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Is Domino’s Pizza Innovative, or Simply ‘Laznnovative’?

Is Domino’s Pizza lazy? Are they innovative? They’re Laznnovative!

I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Domino’s Pizza. Something about their cardboard-y tasting pizzas always turned me away. The only time I ate them was when I worked at a Subway next door. We used to trade a couple 6” subs for a pizza, and I still felt we got ripped off.

Domino's Pizza

Domino's Pizza has let me down in the past...

I must not have been the only one, because a couple years ago Domino’s decided to change their recipe. While the new pizza was an improvement, it still wasn’t enough to sway me into choosing Domino’s as my pizza destination. But they’re not done.

Domino’s is making more changes. Give the fans what they want? Well, they’re doing just that. They’ve begun using Facebook (maybe you’ve heard of it) to ask the people what they want though their Think Oven initiative.

Aside from just being an online ‘Suggestion Box’, where anybody who adds the Domino’s Pizza App can submit an idea (they completely disregarded my idea of Slurpee Pizza), Think Oven has a project each month where fans can help with a certain aspect of the company.

So is this “thinking outside the pizza box” and innovative? In a way. It’s instant feedback on the consumer’s time, instead of your own.

Not to mention, it saves the company money. Domino’s can cut down on the number of focus groups it holds. They don’t need to create and pass out questionnaires to people that’ll mostly end up in the trash, (they can even claim they’re “going green!”). And most cost-efficient, they no longer have to pay employees to do those things. They just hire a couple people to sit in front of Facebook all day (which most the office probably does anyway).

It’s easy, quick, direct contact with your customers. But Domino’s is also making other people do their job.

Questions/suggestions about their pizza or their food items, I get it. But look at February’s Think Oven project: designing new uniforms.

I don't really care what the uniforms look like -- it's the pizza that matters.

Thanks for ordering with Domino's! I'll be right there with your pizza.

I feel like I speak for most people when I say: I don’t care! As far as I’m concerned, they could be wearing short-shorts, a wife-beater shirt and a trucker hat advertising “free mustache rides” as long as they can make a pizza that’s… what’s the word I’m looking for?… oh, yeah, EDIBLE.

Their prizes for winning add up to $2,000. A definite cop-out to hiring a real designer. But that’s not even my real beef with this (writer’s note: I don’t think their beef is “real beef” either). How about instead of asking random people, you ask the ones who will be wearing the uniforms: your employees. They’re the ones working in front of a hot oven all day or driving around town, delivering the (hopefully) hot and fresh pizzas. The employees are the ones you should want happy, as their work defines your brand.

So in this instance, Domino’s is simply being lazy, not wanting to put in the work themselves.

So there you have it. When it comes to this Think Oven initiative, Domino’s is clearly laznnovative.

Have you heard of the Think Oven project from Domino’s? Do you think they’re innovative, or “laznnovative”? Other companies, like Tempurpedic, are also using crowdsourcing in social media — do you love it or hate it?

 

Image credit to barron and mag3737.


Alex Brodsky

Alex is a video specialist and blogger at Quality Logo Products, putting his media background and screenwriting training to good use. When he's not working, he enjoys tinkering with his fantasy sports lineups, engaging in cheeky shenanigans, and cuddling. He must also get all of his caffeine from pop as he can't stand coffee. You can also connect with Alex on Google+.

Comments

  1. Amy Swanson

    I find it so interesting that we have completely different viewpoints on crowdsourcing, Alex hahaha.

    I always thought it was a great idea to ask customers who love your brand what they’d like to see instead of shoving your ideas down their throat, never thought of it as lazy before. I like it when my favorite locally-owned stores ask what kind of products I’d like to see more of, or what trends I’d like to see when they’re out buying. However, after reading your post I can see how customers could think that constantly bugging your customers could irritate them.

    Thanks for another fun post!

