domino’s Pizza turnaround: Oh, We Taste Better Now.(yeah. right.)

Ok. So a friend of mine sent me a YouTube video talking about Domino’s “pizza turnaround.”

Now. I am sure they have a boatload of research (and they show some random stuff on the video) showing that “hey. People think our pizza tastes good now”.


And it sucked before.

So the marketing agency stands up and says “hey, let’s tell them we don’t suck anymore.”

Oops. What I meant to say was “hey, let’s tell them our pizza doesn’t suck anymore.”

Or this situation could be the client just kept stamping his (or her) foot saying “we have improved our taste and we need to tell people!!” (But I haven’t seen Crispin – their marketing agency – bullied into anything in awhile so that scenario runs a far second).

This is the kind of marketing stuff that makes me nuts. Or makes me laugh. Or just makes me wonder if we are really serious about understanding marketing (and the fact that while we always want to talk about ourselves … oh … and sometimes – most times – talking about ourselves just doesn’t matter to people outside the organization). Hey. I am all about internal organization alignment (and I believe this YouTube thing is pretty effective at telling everyone in the organization “hey, we are improving so the entire franchisee organization can be more successful.”)

But. Consumers, the people who buy the stuff, are a different can of worms (not that I believe Domino’s pizza has ever tasted like a can of worms). Taste always shows up as “most important” in research. Unfortunately tastes are discerning and difficult to understand. And telling people “we taste great” is like saying “boy, aren’t I great looking.” (and you look somewhere between Quasimodo and Homer Simpson).

In addition. Taste is relative to the category (a truffle is judged differently than a chewable vitamin). For example, I once had a sports nutrition bar client who kept saying we need to tell them how great we taste.

“Research says our product really does taste good!” Hmmm … well … yeah … maybe compared to other sports nutrition bars.

Hey. When you are at the bottom of the hole anywhere is up. Or. As a past client said to me once “so. You are telling me we are now the tallest midget.”

Domino’s. Heck. I didn’t think it tasted bad. It tasted like delivery pizza. Neither good nor bad. Suck or not suck. It filled a need when I needed it. Unfortunately now they are trying to change my taste perceptions. This is a slippery slope. To say you have improved taste there has to be a demonstrable taste difference (think Tab versus Diet Coke or maybe Gatorade to Tang).

And all these bullshit campaigns on television at the moment where “we brought whatever it is into the restaurant and no one could tell the difference” (not Domino’s someone else but I can’t remember who the heck they are) are kinda ludicrous. Of course people can’t tell the difference. They are in an environment that is affecting their perceptions <and even their taste perceptions>.

Anyway. I will stop.

Taste is like great art. I know it when I see it. And, oh by the way, one person “gets” Picasso while someone else thinks it is the silliest thing they have ever seen. Taste is the same thing.

Written by Bruce