Fast

Domino’s example of re-branding is a great one to follow and study for any business or agency looking to do some re-branding. When people think about re-branding, many assume it means a drastic and rapid change, followed by big announcements and fanfare. At least, that’s what I think about and what sticks out in my head. The latest I can think of is from RIM attempting to recover from near collapse with the new Blackberry and all of the marketing and branding that went into that campaign (which appears to be succeeding).

But sometimes, the subtle and slow re-branding campaigns are the ones that really succeed. Before you know it, a company might have an entirely different reputation and brand, and you were sucked in for the ride. More importantly, when the slower, subtle, and calculated re-branding campaigns succeed, they can be very lucrative for businesses.  There is certainly a lot more risk for a company like Domino’s to go about changing their brand rapidly. They made the right move for their business to slowly change their brand for the better.

What do you think about Domino’s approach to its rebranding? How does your agency or business approach its branding work?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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