Have you seen all the new Dominos Turnaround commercials? They seem to be everywhere. The company has made terrible pizzas for years. The brilliant part about their new marketing strategy is that they are admitting they were wrong. And they went way over the top with it too. They made a “documentary” and showed focus groups complaining that the pizza tasted like cardboard. They put up signs in their stores apologizing for being “mass produced, boring, pizza.” And their CEO was their leading voice in it all.
So what can we as a Church learn from this?
1.) Honesty and Transparency Matter
Being boldly honest is something that you can take a lot of heat for. You’ll hear critics say, “That should probably just be written in your journal” or “that should just be between you and God.” Now, there is a line that each of us have to find so we are not sharing our most intimate details with the public world. However, it seems the most refreshing things to read or hear from people is when they are brutally honest; when all the fluff is taken off the truth and it is told just how the person is feeling. We as Christians can do a much better job of saying where we are at. Whether we have doubts, whether we have questions, or whether we actually believe something strongly, it is okay to be honest. Usually the ambiguity ends up working against us.
2.) Listen to Your Critics
The Dominos CEO summed up the lesson from critics brilliantly in their “Pizza Turnaround Campaign.” He said, “You can either use negative comments to get you down, or you can use them to excite you and energize your [progress].” For most people, we hear one negative comment in the midst of dozens of encouraging one’s, and we internalize it for days. I don’t have the secret for how to get beyond this, but I think the first step is recognition that this happens. If we can see that we are focused on the one thing the crazy person at work said about us, we can find it much easier to move on. Perspective changes everything. In the same sense, it is always important to try and pick out the grain of truth from critics and admit that sometimes we can be wrong (see point #1).
3.) Make Sacrifices for What You Believe In
Part of being a Christian (a large part in fact) is this call to make sacrifice for what you believe in. It starts with the example of Jesus and paying the ultimate sacrifice, but we see it in the lives of all of the early disciples. Now, I’m not saying that you are called to literally be crucified for your message, but there is definitely something to be said about being sacrificial of your time, energy, thoughts, and resources in bringing forth the gospel, justice, and peace in our world.
4.) Don’t Get Stuck in Your Old Habits
Dominos exploded with success in the 80’s. They were the fastest growing franchise that had ever existed. Somewhere along the way, however, they started to get sloppy. I think the same can apply to us as a Church. Sometimes the ways we try to get people to believe the way we do is downright cheesy. Like the Jesus tracts. Or street preachers with their bullhorns. Somethings don’t work anymore. Figure out what it is you’re doing wrong and move on.
5.) Be Humble…Change Can Be Helpful
Dominos did not just admit something was wrong, they completely started from scratch. Sometimes that’s what needs to happen with our faith. Identify the parts of your faith walk that don’t line up with the Gospel and make the changes necessary to make Jesus relevant to the people around you.
6.) Make Your Story Compelling
The brilliance behind Dominos’ marketing strategy has made marketers across the country turn their heads. They did something fresh and unique and delivered on it really well. We, as followers of Christ, have the opportunity to make the greatest story ever told compelling. And we also have the story of God working (and continuing to work) in our lives. Tell it. And make it contagious.
What else can we learn from Dominos? What resonates with you?