Domino’s Pizza brand refresh


I like what Domino’s Pizza has been doing of late. Like any good company they started with the product offering, which they realized, back in 2008, was sub-standard. They set about improving their pizza and expanding their menu. In terms of branding they have been taking a lead from Starbucks – but if they are smart they will avoid some of Starbucks’ missteps.


The new Domino’s store of the future will have its pizza-making artists on display as they hand-toss fresh dough and custom-make customers’ orders. Bringing alive the theatre of pizza-making – as Starbucks did with coffee preparation – makes good sense when more and more people (30% in Domino’s case) are picking up their pizza rather than having it delivered. It also communicates “artisanal” which is a definite plus in the pizza market.

The logo redesign is an interesting one. We are seeing two clear trends of late: companies seeking to evolve away from too tight a connection between brand and original, underlying product (compare Starbucks’ decision to drop “coffee” from its logo) as they look to expand the brand; and a move towards simpler, image-based logos with little or no text – particularly as companies look to internationalize their brands.


The old Domino’s logo used the domino tile as a mnemonic for the brand name, was in the shape of a pizza box, and carried the word “pizza.” The new logo drops those two pizza references, and is essentially a name and mnemonic visual device (similar to the Target logo). The dots in the word “Domino’s” echo those on the domino tile, which helps keep the logo cohesive. It can be presumed that the company will eventually look to drop the text and simply use the domino image à la Nike swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches. They could only do that where there is instant recognition of the logo, as the new logo has the potential disadvantage of looking like two dice rather than a domino tile in the absence of the word prompt. On the other hand you can see that an all-red (or blue) domino tile may not look as distinctive, and would lose part of the brand colors. Another consideration is that the domino doesn’t have the implicit, stand-alone meaning that, for example, the Nike swoosh or Apple logo have.


All in all, though, the brand revamp is coming along nicely, and it will be interesting to see what further in-store developments the company has in mind.




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