Domino's UK: How participation branding delivered Greatness, WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2015, Shorlisted

WARC Prize for Social Strategy: Shortlisted, 2015 'Domino's UK: How

  1. David McNamara
    WARC Prize for Social Strategy: Shortlisted, 2015 'Domino's UK: How
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    Domino's UK: How participation branding delivered Greatness, WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2015, Shorlisted
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    • 1. Domino's UK: How participation branding delivered greatness David McNamara Warc Prize for Social Strategy Shortlisted, 2015
    • 2. Domino's UK: How participation branding delivered greatness David McNamara Campaign details Brand owner: The Domino's Pizza Group Lead agency: iris Contributing agency: Arena Media Brand: Domino's (UK) Country: United Kingdom Industry: Fast food, takeaway outlets Channels used: Earned media, buzz, Games and competitions, Social media Media budget: 500k - 1 million Executive summary This paper is about how Domino's Pizza UK realized its participation-brand potential while operating at the speed of modern- day culture. The company faced increased competition and decreasing loyalty, with brand preference at a new low of 31%, so needed to reconnect with customers. Over a 15-month period the agency helped establish Domino's as a leading participation brand, by crafting an adaptive social strategy that primed people the brand by courting them in new places, earning their attention and delighting them with its efforts. It paid off: the value of orders from social grew by 5%, social referrals increased by 48%, brand preference increased by 13% and recall of social-media conversations doubled. Market background and cultural context In 2012 Domino's UK faced a decline in brand differentiation, increased competition and an increasingly promiscuous and value-seeking customer. Decline in brand preference had dropped to a new low of 31%. The truth is that Domino's had drifted. As the UK's leading pizza brand, Domino's needed a significant reset to reconnect with their customers in order to compete and grow in a digital-fuelled world. Title: Domino's UK: How participation branding delivered greatness Author(s): David McNamara Source: Warc Prize for Social Strategy Issue: Shortlisted, 2015 Downloaded from warc.com 2
    • 3. In early 2013 we started planning a new integrated approach to address the wider business challenge. The business set out some key goals: l Build brand fame. l Drive frequency. l Maintain price. l Win key occasions. l Land key strategic pillars (quality, innovation, value and customer experience). We instinctively knew that social had a key role to play in meeting these goals, but could make its biggest impact by concentrating on building brand fame and landing the key strategic pillars. We aligned and prioritized our social marketing objectives as follows: Core audience l Mobilize 'social snackers': stimulate reconnection with Domino's brand. Primary objectives l Inspire brand love: build positive preference and sentiment. l Drive reach: amplify our content to reach beyond our category and channels. l Build better relationships: use social to deliver better service experiences. Secondary objectives l Drive purchase intent: trigger purchase intent. l Win key occasions: use social to penetrate battleground occasions. Insight and strategic thinking The background to Greatness In 2013, as part of a major brand and business strategy reset, we launched a new brand platform called Greatness. Greatness is the summation of all the great things Domino's does for its customers, rooted in the brand promise (pizza delivered hot to your door), tangible reasons to believe (great value meal solutions), a brand attitude (entertaining and fun) and a celebration of the people who make it happen. Greatness as a concept was made up of 34 data points that was used to track performance across the business. Downloaded from warc.com 3
    • 4. To bring Greatness to life we also developed new product and service propositions, such as reframing pizza promotions as 21st-century meal solutions like Midweek Rescue Service and bundled products to match the sense of occasion. A critical ingredient to this strategy was crafting a passionate purpose to help shape all the marketing efforts of the business: a statement of intent that we could use to seed all of our thinking and work. With this clear purpose we now had a sense of mission for how social could play a role in transitioning Domino's into a participation brand. Getting into the social snackers' world Our primary audience focus for the social strategy was to reconnect with 'social snackers'. This was a segment of customers who fitted a younger millennial demographic archetype and had specific expectations if we were to remain relevant. Downloaded from warc.com 4
    • 5. Source: GB TGI 2014 To reconnect with social snackers we needed to be entertaining, creative and fun. Our strategy would need to resonate on both value and brand terms. We needed to deliver rewarding experiences that were mobile first and culturally relevant. Finding new insights to feed our thinking Pizza is personal. It provokes strong opinions everywhere. Anchovies can split a room in a second, and pineapple on pizza can lose you friends. Pizza permeates our lives. It feeds more than just pizza lovers. It feeds culture and fuels fans' passion for what pizza represents in their lives. Whether it is a celebration pizza after football or a solo hangover fix, they are all inherently social. It connects us in more ways than we think. Whilst we did not unearth anything incredibly unique, we did lock onto some core insights that became the foundations for crafting our social strategy: Pizza is a beacon for culture Pizza feeds culture. If we can use its 'cultural light' on topics we want to be present in then we can unlock permission and value for the brand. Domino's had previously underplayed its role in culture so it felt right to renew its cultural credentials. Priming pizza desirability Downloaded from warc.com 5
