Honest Marketing

On 01/10/2010, in Marketing, by Jordan Wilson

I know several Marketing majors trapped inside Accountants’ bodies who read this blog. For you, and others studying in less creative fields, consider the innovative and highly unusual approach being used by Domino’s Pizza to market their pizza.

They are being honest in their advertising.

It appears Domino’s is (finally) listening to consumers. Based on rather harsh feedback, Domino’s has completely reformulated their pizza recipe. You can see Domino’s “The Pizza Turnaround” video here. It is quite well done.

I applaud them on their honesty and bold attempt to lure back former customers by improving pizza quality.

If only more companies took this approach. It would be good for consumers. Plus, we would see fewer commercials running.

For anyone involved in marketing a product or service, customer satisfaction ranks very high on the list of keys to success. That should never be ignored. Once you lose a customer, it is very costly to get them to return. Some customers will never return, no matter what the incentive. Each of you likely have many examples of businesses you will never buy from again based on past service.

While I applaud Domino’s for their new approach, I must give them a kick for appearing to forget about customer satisfaction in the first place.

Of the national chains, I gave up on Domino’s many years ago. But perhaps that was just me. Nope. In doing just a cursory search, I noticed that in Epinions.com currently ranks Domino’s behind Godfather’s, Papa John’s, Little Caesar’s, and Pizza Hut among the big chains. In March of 2009, Yahoo Foods compared Domino’s to Papa John’s and Pizza Hut. Domino’s came in last and “… only seems worth ordering this Sunday if you want lots of inexpensive pizza.”

Okay, all that is recent and Domino’s is addressing the complaints. But in 2008, Consumers’ Choice ranked Domino’s 6th out of 8 national pizza chains. Way back in 2003, RateItAll ranked Domino’s last versus the other major national chains.

So the issue of quality has been around for a long time. One would have hoped that Domino’s might have addressed the issue sooner. But, presumably, producing lower quality (i.e. less costly and therefore more profitable) pizza was of greater importance than customer satisfaction.

When you enter the business world, I hope you always try to meet consumer expectations. From day one and all the days thereafter. Before it is too late. Before your clients feel betrayed and take their business elsewhere. Because once your customer is lost, they may not return for any reason.

Even if your product does improve and your company issues a heartfelt mea culpa.

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1 Response » to “Honest Marketing”

  1. Nicholas says:

    Great post, I definitely agree with your points about customer satisfaction. Domino’s has definitely marketed their “refocus to quality” hard to consumers, and although it may not work right away it is in the public’s nature to forgive and forget (or maybe it’s the other way around). Eventually, I believe that Domino’s can achieve this new image in their customers’ eyes. But that all requires offering not only a quality product, but adding value through positive customer interaction. As you can see below in recent customer reaction, the Domino’s Board of Directors must have forgotten that whilst discussing their new garlic crust and real cheese (what were they using before?).


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