Franchisor Expectations

Crowdsourcing Franchisee Compliance Checks

Domino’s (formerly Domino’s Pizza) has offered a chance to win a year of free pizza to people who will post Instagram photos of “Domino’s Pizza” signs with their locations, using the hashtag #logoinformants.

What’s going on? First, Domino’s has created a clever social media campaign. Reaching Instagram users with the fun spy-themed assignment, they’re providing an incentive for people who are out and about, using their phones, to head to their nearest Domino’s location. Once there, they might just snap a photo… but they might also go ahead and nosh on some chicken, wings, or pizza.

They’re also getting a chance to share the changes at Domino’s in an interesting way. Today’s consumers have trained themselves to ignore ads, in response to the extremely large number of ads presented every day, wherever they go. While consumers who are looking for a restaurant will pay attention to messages about restaurants, they’re not as likely to heed promotions they’re not already thinking about. It takes something special to capture the consumer’s imagination, and this social media campaign has something special. Once they read enough of the information to understand how the sweepstakes works, they’ll also have gotten the idea that Domino’s is no longer primarily a pizza place.

But Domino’s is also taking part in a new trend: crowdsourcing store-level execution checks. A number of companies now activate armies of consumers with smartphones in an effort to check up on their representative’s performance at the level of the individual location.

Some companies provide an app that consumers can download, which they can then use to fulfill assignments from corporate offices. A typical assignment might be to go to a particular retailer and snap a picture of a specific item on the shelves. The corporate office for that item’s manufacturers knows whether, for example, old packaging is still being displayed. The field agent might receive $5.00 for sending along the photo.

Another typical assignment might be… well, checking to make sure each franchisee is using the new logo. By mobilizing customers as part of an ingenious social media campaign, Domino’s is saving what they would have paid the field agents — or the much more expensive process of sending out people from the corporate office to check which franchisees have followed up on the logo change.

There have been some complaints, probably tongue in cheek, including a tweet saying, “SHAME!” and showing a screenshot of the Domino’s Facebook page, which continues to use “Domino’s Pizza” as a username. Other comments said that “Domino’s guilts stores,” “Domino’s wants your help to shame stores still using its old name,” “Dominos is asking customers to turn snitch,” and “Dominos wants help finding & shaming use of old brand.”

“It’s just a fun way to engage our old logo before it’s gone, through a tongue-in-cheek scavenger hunt,” Domino’s Jenny Fouracre was quoted as saying. “It has nothing to do with shaming our franchisees at all.”

Franchisees have through 2017 to do the rebranding on their locations, a process which is reported to cost between $40,000 and $55,000. Domino’s will probably use the information to keep a checklist of locations they need to follow up with — crowdsourcing compliance is the coming thing.

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