How Domino’s Disarmed Critics With The Truth

Written by | Marketing Strategy

We all know what to do when life gives us lemons. And yet, too many brands ignore or (worse) try to hide customer complaints on their social feeds.

While negative feedback can alert businesses to potentially larger problems, it can also indicate an opportunity to improve and turnaround disgruntled customers.

In the case of Domino’s Pizza, what began as a social media disaster became the catalyst for a new recipe and an award-winning integrated marketing campaign.

Beware Of Speed

Domino’s built its early reputation and marketing on a 30-minute delivery guarantee. But the emphasis on speed led to the impression by customers that employees mindlessly cranked out pizzas without giving much thought to quality. Customers trusted Domino’s for fast service, but not taste or food quality. The emphasis on fast delivery over everything else distanced the customer from the person behind the counter.

The Pizza Turnaround

Domino’s looked for a way to humanize the experience for customers and show that every pizza is hand-made with care by a real, live person.

The solution was a multi-year integrated campaign (created by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky) that overhauled not only the brand, but also the company’s culture and operations.

An integrated marketing campaign was created around the line, “Oh Yes We Did.” The idea was based on simply listening to customers and responding to their feedback by making better pizza.

A five-minute online documentary told the unvarnished true story at PizzaTurnaround.com, accompanied by a live Twitter feed, with every uncensored comment posted in real time.

Meanwhile, Domino’s head chefs went on the road to bring new recipes directly (and literally) to the door of their harshest critics, in a disarming effort to win them over.

A Winning Recipe

The result was one of the company’s most successful product launches ever, spurring a 44% stock price increase in just one month.

As reported in Campaign, “Domino’s credited its new recipe and the ads for more than doubling its fourth-quarter results that year. Growth has been steady ever since. Its share price, $2.61 in 2008, hit $140 this April.”

By having a say in the process, customers saw that their requests were heard and acted upon. It also helped restore their trust and good feelings toward Domino’s as a company and as a pizza.

“You can either use negative comments to get you down or you can use them to excite you and energize your process to make a better pizza. We did the latter,” said Domino’s President, Patrick Doyle.

Last modified: September 21, 2017

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