When I created this new feature to share current real-life examples of Out-of-the-Box Thinking, I had no idea that I would discover so many examples so rapidly. I have a new-found faith in that old adage: “Seek and ye shall find.” It also proves the power of “focus.” Have you ever noticed that shortly after buying a new car, you see dozens of others just like it on the road every day? You didn’t see them yesterday. Did everyone buy their new car last night? I doubt it. It’s simply a case of our not focusing on that particular make and model before we got ours. So it is with the many obvious examples of creative thinking emerging around us every day. If you want to find them, simply begin to focus on that goal.
For instance, Domino’s, the pizza-delivery kingpin, recently unveiled a new technology and came up with a very adequate name of “Pizza Tracker.” Now customers can track their pizza from the moment they place their order until it leaves the store en route to their homes. In addition, Domino’s vows that its online tracking system—for phone or online orders—is accurate to within 40 seconds.
The system is now available at 3,400 Domino’s outlets and will be in all of their stores by June of this year. It even gives folks the first names of the workers who take their phone order and deliver their pizza—and asks customers to rate them. Domino’s promises to investigate any customer comments about inappropriate behavior by order takers or delivery staff.
Now, let’s see how creative Domino’s really is. They have over 9,000 stores in 54 countries. Can you imagine the price tag of installing this new technology chain wide? Do you really believe that they’re doing this because there are millions of customers who have nothing better to do with their time than sit in front of their computer as they keep tabs on their pizza for the 30 minutes it takes to arrive at their front door? Come on!
Consider the benefits of their recent announcement:
They introduced this unique headline-grabbing technology the week of the Super Bowl. According to the folks at Domino’s Pizza, Super Bowl Sunday is the largest sales day of the year for Domino’s and about 42 percent more than on a normal Sunday. The company’s drivers will cover 4 million miles delivering on that day. The press release is being reported on radio, television, the Internet, newspapers and magazines across the nation, if not world-wide. Pretty good timing, wouldn’t you say? By the way, an announcement such as this is considered news and is reported as such. Therefore, all of the publicity mentioned above comes with no price tag. Add that free publicity to Domino’s Super Bowl advertising strategy and they’re going to be getting a lot of coverage at the busiest time of their year. (Note: I put “Domino’s Pizza Tracker” into Google and discovered 16,100 references in less than one second!)
There are additional benefits as well. Even though most customers will never waste time shadowing their pizza purchase, they know they can if they want to. They know that Domino’s was the first to offer this technology. They’ll discuss the pros and cons around the water cooler (free word-of-mouth advertising regardless of public opinion). Domino’s appear to be cutting edge in the industry.
They’re also offering a new method of feedback for their customers … even though most will never use it.
They’re also sending a message to their own employees that customers now have a way of rating their performance.
In the event this technology doesn’t catch on, Domino’s can always change their strategy long before they expand it to their remaining stores. If that happens, I doubt whether there will be a major press release. In the meantime, they certainly seem to taking advantage of their initial press campaign!
Let’s face it, here’s another example of creativity evolving from a product that is somewhat of a staple to many of their customers. In addition, you have to admit that it’s somewhat of a challenge to creatively promote a product such as a pizza in a way which we have not seen in the past. Domino’s found a way to do just that. Let’s watch to see how successful it is.