$10 pizza is desperate

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

17 February 2010

In Pizza, Even Mediocre is Better Than Nothing

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.”

Pizza Huts Tuscani AdToday, 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.

Dominos_Pizza_Logo14A quick look at Domino’s web site really illustrates how crazy this has become.  According to Domino’s, it newly formulated pizza beats Papa John’s in taste testing in 3 out of 5 people.

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.

So Pizza Hut and Papa John’s stop this silliness, else you will soon have to offer pizzas at 10 for $10.  Stop throwing away your money on defensive tactics and invest in the one thing you own  that no one else can claim.- your brand.  Just look at Domino’s, even mediocre is better than nothing.

See more posts in the following related categories: Domino's Papa John's pizza delivery Pizza Hut

1 Comment

  1. Martha Howard

    I am 57 years old and probably not the target consumer. I grew up on Pizza Hut pizzas; they did pizza well and would best be served by honing what they have always done best instead of all the bizarre concoctions they are hawking. I have given Domino Pizza probably 5 chances from 1983 through 1997 or so; all bread dough and tomato sauce. Papa John’s: a worthy competitor and willing to do whatever to play with the pros. Sir Pizza is making a strong comeback. Probably competitors should pay attention.


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