Remember Domino’s Pizza’s thirty-minute guarantee?
As a story in today’s Wall Street Journal states, Domino’s practically invented the pizza delivery business in 1960. Back in 1986, the company decided to offer a thirty-minute guarantee–if your pizza wasn’t delivered in thirty minutes, it was free. The guarantee gave the company a clear competitive advantage over stronger brands like Pizza Hut.
I can remember how a suspect delivery person made a cash strapped college kid’s night! Free dinner…leaving more money for partying!
Unfortunately, as one might expect, the guarantee motivated delivery drivers a bit too much. After an accident, a St. Louis lawsuit against Domino’s led the company to abandon the guarantee and their main competitive advantage. Domino’s marketing began to tout taste and quality instead of their speed of delivery. Unfortunately for the Detroit pizza company, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s were able to win over consumers when compared with Domino’s on these characteristics. The result has been a reduction in relevance and competitiveness for Domino’s the past twenty years.
But, the company has decided to bring back a focus on ’30 minutes’ in their marketing efforts…sort of…
Domino’s market research showed at least 30 percent of the company’s customers remembered the old ’30 minute Guarantee’ marketing campaign. New ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky of Miami decided to revive the 30-minute guarantee in a new ‘legally safe’ manner. The market research showed Domino’s customers wanted ‘fast and simple’ choices with regard to meals. The ad agency thought the 30-minute idea could be revived as a gift to consumers by ‘giving them 30 minutes back’–time they would have wasted making a meal or waiting for deliveries from Domino’s competitors.
The irony is the new target audience is people under the age of 30…those who would most likely not remember the ‘glory days’ of the thirty-minute guarantee.
We’ll see how it goes for Domino’s…either way, I’ll always remember those occasions when the weather was bad or the orders were stacked up, leading to a slightly longer wait and the ultimate prize for a college student–free pizza!