    • 6. The more someone sees, hears about and talks about pizza, the more they desire it. Buying triggers for takeaway pizza is a 'System 1' mode of behaviour. Sustaining a good frequency of attraction is critical for that front-of-mind visibility. We need to blend the right levers for stoking desirability to build positive brand associations, ready for that post rationalization of a Domino's moment. Surfing occasion social signatures From the hangover fix to breakfast of champions to the craving cry, each Domino's occasion moment has a distinct social signature, a digital trace that has real social behaviours attached to it. We need to surf these occasion patterns, whilst contextually presenting Greatness to trigger desirability. How could we develop these insights to craft our strategy? Using these core insights we started to think about their implications and how they translated into direction for our strategic approach. Downloaded from warc.com 6
    • 7. So our strategy summary became quite clear: This strategy would help to create positive mental availability for when pizza becomes an option for dinner and help Domino's to earn its share of culture. Possibly even shape it. Building a participation brand to deliver greatness We designed Greatness as a modern participation-brand platform, harnessing cultural connections, people power and category innovation to allow Domino's to positively and visibly enter the flow of people's lifestyles. We did this by using Iris's participation-brand planning tools: Downloaded from warc.com 7
    • 8. We knew that if we could prime Domino's desirability through social ideas and through the brand participation lens of Greatness then we might be onto something. The pillars of the Greatness brand platform informed how we brought our social strategy to life: Our social strategy was written as a set of guiding principles, rather than a fixed direction. This allowed us to be adaptive and expansive in the way we executed tactics, but gave us enough guidance to know we had not strayed too far from our goals. We needed a plan to cover a lot of ground, not just one campaign. It needed to flex and develop. Our social strategy needed to 'live Greatness'. Downloaded from warc.com 8
    • 9. Our strategy spoke directly to the client's goal for building brand fame, giving it a revitalized voice, creating more distinctiveness and living up to the brand promise of Greatness from Domino's. Social had the opportunity to give Domino's an attitude, something other channels were unable to do. In a highly competitive market, with a lot of noise and an audience with high expectations, this strategy aimed to earn its place in culture. The strategy is worthy of recognition because of its breadth, depth and distinctiveness, and the way in which we combined the principles of participation branding, core insights and our social-strategy principles to shape a confident, colourful and successful range of executions. Implementation, including creative and media development All strategy is execution, most notably in social. As the nation's most loved pizza brand we had high benchmarks to live up to. From the very beginning we designed our social strategy with the long-term intention of building brand fame, creating an environment in which we could inspire brand love and trigger involvement with the brand. To achieve this we needed the right creative invitation. We needed to: l Find the right cultural seeds to plant within the Greatness promise; l Make use of our distinctive tone of voice, use it often and with colour; l Ensure there was the right level of character and playfulness in our actions; l Not stray too far from the product experience; l Use production values that could present an 'authentic reality' for our content. Planning our content strategy With the cornerstones of our creative strategy in place, we then started planning how our content strategy would take shape. We split our content strategy into four categories of implementation: Downloaded from warc.com 9
    • 10. Each pillar had a clear role to play. Examples of each pillar can be seen below: Brand View: Content designed to land key strategic pillars of Greatness – quality, value, occasion, service and innovation Brand Activation: Content designed to land specific campaign activations Downloaded from warc.com 10
    • 11. Brand Responsive: Content designed to respond to cultural, customer and influencer events at speed Brand Passion: Content designed to demonstrate a passion we share with our fans and customers Phasing our strategy into a busy calendar Part of our challenge was choosing when to play. We set out to execute a major social activation within each window of Domino's busy marketing calendar. We used an Iris planning model called 'Hum, Sing, Shout' to plan our social activity across the calendar. This model helped to give shape to our content and activation planning. Downloaded from warc.com 11
