Pizza Wars

Pizza Wars

 The perfect balance between comfort and party food. 

Pizza. The very word is enough to send your salivary glands into overdrive. It’s the perfect balance between comfort and party food. The variety of toppings and flavors are as vast as it’s spread over our planet. Since this month has two different days dedicated to our beloved pie, we’ve been thinking a lot about the marketing side of this gooey-delicious industry.

It was only right that we talked pizza while enjoying a variety of different pies. We chose two local chains, Dion’s and Pizza 9 and one national chain, Domino’s. Our first conclusion was that all pizza places generally have something different and good to offer, therefore the right marketing is crucial in an industry with so many talented dough-slingers. Just like other industries, it’s competitive. Many pizza chains can survive based on demand and flavor alone. But it’s the pizza places that develop an authentic brand and market it properly, that rise above the competition.

We talked at length about the companies that are doing a great job. We concluded that the top two were Dominos and Little Caesar’s, each is entirely different but effective in elevating their brand into the fickle consumer consciousness. Kudos to those two brands for doing it right. Other chains have not fared so well, ahem, Papa John’s. There’s a lot going on with that one, too much to unpack here. There is one important point related to the embattled franchise worth sharing, which is to be particularly mindful of sponsorship opportunities. Not necessarily avoiding them but knowing what you’re getting into and knowing that taking on a sponsorship or becoming the official this or that can often mean being caught up in the affairs of that partner, whether good or bad.

We gained a lot of perspective from our pizza marketing roundtable. We realized that the pizza industry is no different from most other industries, in that it’s competitive and full of talented people. And while you can survive on your merits alone, some solid branding and marketing can help elevate your pizza business from player to culturally-relevant power brand. Mostly though, we just ate pizza.