    • Alex Brodsky

      The thing that I think bugged me the most, was the fact that I had to join their Facebook community in order to make a comment. That’s opening myself up to be bombarded by messages and advertisements from them.

    • Jeff Porretto

      I completely agree with Amy here. I think it’s fun! We always complain about companies “being in their own world,” thinking they “know us better than we do,” and not giving us what we ask for. Well here’s a company that is letting us have a voice! Sure it’s only a pizza company, but isn’t listening to others ideas a great way how to think outside the (pizza) box?

  2. Jaimie Smith

    This was a great post, Alex! I actually do agree with you for the most part. I think it’s good to show the customers you care about their opinion, but I feel Dominos is maybe taking it too far and, as you said, having their customers do their job for them.
    The whole work uniform thing is absoultely rediculous! I agree with you, the people actually wearing them should have a say over their customers. I would have been pissed if when working at Menards if they would have had the customers pick our uniforms before asking our input. They are not the ones that have to wear it all day.

    • Alex Brodsky

      Exactly. Customers don’t know what the employees do during the average day OR what types of uniforms would be the best. Sure, a customer might come up with a sleek design, but if it interferes with somebody doing their job because of discomfort (or any number of things) then it’s not good for your brand OR your customers.

  3. Mandy Kilinskis

    They should’ve left it at food and drink suggestions. While customers will actually buy and eat pizza suggestions, I think you’re right that nobody cares about the Domino’s uniforms. Basically, the end user should have the say. Maybe Domino’s could’ve fostered some employee loyalty by having, as you said, the employees weigh-in on their uniforms.

    Let me know when they get back to pizza suggestions. Three words: French fry pizza.

    • Alex Brodsky

      Hmm… MAYBE you could tell the delivery guy there’s an extra $5 in it for him if he stops at McDonald’s and picks up a large fry. THEN you dump ‘em on, and you’ve made your own French Fry Pizza

    • Rachel

      I agree with you, Mandy — getting customer feedback for food and drink suggestions sounds like an awesome idea, but something like the uniforms should really be an internal matter with employee input.

      Great post, Alex! Now I’m hungry for pizza. :)

  4. Candice J.

    I agree with Mandy. At the end of the day I’m not tossing and turning in bed worried about the pizza guys delivery uniform. I want to have input of course but now that’s just getting out of hand. Food, drinks, customer service ok that makes sense. But uniforms, hair cut, glasses or contacts (they might as well ask for those suggestions) are not really going to determine how good my meal is. But using social media to not only promote free advertising but customer feedback and input helps them get a quicker response from their customers as to what works and what not. That way those limited time foods can become a main staple in their normal menu because the customers love and demand it. I think its a pretty neat idea as long as they limit what they actually want/need input and feedback about and no unnecessary-ness.

    • Alex Brodsky

      Exactly. In respect to the immediate response from customers, it is definitely an innovative process that is sure to yield positive results for the company.

      It’s when they take it too far that I strike issue with it.

  5. Eric

    This is a common theme in American restaurant/food service: corporate determines the functionality (or lack thereof) of the workplace. I worked as a line cook for a short while, and the company’s decision to add a section to the menu completely derailed any efficiency the line ever had.

    Like you said…they’d probably have been smart asking their employees about it before they decided to twist the line around like a Rubik’s Cube. Happy employees almost always mean more happy customers, and moreover, return customers. You want better business, Domino’s? Make your business a better one to work at.

    French fry pizza? Hmm. I’m thinking the Canadian YouTube sensation dudes from “Epic MealTime” could make that a reality. You already have cheese. Add the fries. Put gravy on there, and BAM! Poutine. French-Canadian specialty.

    Damnit. Now I’m hungry.

    • Alex Brodsky

      Oh man! Tom’s Cafe (Better known as “Monk’s Cafe” in Seinfeld) in NYC has the most amazing gravy fries I have ever tasted!

