Domino’s has decided to strike off ‘Pizza’ from its name in the US, as part of a brand makeover.
The company, the second-largest player in the US pizza market, believes this is necessary since it no longer sells just pizzas — there are a host of other products on its menu, so the word may be a misnomer.
Its logo will change accordingly, though the red and blue combination will remain.
What’s more, it will stop delivery of pizzas in the US market.
This is because consumers are tightening their purse strings and preferring to pick up their own orders rather than pay extra to have it delivered. As such, the chain works on a franchise model, so there are stores in easy reach of most consumers.
But it is not clear if the changes would apply to India just yet.
“There is some new development on our look and branding in the US market. We are not fully aware of the changes. We are awaiting clarifications on the same for the international markets,” said Ajay Kaul, CEO of Jubilant FoodWorks, which operates the Domino’s chain in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
To be sure, Jubilant, which reported a 40% growth in the first quarter, was earlier this year chosen by Dunkin Donuts, the leading coffee & donuts chain of the US, as its master franchisee for India.
Brand and communication experts say the US chain’s move is logical.
“When the product range increases, a single word is no longer valid,” said Anand Halve, co-founder of brand and communications consultancy Chlorophyll.
Harminder Sahni, managing director of retail consultancy Wazir Advisors, concurred. “This is basically done so that, say a decade or so later, people will identify that brand with not just one product but with a whole array of products.”
But then, pizza is a nascent market in India, unlike the US, which is highly penetrated, Abneesh Roy, analyst at Edelweiss Securities, pointed out. “It does not make sense to suddenly replicate what is happening in the US.”
Roy also said that a rebranding exercise will involve a cost and it would not be prudent to make the expenditure in the current scenario.
Besides, it is unlikely there will be a full stop to pizza delivery in India.
“Even if the company does take on a rebranding exercise, it will not stop the delivery option. This is because in the Indian market, one of the biggest plus points is their delivery option. Plus, unlike the US, they operate on an own-store basis in India, so if they look at stopping delivery, it is going to hurt growth,” said Ennette Fernandes, analyst at MF Global.
For the record, India is the fastest-growing market for Dominmo’s after the US and it is aggressively expanding in the country. Also, it is the second-largest quick service restaurant in India after McDonald’s.