The Domino’s effect (Part 2): Social media use the MENA region can learn from

dominos pizza logo

dominos pizza logo

Earlier this week I wrote an article about Domino’s Pizza success with using social media to handle and manage a crisis that threatened to damage their brand.  In this continuation we will see how they managed to turn around the brand and use customer’s negative feedback to their advantage leveraging the power of social media.

After dealing with the video of the employees preparing the tainted sandwiches, Domino’s had to now bring back the customers and gain their trust again, the brand has just received a major blow and in order to get out of this sticky situation something had to happen, but what? And how?

This is where Crispin Porter + Bogusky came in who are known to be an “edgy” integrated marketing agency. They were able to create a traditional media campaign with a social media aspect to it and launching the Pizza Turn Around campaign. The campaign was a very risky one but paid off huge being hailed a great success.

The premise of the campaign was basically Domino’s admitting that they had a poor product according to customer feedback who gave many of complaints stating that their pizza tasted like cardboard among other things. Now its difficult for a company to admit that their product is bad, companies usually tend to get defensive when consumers provide negative feedback and try to tackle the issue by spending large amounts of money on PR and advertising to cover up on their product.

But Domino’s didn’t just admit that they had a poor product they gave the impression that they owe it to their customers, and they actually did something about it! They changed their recipes and ingredients which have been the same since the franchise was launched over 50 years ago. And they made it clear that they felt it was time for a change. They created a short video (below) that you can find all over the internet

Lesson #3: If there is an overwhelming amount of criticism on your product don’t ignore it or try to avoid it, address it, take full responsibility and Fix It!

That’s not all they did they setup a new twitter account along with the hashtag #newpizza and let people decide for themselves if the new recipes worked out or not, you can see a live twitter feed on the pizza turn around microsite and not all the tweets were positive ones, which is normal since you cannot please everyone this gives it credibility and transparency, if all the tweets are good than something’s not right and as a customer you’ll feel you’re being lied to or being manipulated.

Another advantage is that customers can view the feedback and decide based on other reviews which will be held in higher regards than advertising and other materials produced by Domino’s.

Lesson #4: Be honest and Transparent, nobody likes being lied to or forced to do/believe something.

In conclusion I think what Domino’s did was brave because so many things could have went wrong. A decision such as this is not an easy one, a major overhaul of your product has to be done correctly the entire organization had to be focused and working together to achieve such a result.

But after going through some really bad PR Domino’s had to do something drastic in order to inform customers about their new changes and get them back in the shops buying pizzas.

Here’s a screenshot I found online from a Domino’s Pizza presentation about their sales in 2010:

dominos 2010 sales

Changing the recipes, utilizing social and online media really helped Domino’s to achieve positive numbers in 2010. Who could’ve imaged that a brand damaging video that went viral a year before could lead to a massive impact to the better.

If you have any comments on this article, or have tips and advice on how social media helped your brand let us know below.

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Having worked with top digital agencies and companies in the MENA region for the past number of years I'm now looking now to venture on my own with small side projects in online, SaaS products. Things I like include: gaming, sports, technology, social media, start ups, funny things and reading about new bright ideas.