Pizza Hut is moving past the $10 pizza
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
12 November 2014
The rebrand doesn’t go far enough
I have blogged on the pizza QSR segment so many times that a listing of all the posts would fill more than a few pages. The reason I have had so much to say about the category is because it has been such a mess for so long. Despite all the chatter, little has changed. Domino’s is still trying to convince us that the pizza tastes good, Papa John’s still wants us to believe that its ingredients are better and Pizza Hut…well, I’m not really sure what it wants us to believe anymore.
“Maybe Pizza Hut is ready for the kind of brand shift that changes everything. Or is this just about pizza?”
It seems that Pizza Hut felt very much the same as I did and have commissioned a plan to rewrite its menu, freshen the decor, logo and packaging. To many, and I’m sure Pizza Hut would agree, this is a rebrand of sorts. I can’t comment on the new look and feel because they have not been released, but rebranding is a lot more than that. If Pizza Hut wants to grow market share, it will need to do a much better job of understanding the prospect. (Read more about the Quick Service Restaurant Market Here)
The creative logo, menu and pizza boxes must fulfill that understanding. In the past, Pizza Hut has not seemed to grasp that importance. As a result, it has been stuck in the trenches of fighting for the loyalty of the $10 pizza hunter. Like everyone else in the category, it lives and dies by coupons, specials and sales offers.
Think about this category. It is so bad that one of the principle players has been able to separate itself from the crowd by claiming better ingredients. That’s akin to a bottled water company gaining preference by claiming its water is wet. This is actually embarrassing.
A few years back, I met with a few Pizza Hut executives who had interest in Stealing Share. We talked about brand anthropology and how to go about changing behavior and how that starts with a brand overhaul. I warned them that the kind of change needed to move a market was more than an ad campaign. However, they had, just prior to our meeting, hired the Martin Agency and they had misplaced confidence in the new agency. They believed that advertising would fix their problem. I asked them why agency tenure is 2.5 years, on average? Possibly the problem is not agency creative, but an attachment to internal culture.
I hope they succeed this time. My guess, however, is that, aside from new menu items, little will have changed and Pizza Hut NEEDS change. We challenged Pizza Hut and I think it wants agreement and not challenge. Maybe that has changed? Maybe Pizza Hut is ready for the kind of brand shift that changes everything. Or is this just about pizza?
LOTR coming to Amazon Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 21 November 2017 Amazon brings LOTR to the small screen - and I love it Amazon taking on LOTR (The Lord of the Rings) is being greeted with boos. Why mess with a good thing? But I love Amazon all the more for...
Fox News ratings Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 20 November 2017 Fox News ratings dip, others rise. A lasting trend? The other cable news networks envy the Fox News ratings but a tide might be turning. Ratings for the cable news network leader are dropping 12% in...
UCLA basketball thieves Tom Dougherty, CEO - Stealing Share 16 November 2017 UCLA basketball brand as it stands now The UCLA basketball brand suffers a major wound. It has been many years since NCAA basketball fans talked about the BRAND of UCLA basketball. The heyday...