Domino's New Pizza Chicken Is Actually Great for the Company

Specialty Chicken -- a bunch of fried boneless chicken with pizza toppings -- is a nonsensical menu item that will serve the company well. This is pure marketing bliss.

Apr 17, 2014 at 6:00PM

Fast food and casual restaurants are caught in a pickle -- and not the kind served on sandwiches. The American consumer is increasingly bored with the standards, and also wants something healthier and worthy of Instagram glory. Some have flourished in this era of Neo-Foodie/Spiritual Veganism, but most are finding it difficult to adapt. Darden Restaurants' Olive Garden is trying to sell its version of a craft burger, while Yum! Brands' Taco Bell is running in the opposite direction of reason and making tacos out of Doritos. The latter strategy, as many know, was more successful. Here is another fast-food giant stamping the term "menu innovation" in hopes of regenerating consumers' love.

Nu-Pizza
Domino's
(NYSE:DPZ) is an icon of American food. It's solid pizza that you will find almost anywhere in the U.S. (and many regions around the world) within about 20 minutes. In its core market, growth is slowing as the company competes with the tides of change. As noted by fellow Fool Dan Klein, the company last introduced a new product in fall 2012 -- handmade pan pizzas. Now, Domino's is rolling out another exciting product, yet this one is utterly bizarre.

"Specialty Chicken" is the unappetizing, focus-group-like name of a new menu item that replaces crust with fried chicken. It's not a "pizza" by normal standards, but it's also not really anything other than boneless fried chicken with cheese and other stuff on top of it. The ads for the Specialty Chicken include the phrase "Failure Is an Option," as to get ahead of the impending doom of the product and say, "We told you it wouldn't work!"

Does it make any sense? No. Is it a product that will reignite domestic interest in Domino's? Maybe. One has to hand it to management (marketing in particular) for capitalizing on the culinary boredom rampant in the U.S. But whereas Olive Garden made a legitimate effort at trying to sell a burger at an Italian chain restaurant, Domino's is allowing its bizarre menu addition to be a joke -- a marketing stunt over all else. This is a classic marketing scheme, reimagined for today's instant-gratification culture. Social media feeds and articles buzzed about the new product, getting the word "Domino's" in front of everybody very quickly.

Stunt man
This self-aware "menu innovation" could be one of the best marketing stunts we see all year. It won't cost Domino's or store owners much at all -- the company already goes through heaps of boneless chicken. The company doesn't have to sell lots of Specialty Chicken, since the company has already acknowledged its likely failure. What it does do is remind the consumer that Domino's is a fun company -- sort of like Taco Bell and its Doritos taco, which ended up being a tremendous, record-breaking success of a product.

Through humor and very specific targeting, Domino's has updated its image in today's cutthroat fast-food business. While Specialty Chicken may not become a mainstay of the menu, it will serve as an example of knowing your market and playing to it well.

3 stocks poised to be multibaggers
The one sure way to get wealthy is to invest in a groundbreaking company that goes on to dominate a multibillion-dollar industry. Our analysts have found multibagger stocks time and again. And now they think they've done it again with three stock picks that they believe could generate the same type of phenomenal returns. They've revealed these picks in a new free report that you can download instantly by clicking here now.

Michael Lewis has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers