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National Restaurant Association - Domino's CMO to share 'pizza turnaround' story at NRA marketing meeting

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Domino's CMO to share 'pizza turnaround' story at NRA marketing meeting


In late 2009, Domino's Pizza launched a brutally honest marketing campaign. In documentary-style commercials, consumers complained the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company's core product was tasteless and its crust was like cardboard.

The campaign to promote the company's revamped recipe was a hit. Word-of-mouth exploded, and sales soared. Domino's hired thousands of new employees to staff its 9,000 stores as "orders went through the roof," says Russell Weiner, Domino's chief marketing officer.

Next week, Weiner will share the benefits of Domino's bold move with the National Restaurant Association Marketing Executives Group. The May 18 through 20 conference addresses how restaurant brands can capitalize on change.

Domino's launched the "pizza turnaround" campaign at a time when consumers wanted transparency, Weiner says. After two years of hearing about financial service company failures, government bailouts and high-profile swindles, "Americans were sick of people lying to them," he says. "They wanted people to tell the truth."

Domino's had strong feedback on how it needed to improve, but it took a risk by acknowledging its 50-year-old product needed to be better. Instead of describing the recipe as "new and improved," it addressed its core issues head on, Weiner says.

As a result, the campaign generated TV and news coverage, fueling traditional and social media word-of-mouth. Thanks to the media barrage, employee morale and retention improved. "With everyone talking about your brand, [employees] were proud to come to work every day," Weiner says.

In the Marketing Executives Group meeting, Weiner plans to encourage attendees to take on the issue that's too scary to address. Every company has one, and it's "usually staring you in the face," he says.

"If you address it, your business your business can explode."

Learn more, or register for the conference.






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