Domino's: Artisan pizza for $7.99. Really? Please.
The first time I heard the phrase “Domino’s Artisan Pizza,” I said to myself, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” Then I thought, “Come on, Dave. Give a reasonable, objective review of this new marketing effort.”
So, I did. And I said to myself, “That’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard since the one unfortunate time I blurted out an honest answer when my wife asked for my opinion about a purse.” Then I thought it might be possible to use this colossal idiocy to help small businesses in Wichita market themselves more effectively.
OK, how many ways is this campaign wrong?
1. Artisan and Domino’s do not go together. It’s not a credible value proposition. As a small business, you need to make sure your products and your company’s brand are congruent. If you want to say your pizza makers are artisans, that’s great. But show us how you back it up. Otherwise, I’m going to continue frequenting my favorite local Wichita pizza joint, Knolla’s.
2. The product doesn’t even look like it’s that much better than anything else Domino’s puts out. It really needs to stand out from the crowd. As it is, it looks a bit like a petite version of the Bigfoot pizza from some years back. If you are a small business in Wichita and you introduce a new product or service, you’d better make sure it walks and talks significantly differently than everything else.
3. See if you follow this logic. Because I don’t. First, Domino’s introduces an Artisan Pizza. It positions the pizza as having better toppings and being made better. Then the company declares that its pizza makers aren’t artisans. More incongruence. Next, Domino’s runs TV spots making fun of artisans. I guess I could understand this strategy if Domino’s didn’t choose to call its new pizza an “artisan” pizza. Make their mistake your gain, Wichita marketers: make your product name, your pricing and your promotion align properly. (See #4.)
4. So, imagine you’re Domino’s. You introduce a new pizza that has “better” toppings, “better” crust and is made lovingly by Carlos or Debbie, who sign your pizza box and solicit your feedback. Great idea! (You’re just taking your copying of Papa John’s to a new level, but that’s OK.) It’s a fine strategy from a product standpoint. All I’m saying is to package it properly by saying something like: “You might have heard about these great pizzas called ‘artisan’ pizzas. They look like this, taste like this and are made by people who LOVE to make pizza. We have them at Domino’s, but we just call them great pizza. And or a limited time, they’re just $7.99.” Now, that’s a story. Tell me a story, Wichita small businesses!
5. Domino’s didn’t take the right page from the Subway marketing manual. In fact, it’s the same mistake all the big-name chain pizza places have made. It’s the mistake of focusing on the product instead of the price. Subway has made some mistakes of its own, don’t get me wrong. But Subway has been incredibly successful with its $5 Footlong campaign. This success has gone all the way from a special offer to an ongoing fixture on the menu that gives people another reason to go to subway. Don’t come up with a fancy new product before you’ve exhausted all avenues for your current product line–including how you price it, package it and deliver it.
Bottom line, Wichita small business marketers, don’t take it for granted that putting a cute name on something makes it better.