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What can we learn from Domino’s?

Few things ready to eat in 30 minutes or less are going to earn a spot in the culinary hall of fame. But with Domino’s, that was never the point, was it? Harken back to undergrad days, when what mattered could be distilled down to two words: food, fast.

Now, the ubiquitous purveyor of sub-par pizza has re-invented itself — and has taken a laudably self-deprecating path in doing so. Domino’s essentially admits that its old pizza stunk. The new stuff? That’s the pie to try.

It’s new marketing effort comes across like the saved sinner who has seen the error of his ways, and is determined to make amends. Praise the lord and pass the crushed red pepper.

We give Domino’s credit for their brutal honesty, as well as a nod for having the onions to try and establish themselves as something other than on-call stoner food. The company has let us in on the focus-group, boardroom brainstorm, test-kitchen candor we know every company has when it’s developing or repackaging a product. Why not allow us to see the thought process unfold? Domino’s has, and the resulting chatter has been a boon for the brand.

Why is it working?

The last decade gave us the consumer-empowered realm we’ve loosely defined as “Web 2.0”. It also ended on a bum recessionary note that now has everyone keeping a wary eye out for rip offs and over-promises.

Domino’s current messaging might just be pitch-perfect for hype-weary consumers who want more for their money than just a belly full of cardboard and ketchup.

So does the pie live up to the play? Check back in 30 minutes.