Domino’s moves from ‘functional’ to ‘emotional’

Harneet Singh Rajpal, VP – Marketing, Domino’s Pizza India talks about the company's new positioning to create ‘consumer delight’

e4m by Shree Lahiri
Updated: Oct 3, 2012 1:44 AM
Domino’s moves from ‘functional’ to ‘emotional’

Domino’s Pizza has been important in the evolution of the pizza category in the country. From being a niche food that appealed to a few in the 1990s, it is now a mass food that is relished across age groups and geographies. In fact, pizzas have changed the eating habits of Indians.

Domino’s Pizza moved from a functional promise of fulfilling hunger needs through ‘Hungry Kya?’ to adding an emotional touch of happiness to a box of pizza with ‘Khushiyon ki home delivery’. It had arrived at a juncture where it realised that the brand had to now find a deeper and more emotional connect with the consumer and evolve into a pure life space.

Harneet Singh Rajpal, VP – Marketing, Domino’s Pizza India spoke to exchange4media on the new positioning that the company has now adopted to create ‘consumer delight’.

Bonding time: ‘Yeh hai rishton ka time’
“‘Khushiyon ki home delivery’ worked wonders for Domino’s for four years. But ‘khushi’ or ‘happiness’ was a tricky area. Today, about 30 brands have ‘happiness’ in their strapline. Happiness, as an emotion, has become generic,” said Rajpal.

“If you have to be firmly connected with your consumers you to be anchored and rooted in a unique way,” he added.

Through some studies conducted on pizza consumption, Domino’s realised that pizza time is not just about hot, fresh and cheesy pizzas, but is also a moment when people come together and bond. It is a small but important time when people take time out from their regimented and busy lives and spend a few moments with each other. It's when family and friends come together, reunite and spend moments together over a pizza. The company believed that the time spent over a pizza makes relationships stronger, livelier and warmer. It is this belief that has been entrenched in its new baseline ‘Yeh hai rishton ka time’. “We are now moving to the next level of happiness,” said Rajpal.

The new positioning is deeply rooted in consumers’ emotions. Thus, Domino’s is trying to get closer to the consumers’ hearts.

Communication and media mix
The marketing communication was a planned process for the last 17 years, moving from ‘education’ to build the association of ‘home delivery’ till now, when the ‘emotional pitch’ has been introduced. “We believe it’s time to be most emotionally connected with the consumers and we believe this will drive growth in the future,” said Rajpal.

The new TVC shows what matters is relationships and Domino’s is very much a part of it. The campaign is an attempt to illustrate this belief through various life situations. It captures various montages of people in varied relationships across age groups and geographies. Something special happened to them, and small but memorable stories were created over slices of Domino’s.

The market spends of the brand has been four to five per cent of the company revenues. “This is good investment, looking at our growth,” said Rajpal.

TV is the lead medium with a 60-sec TVC, which is currently gone on air. This time Domino’s has expanded the media and there is a brand website explaining ‘Yeh hai rishton ka time’ and how it comes alive. The packaging is also new, which captures the essence of the positioning.

The outdoor campaign will roll out in a few days. POP is also part of the communication, where flyers will be distributed to households. “We have our own infrastructure – 15000 employees across 500 stores in 110 cities will ensure that the distribution is wide,” informed Rajpal.

Social media is used to increase viewership, to drive dialogue with consumers and to create messages and promos. There is also a YouTube channel – Domino’s Pizza India. On Twitter, Domino’s has 11500 followers and on Facebook there’s an FB engagement progamme with fans with its FB page boasting of 2.1 million fans. “We are going to have a contest on FB on how Domino’s brings a change in relationships and, we’re going to deliver free pizzas and shoot videos and post those on YouTube,” said Rajpal.

TG for Domino’s takes on a whole new meaning. “We don’t believe in TG in terms of demographics, but we define TG in the ‘relationship space’” elaborated Rajpal. It is intimate relationships, where one makes a difference – relationships between father-son, husband-wife, girlfriend-boyfriend, friends, and family.

The focus area is ‘consumer delight’ in any form – the ultimate level of satisfaction. “Apart from a great product, great service, how we delight the consumers is our concern. Our 15000 employees ensure consumers are delighted and help build a strong loyalty base,” said Rajpal.

The creative agency is Contract, the media agency is Madison; the digital agency is Blazer (Group M), and the social media agency is Go Vivek Go.

Industry data from 2011 reveals the organised pizza market is Rs 1500 crore. “We have a current market share of 55 per cent which has grown by five per cent in the last one year,” shared Rajpal. The other players in the market are national players Pizza Hut and Papa John’s and the rest are regional in nature – US Pizzas, Slice of Italy, Smoking Joe’s and Pizza Corner.

Ensuring the health factor
The health factor is kept in sharp focus. As far as Domino’s goes, none of the products are fried, but baked, so calorie count is low; all are trans-fat free. The dough is fortified with irons and vitamins in the ‘Hand tossed crust pizza’. All of these ensure Domino’s products are nutrient, healthy and good for consumers, said Rajpal.

Going online
The online service was started last year in April, and more than 10 per cent of delivery revenue comes from the online channels, according to Rajpal. The mobile ordering was also launched, where apps can be downloaded; and today more than two lakh of the same have been downloaded. Another recently launched feature is Pizza Tracker Online, where one can track the status of the order online till the delivery is made.

“Even though we increased prices in mid-June by three per cent (prices depend on inflation), our endeavour is to try to bring more efficiency to absorb costs,” concluded Rajpal.

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