  6. Jen

    “Short-shorts, a wife-beater shirt and a trucker hat advertising “free mustache rides” the last Domino’s Pizza delivery person I saw was my downstairs neighbor who was a large sweaty 400+ pound man. I would occasionally see him going to work in uniform and would not recommend this “suitable outfit” you have selected for him. Other people (in my case) see them regularly. Nice post Alex, always a good laugh!

    • Alex Brodsky

      400+ pound, sweaty, disgusting men need to be comfortable too. Surely, I would suggest a muumuu before the aforementioned “suitable outfit,” but to each their own.

  7. Joseph Giorgi

    I wouldn’t really call the ‘Think Oven’ campaign “innovative” or “laznnovative.” It’s a solid effort, but one that will ultimately go under the radar for the most part. I mean, if customers are only able to make suggestions on one particular aspect of the company per month, then there’s not a whole lot to keep them coming back month after month. Personally, I’d probably forget about the campaign after leaving one suggestion and just NOT go back to leave another.

    Now, if this were more like Starbucks’ consumer outreach project (http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/blog/building-community-starbucks-gets-customer-service-right/), where ALL suggestions are taken into account and the best ones are actually implemented, then it’d definitely be step in the right direction for Domino’s.

    Still, at least the company is putting forth some kind of social effort. Like you, I’m not the biggest fan of their pizza, but I’d certainly prefer them to, say, Papa John’s, which barely qualifies as food (and comes nowhere close to tasting like it).

    Cool post, Alex. :)

    • Alex Brodsky

      I must disagree with you. While Papa John’s is every bit a sham of pizza as Domino’s, the garlic butter it comes with to dip my crust in puts Papa John’s ahead of Domino’s in my book.

  8. Ales Hass

    I currently work at Domino’s an id like to put in my two cents. Yes the suggestions on the food and drinks can be a good thing cause how can you know what the people like if you don’t ask. Uniform if customers had to pick my uniform and i didn’t get a say id be mad. especially if they made us wear long sleeves working with the hot oven. Papa Johns there pizza gets all soggy really quickly and that a major flaw in my book. just my opinion

    • Alex Brodsky

      Thanks for your insight! And I agree Papa John’s pizza gets soggy. So, as far as you’re aware, has Domino’s dropped the initiative of having everyday people design the uniforms?

      Cause for exactly the reasons you stated, I feel that’s just a terrible idea. I have worked in the food industry, so I would feel your pain, being forced to wear hot clothes by hot ovens. But a lot of the people who would be submitting ideas have no clue what it’s really like back there.

  9. Jason

    Absolutely agree. Just stumbled upon their “Ultimate Pizza Delivery car” project. What a sham. They ignore thousands of hours work by eager designers and pick a Chevy Nova. I was so annoyed I wrote a post on Facebook. Everyone, please ignore these ‘Design Competitions’. I’m in advertising and I can’t stand this abuse of public goodwill and trust, not to mention hard work. All they’re doing is getting free content to fill their internet space. And it proves just how little they value ideas.

  10. Alan Whosyano

    Dominoes offers great jobs around the world for people in need, it is a large chain that can be owned by any business owner that can afford one and also be supported by the company its named on and offer plenty more jobs than a local pizzeria. I am not puting down local business im only saying in low income community facts show these types of business are fast pace and need employment a almost all times. i have worked at subway and jasons deli and even a hole in the wall restaraunt “the job I loved most”… I work at a Dominoes pizza and im doing well if you are in need of work contact 1800 Dominoes Pizza and they can help you drivers and insiders after working at a Domino es you can get a job at a local restaraunt where you can help there business even better helping everyone, point being….A fast food is a steping stone for a great restaraunt chef or w.e

  11. dakotapayne

    I work at domino down in Texas and never does anyone have the free time too sit on a computer on Face Book we are usually so busy helping the hundreds of customers that come into each store all day. if your job is to right bad reviews on every place you can think of then u need to reconsider your priorities. And most people tell us how much they love our pizza and how much they like the friendliness we show to our customers.

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