Well apparently Pizza Hut and Papa John’s have taken notice of Domino’s new brand of “not as bad as it used to be.”
Today, after returning from lunch, a colleague of mine forwarded me two emails: One from Pizza Hut and one from Papa John’s. Both emails said that I could buy any pizza with any toppings for the low price of $10. The key is that it’s ANY pizza with ANY toppings. That sounds like desperation.
Granted, there have always been pizza “specials” and coupons from delivery places, but these “specials” seem a little too “special” somehow. It’s basically opening up the entire shop to a discount. They are attempting to negate any benefit Dominos is getting from their new quasi-brand by focusing it back on what they think really matters – price.
A warning to Pizza Hut and Papa John’s: Do you really want to play defense against “not as bad as it used to be’” by lowering prices? Seems a much better investment in marketing dollars to invest in something a little more permanent like developing a meaningful brand that resonates with the target audience, not to mention this defensive posturing can only further embolden Domino’s.
Now that is something… A frightening statistic if you think about it. Even after conducting all of the focus groups, investing in new product development, and improvement of processes, Domino’s is only preferred 60/40 when compared with Papa John’s (who did not change their formula). And apparently this is enough to get Pizza Hut and Papa John’s to cut prices (they must think their pizza is still “as bad as it used to be.” It is a sad commentary that as we have said earlier, the delivery folks do not recognize that “good pizza” should be a table stake of the category.