    • 12. Highlights of tactical activity we executed during the strategy period: Making social operations work in practice Social marketing is labour intensive and needs structure to work properly. From an operational perspective we implemented a range of operational processes to address this. Here are a few highlights: l We set up a cultural newsroom to help guide our brand-responsive content, 'plan for spontaneity' and filter for what we Downloaded from warc.com 12
    • 13. called 'urgent genius' ideas we could do at speed. l We allocated an agile paid social budget to support content at speed. l We conducted tone-of-voice workshops with the customer-service teams to ensure our voice was distinctive and had scope to be brand-responsive too. l We committed to pro-active organic influencer outreach, using tools like Radian 6, Traackr and Hootsuite to monitor influencers, customers and high-profile fans. l We adapted to new platform features to sustain our multi-channel presence across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Vine. Shift from organic social to paid social We spent approximately £545,000 on implementing our social strategy during this period. This included agency, media and content fees. Direct paid media support for social was £350,000 for this period. We partnered with Twitter to test new ad formats, being one of the first brands to test TV targeting on Twitter. We also put in place social CRM initiatives using Facebook's Custom Audience ad format. Social effects During the time we executed this strategy the assumptions of a brand community, organic reach and the overall impact of social have all been challenged. Despite this, our strategy has held its own during a challenging organic social-media marketing environment. Recognizing this tidal change in social we adapted our strategy to new fundamentals like paid social, increasing the importance of influencers and platform sophistication. The following overall social effects were delivered (comparing the periods of 13th October–14th June and 14th July–14th December): Downloaded from warc.com 13
    • 14. Meltdown activation: campaign performance Tinder activation: campaign performance Downloaded from warc.com 14
    • 15. Twitter TV targeting: campaign performance Edibox: campaign performance We also had a number of social-media firsts for Domino's, including: l We were the first brand to appear within the Tinder platform. l We were the first brand to have a fantasy-football team. l We were the first brand to deliver pizza on a moving train. l We were the first brand to unveil the world's first edible pizza box. These social-media firsts helped to create earned media in places we would not ordinarily have been present in. Business effects Downloaded from warc.com 15
    • 16. Data compares periods of 13th October–14th June and 14th July–14th December 14. Sources: Google Analytics, Brand Ignite brand-tracking study (sample 1,114), Simply Measured and Radian6. During the period this social strategy was active, we helped Domino's grow both sales frequency and average order values, despite a promotions-heavy market. This was obviously due to a variety of factors, not all directly attributable to social. However, we do know the effects of the broader Greatness from Domino's brand strategy has helped to deliver year-on-year sales growth from 11% in 2012 to 16% in 2014. From the performance data we can confidently claim that this social strategy made a small, but high-impact 'halo' contribution to helping Domino's deliver Greatness – delivering both brand and business growth. Lessons learned Do not stand still A social strategy is a brand strategy at the speed of culture. We learnt that the best social strategies and the best brands do not stand still. Constant tinkering gave us incremental gains at each stage. Give them what they want People who love Domino's want to see and hear about pizza. They do not want too many distractions from this. As soon as we drifted to the fringes of permission, performance declined. It was all about getting the balance between what was right for the brand and what was right for the audience. Be distinctive What we said and how we said it became such a focal point for our work. From customer service to daily fan banter to the tone of big activations – it all needed colour in the way the brand spoke. Who else could banter on Tinder over dating a pizza? Downloaded from warc.com 16
    • 17. Make it real We learnt that our audience respected content that felt, looked and tasted real. Making content experiences that were 'authentically epic' became a signature of our work. From the hyper-realistic fake to the 'comp'd' Photoshop we needed to work hard to craft ideas that felt real. Spark catalytic communities We learnt that next-generation social is about catalytic communities that spontaneously come together. We learnt that if you can create the right conditions for 'flash bonding' through a cultural lens then you can deliver more meaningful participation. © Copyright Warc 2015 Warc Ltd. 85 Newman Street, London, United Kingdom, W1T 3EU Tel: +44 (0)20 7467 8100, Fax: +(0)20 7467 8101 www.warc.com All rights reserved including database rights. This electronic file is for the personal use of authorised users based at the subscribing company's office location. It may not be reproduced, posted on intranets, extranets or the internet, e-mailed, archived or shared electronically either within the purchaser’s organisation or externally without express written permission from Warc. Downloaded from warc.com 17
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