DOMINO'S Pizza Enterprises (ASX: DMP) has launched Pizza Mogul, an app that could revolutionise retailing by literally putting the brand in the hands of consumers.
CEO and managing director Don Meij, the largest franchisee of the global brand, is further leveraging the ASX-200 company's digital advantage and going beyond etailing to position the brand as a 'metailer'.
DMP is delivering on its ‘People Powered Pizza’ mantra and giving itself wholeheartedly to its customers through the app, which is downloadable now on any smart device.
“This is about mobility, not just mobile – mobility being that the pizza store is accessible anywhere at any time to the consumer,” says Meij.
“The big thing is that nothing we are doing is based on novelty, instead it’s about enabling people, from the team members, to franchise owners, and customers.
“Homogenised products won’t cut it in the future – metailing is here to stay.”
ETAILING TO 'METAILING'
Pizza Mogul provides a platform for creativity, initiative, and the opportunity to build personal and social capital.
Consumers create their own pizza, brand it, and are given the opportunity to market it - even if this means handing out flyers outside a DMP franchise, says Meij.
It will grow DMP's menu to 1.4 million products large, possibly the biggest menu in the world.
The app essentially builds on Pizza Chef, a virtual pizza builder launched by DMP a couple of years ago, by enabling consumers to a greater extent through a social network. Meij cites popular social platforms Instagram and Snapchat as benchmarks for Pizza Mogul, but notes the advantage of its capital connotation.
The primary market sociable University-aged early adopters, who are pizza eaters, interested in innovation, and seeking out ways to make cash. An Australian University roadshow will even be kicking off next month to launch the app, potentially poaching innovative students along the way.
“One of our dreams is to have a young person using the app and making more money than their parents do for a living,” says Meij.
The monetary gain works on toppings, the customer able to gain back 25 cents to $4.50 every time Domino’s sells their creation, depending on the product range it falls under.
The best-selling Mogul pizza for the week also credits the creator $2500, the number two performing pizza scores $1500, number three $1000, and there will be a variety of other smaller monetary awards for creative merit.
According to Meij, the rates work out, considering it costs an estimated 25 cents to $2.50 for every customer the company brings on board through advertising.
“If you do something really cool in Mogul, we will pull it out, and advertise it through our own channels – it’s in our best interests to form a partnership with consumers,” says Meij.
“Today, Australia has approximately 520 Domino’s franchise owner-managers trying to sell pizza – tomorrow; we could have tens or hundreds of thousands of Domino’s Australia pizza entrepreneurs.”
It is metailing to the utmost, with it being completely up to these “pizza entrepreneurs” where they will take their initiative.
“The consumer chooses where to go with the initiative, making a little bit of cash, working on creations every day of the week to earn true Mogul credence, boosting a company’s voice, or driving a charitable campaign,” says Meij, who adds that a primary advantage of the app is giving consumers the ability to donate any percentage of their profits to a Pizza Mogul affiliated charity.
Pizza Mogul has launched with four charity affiliates, and the company has put the call out for others to come on board. Meij will personally donate 100 per cent of profits from his own Pizza Mogul creations to the Starlight Foundation.
THE EVOLUTION OF MOGUL
Meij says the app evolved from three seeds – the story behind the company’s product Spicy Island Pizza, the launch of its virtual pizza builder Pizza Chef, and a personal Facebook awakening.
“It’s often not a single thing that produces an idea, it’s a journey of things that intertwine and lead to the golden idea,” says Meij.
October 2011, a Facebook fan posted Spicy Island Pizza, to the Domino’s Australia Facebook page.
The team invited the creator to the Domino’s Love Lab – tried, tested and loved the recipe – paid the creator $1500 to brand the pizza Domino’s, and a revolution was thus born.
In less than a week, Spicy Island Pizza went to number eight on a menu which lists products that typically can’t break into the top ten most popular items without spending of dollars on advertising.
“The big insight for us was that customers like buying from customers,” says Meij.
A couple of years later, Pizza Chef was launched for iOS and Android, which led to the realisation that people not only liked the idea of metailing, but would also spend significantly more when metailing was an option.
“We found people would spend 25 to 30 per cent more on their order when using Pizza Chef,” says Meij.
“This is the Masterchef generation, and when you give people tools, it’s amazing what they will build for themselves.”
The last ingredient to form the base of Pizza Mogul was an awakening on Meij’s behalf which led to a separation of his public and private Facebook profiles.
He started giving his voice to the brand, through a two-way channel that is worlds apart from regulated releases and scripted talks.
“For a couple of thousand dollars, I can reach hundreds of thousands of people, while it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars for the same reach on television,” says Meij.
“It’s putting the hands completely into the hands of the consumers – it can rip you apart but it’s powerful.”
Meij isn’t sure where the app will be down the track.
It is licensed to DMP and currently only available to Australian customers, but he isn’t ruling out its entering into other countries.
Meij says Mogul products could be added to the traditional menu on a profit basis.
He is aware the app exposes the brand to criticism, consumers able to develop and share any kind of creation using Domino’s branding. However, he has safeguarded against this with a round the clock social media team.
DMP is trading up 9.38 per cent today at $22.15 per share.
To find out more, download Pizza Mogul today from the app store, or check out its launch videos:
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