Domino’s strategy to keep consumers interested: A new launch every quarter

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How do you keep the market interested and overcome consumer fatigue? The answer at Domino’s, the franchise of Jubilant Foodworks is to launch a new product every quarter. “This way, existing and new consumers get a chance to experience something novel,” says, Harneet Singh Rajpal, Vice President, Marketing, Domino’s India.

New offerings
Domino’s this quarter, has launched Stuffed Garlic Bread, at a price of Rs 79. The bread also comes at an introductory offer price of Rs 45, along with medium pizzas and Coke. With Coca Cola as its beverage partner, Domino’s has also launched a side platter called ‘Spicy Tasty’, which is only for dine ins. It has launched Potato Smackers as a new product along with the Stuffed Garlic Bread in this quarter. Domino’s has launched three new gourmet pizzas also. Domino’s earlier had introduced pastas and Chocó Lava Cakes.

Harneet Singh Rajpal, Vice President, Marketing, Domino’s India

The stuffed Garlic Bread has a creamy layer of mozzarella cheese mixed with golden corn and jalapenos.
To promote its latest offering, Domino’s has come up with a TVC, which shows a man proposing a woman by opening a box of stuffed garlic bread and a ring stuck in between the food item. “People like to give surprises to their loved ones. Therefore, this commercial connects with the element of surprise,” says Rajpal,

According to Rajpal, about 15-20 per cent of sales come from new products that Domino’s launches every quarter. Jubilant Foodworks has had Domino’s as the main brand for a long time as it has 465 stores across 105 cities. “We are the largest brand in the organised food service industry in terms of the number of stores,” he says.

According to him, new products are launched after seeking feedback from consumers. “We start from customers and create all our products, our strategy and our innovations around them. Feedback is a very important part of developing our products. Our R&D team develops a product, after which we go to every store and have customer trials, only if the feedback is good, we go ahead with the product,” adds Rajpal.

Pizzas remain the core
However, he adds that offerings like garlic bread will always remain complimentary. “Pizzas are the centre of our business; the rest is all complimentary. Today, Domino’s offers garlic breads, stuffed garlic breads, chicken kickers, pastas, hot and cold deserts as a part of its menu along with an option of an a la carte. We have a healthy mix of products, almost every order has these sides added to it,” Rajpal appends.

Domino’s believes that when the consumer wants to consume a pizza, they don’t want to have something with Indian toppings, they want to have something international. The taste has to be suitable to the Indian palette. Therefore, even though, the procedure of making the pizza stays the same globally, Domino’s tweaks the spices to suit the Indian taste buds.

Organised pizza market in India is growing at a rate of 20-25 per cent. Domino’s also enjoys a 70 per cent share in the pizza home delivery segment in India.

“An average sale that a store has in Delhi, if compared to a city like Madurai, is not very different. In a big and small city the only difference is the quantum of stores. Delhi NCR is from where we get our maximum sales, followed by Mumbai. The top 10 cities out of 105 cities contribute to 40-45 per cent of our total revenue sales,” Rajpal adds.

The pizza consumption in major cities is far from the amount of pizza consumption in western counterparts says Rajpal. He says even the major cities in India are under penetrated. Smaller cities still need to be educated. There are many more markets that Domino’s wants to explore therefore there it thinks that there is healthy potential to grow. Its location strategy is based on the study where it feels the consumer is ready.

“Our idea is to cover big cities back to back in terms of delivery. So we are a home delivery brand that delivers at an eight minute delivery drive time from the store. Which means, if Domino’s would need to cover a city like Delhi, it needs to have that many stores that can cover the entire city at an eight minute delivery time from the store. “there is a lot of potential to grow as Indian cities are still virgin markets for pour products. The Business Development team keeps scouting for locations that we can open new stores,” says Rajpal.

Good business
According to Rajpal, Domino’s recorded a turnover of Rs 1,017 crore (FY 2011-12) as its annual turnover and it invests 4-5 per cent of its turnover in marketing, which is not only TV, it is also local store marketing and digital advertising.

“For BTL activities we are store specific we don’t have a national BTL campaigns as such. Every store has a different catchment area. Depending upon what is required in that store we set up the BTL activations,” Rajpal appends. Domino’s had launched a programme in Bangalore called ‘Namma Bengaluru Namma Domino’s’, which meant my Bangalore my Domino’s. The idea was to create excitement in the city on a tactical level, done only for cities where there is a need. “We do a lot of BTL activities when we are coming up with a store to create a buzz. We do ATL in a big way and we also do local store marketing where we start form the catchment areas after studying the profiles of the consumers so that we can set our offers accordingly,” he adds.

Digital wings
Domino’s launched its mobile app and online ordering platform couple of months back which was part of its home delivery business. “Customers can order from a mobile, website or call our national number. Dining is important for us and today our business is spread between dining, take away and delivery,” he says.

Rajpal also adds that online is relatively new for Domino’s in India as well as the customers in India. Phone calls still remain the biggest source for consumers reaching Domino’s. “Ten per cent of our delivery revenue comes from online orders. Digital is the future and we are the only national ordering platform of such a scale in this sector. We learnt a lot from the western countries who are sitting at 40 per cent revenue that comes from online ordering. Approaching the consumer on the preferred platform is what we are doing be it SMS, online or Smartphone apps.”

Age no bar
As a brand its consumption is not restricted to a specific age group or SEC profile. Its product is consumed from an age group of 12 to13 year kids to 40 to 45 year adults in SEC A, A+, B, C categories. “We are not a fine dining brand; we are a home delivery brand, but if you look at India in comparison to the global counterparts, dining and takeaways is an important part of our business. We offer a casual dining experience which has a self services, is clean and hygienic,” adds Rajpal. While Domino’s offers both home delivery and casual dining, the only other brand well known in the pizza segment, Pizza Hut repositioned itself from a QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) to an ACDR (Affordable Casual Dining Restaurant) in October last year.

Domino’s sees a huge space to grow in the Indian market. The organised food sector is underdeveloped and is in single digits of the total food market. “Any brand that the consumer consumes to satisfy what Domino’s offers lies in the category of competition for us. We are a meal replacement brand. So it is not only the players in the pizza market but for anything that the customer consumes instead of Domino’s. When we launched a Rs 35 pizza in 2008 we created disruption in the market which gave us a first move advantage over all the other brands. It acts as an entry to this category of pizza for those who have never tried a pizza,” Rajpal adds.

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