A “Tasty” Million Dollar Marketing Lesson for Every Entrepreneur

Ever wonder what sort of difference a USP or “unique selling proposition” can make for your small business?

Consider that Dominos Pizza used this marketing strategy to become one of the fastest growing franchises in history simply by positioning themselves as THE go-to pizza delivery company….

Pizza delivery and Domino’s Pizza were synonymous for years…

In fact, their entire business was initially fueled by the slogan: “Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.”

This USP (later changed in the 80s as a result of sue-happy attorneys) was significant enough to revolutionize an entire industry and made the founder, Tom Monaghan, a very (VERY!) rich man when he sold 93% of the company to Bain Capital for around $1 billion dollars.

Not a bad day for a pizza entrepreneur, right?

But in 2009, the company stock price slipped and pizza sales were drying up like support for Obama’s healthcare.

You see, for years, Domino’s Pizza was THE pizza delivery company; however, it wasn’t long before other pizza store owners discovered that it was essential to incorporate delivery as an important marketing (and survival) strategy.

Nearly every pizza store now offers free delivery…

In other words, the marketing strategy that made Domino’s Pizza unique has now become commoditized … which bent Domino’s over a barrel and forced them in a position to reinvent themselves.

As marketing legend, Dan Kennedy, jokingly said: “Notice Domino’s didn’t say anything about ‘good’ pizza in their slogan.”

Well … with other competitors offering delivery … Domino’s once-loyal customers went for the tastier options.

But Domino’s fought back.

They discovered that their customers thought their sauce tasted like ketchup and their pizza crust tasted like cardboard … so, rather than take a defensive position; they deployed one of the most intelligent marketing strategies any entrepreneur has to their disposal.

They conveyed the message that their customers matter.

That their customers are special, valued, heard and appreciated and, because of their feedback, Domino’s did a total overhaul of their pizza.

And, to show their customers they cared, they used transparency in their marketing to tell them:

  • this is what happened…
  • this is what you said…
  • we heard you so this is what we’ve done to make it better….

As a result, the company’s stock grew 233% by late 2011 and continues to see its sales rise (yes, even in the midst of this so-called ‘bad’ economy).

You see, if you’re honest and upfront with your customers – and take a stand to let them know that you’ve heard them and are fighting relentlessly to make it right … your customers will be accepting, forgiving and often come back more loyal than ever before.

And this is just one part of the overall formula for getting more of the ultimate goal … predictable profits.



P.S.  How can you make your business stand out from the crowd?  What makes you unique?  This is a common question challenged to our Insider’s Club Members and one that you should be asking yourself on a regular basis.

Remember, your customers have options – make it clear why they should be doing business with you.

More to explore