The power of the brand

The other night a lady phoned up wanting a couple of small pizzas and asked “Are you pizzas as good as Dominos”. Why do people have to see large corparate brands as the bench mark for quality?

After a brief lesson in quality she proceeded with the order, I chuckled to myself as I typed the address in as our POS pointed out she had ordered of us a couple of times before. Surely she could have made up her own mind about quality without needing my confirmation.

Think about it for a minute…How many independant operators are going to answer that question by saying “No, we’re not as good as Domino’s, but we would like to be, and we keep striving for that level of quality, but we just are not there yet, now, how may I help you?” Truth is, according to an unofficial, independant survey of independant operators, everyone had pizzas better than those of the big box chains, and a like survey of the big box pizza chains revealed that each one also had the best pizza too. One even went so far as to claim that the quality of their ingredients made a better pizza, go figure! My stock response has always been to say that our customers think we have the best pizza in town. Daaa! LOL. :slight_smile:
With only a single exception, I can honestly say that I’ve never had a pizza that I couldn’t learn to like.
If wine is the necter of the Gods, and pizza is the food of the Gods, I must be in Heaven when I’m eating pizza and enjoying a good glass of wine!
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

The Big 3 or 4 are more in the marketing business than they are in the pizza business…Their products can not stand on their own so they have to market like crazy to keep sales going…

Well, I think us independents are in the marketing business, too. :smiley:

Great or mediocre product + no marketing = failure
Great or mediocre product + mediocre marketing = failure to mediocre business
Great or mediocre product + good marketing = success
Great or mediocre product + great marketing = great success

Large fast food chains prove that every day.
The idea of marketing using logical explanation of product benefits died in the 1800s.
Controlling the prospect with emotion has been the norm for over one hundred years. People don’t buy using logic.

There is a science to it all. People buy more if the pile of goods on the floor is 3-4 feet high and costs $X. They don’t buy if the pile is 2 feet high and the price is $X-20%. A million businesses with great food must have closed in the past century because they failed to understand that good food quality is irrelevant without good marketing.

To the consumer, a well-marketed brand name is is the product. McDonald’s = hamburgers. An independent is one of a kind. If your name equaled pizza, you’d be a big chain, right? It’s all in their perception.

That doesn’t mean you have to be big to be successful, though. Small to medium size business owners can do very well, if they’re good marketers. I’m also not saying to ignore quality. There is great pride in making something wonderful that customers enjoy. It feels great when someone tells you how much they enjoyed your food. I’m just saying that the professional marketers in large chains have created the atmosphere where good food isn’t enough now in competitive medium to large markets.

This thread got me thinking about another passion of mine - audio. If you don’t know, Bose is often regarded as a quality product. However, among audiophiles, it is universally regarded as garbage. I started thinking of all the analogies to independent pizzerias and found myself amazed.

You see Bose spends way more in marketing than it does in acoustic-research, engineering, or quality. They are far more worried about delivering the “sound you expect” than an accurate reproduction of the mix as intended. They make millions of dollars while small, quality speaker companies are jealous.

The Big Pizza Guys spend way more in marketing than they do in product development and quality. They are far more worried about delivering a universally palatable product than they are in producing the highest quality possible. yet, they make millions while we scrape by. I’m jealous :slight_smile:

I guess this was kind of a rant with no point so…sorry for that. But interesting nonetheless. I bet you could go into almost any type of product and find similar analogies - where the “big guy” is making crap but makes millions while the quality guys are on the outside begging for scraps.