[Podcast] The Great Pizza Turnaround
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“Worst excuse for pizza I’ve ever had.”
“Totally void of flavor.”
“Microwave pizza is far superior.”
The onslaught was unrelenting. Dominos Pizza went from the fastest growing franchise in the world to a joke. Criticism and negative comments poured in from all sides, and, as employees of the chain said, “It’s hard to watch.” As hard as choking down a slice of their pie.
On its path to success, Dominos took a left turn into terrible food. They were brave enough to recognize it, and what they did next was…unexpected and perhaps unprecedented. Not only did they listen to customers, they created an entire campaign around criticism. Instead of hiding, they highlighted negativity: the crust tastes like cardboard. The sauce tastes like ketchup. Mass-produced. Boring. Bland.
Dominos said, “We know. We’re sorry. We’re changing.” And they did. They reinvented everything. Their sauce, their crust, their cheese, their processes, their delivery techniques, their customer service, their logo. Everything.
Did the daring move pay off? In 2010, during the height of the “totally void of flavor” era, Dominos’ stock share was $8.76. Fast-forward to 2018: that figure hit $160. As Russell Weiner, chief marketing officer, eloquently describes the turnaround, “Wow.” We agree!
Failure was not an option for Dominos. It shouldn’t be for your brand either. If you’re facing criticism and negative press, stand up. Tell the truth. Be bold. Be brave. Be different.
In another bold move, Dominos visits some of its harshest critics. See what happens: