Domino’s Transformation and The Importance of Brand Auditing

By Julia Burnett

Regardless of how you feel about Domino’s pizza, this is a company that excels at two things.

1. Domino’s is good at blowing things up—literally.

The pizza chain’s recent TV spot shows the company’s executive vice president of store operations and a store manager conspiring to demolish the Domino’s Pizza sign outside a California location. This is a commercial that really speaks to Americans’ love of pizza and live-action entertainment.

Of course, earlier this year the company figuratively blew up its identity by dropping “Pizza” from the Domino’s name to reflect the fact that the brand offers an expanded menu.

2. Domino’s calls itself out regularly.

In February, the company invited people to call out old signage in a social media shaming, reported the Chicago Sun Times. Specifically, the company created a hashtag #LOGOINFORMANTS and  #SWEEPS and asked Instagrammers to identify stores that had old “Pizza” signage. Ironically, the grand prizes in this sweepstakes were free pizza for a year.

Domino’s ‘Radical Transparency’

Of course, you most likely remember Domino’s gutsy “Oh Yes We Did” campaign in 2009, which saw the company basically admit its pizza was terrible. The company needed to do something drastic to improve its sales, and this was their solution. This effort coincided with “Show Us Your Pizza” campaign, in which Domino’s  asked customers to take photographs of their food to be used in ad campaigns.

These radically transparent initiatives set Domino’s on a new course to success, reported AdvertisingAge. It all came down to accountability and strong top-down leadership. Operational consistency was paramount. If Domino’s was going to rebrand and reinvent itself, everyone needed to be on board: from the executive team to the pizza line cook.

Now in 2015, Domino’s has carried its radical transparency to the store level. It is now committed to remodeling stores into pizza theaters  to give customers a clear view of kitchen operations, and continues to innovate with its artisan pizza offerings. There was also a TV spot showcasing the artistic talents of some of Domino’s pizza makers. Honestly, why not? It has all seemed to work as Domino’s U.S. sales momentum continues in 2015.

While some retailers may not subscribe to the public shaming aspect of rebranding, at the very least, they can audit their locations to make everything is on track with promotional milestones.

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