Domino’s Unveils Social Gamification Initiative ‘Pizza Mogul’

Early mobile-adopter Domino’s has unveiled its latest play for dominance in the fast food pizza market – a social gamification initiative dubbed ‘Pizza Mogul‘.

Pizza Mogul is a responsive website and mobile app that gives consumers an opportunity to design their own pie, identity and branding, before sharing with their networks on social media and potentially earn a slice of the revenue generated by its sale (should their pizza prove popular).

The idea is to appeal to entrepreneurs as well as social media savvy pizza fanatics, providing the freedom to use the Domino’s business as a pizza marketplace platform, while Domino’s will no doubt be watching closely to discover any new hit pizza styles and branding concepts.

CEO and Managing Director of Domino’s, Don Meij said the initiative is a world-first, combining the modern concepts of community-building and social capital that have been transformed by digital technology.

“We are going to put Domino’s even further into the hands of our customers, and if you can dream it then this is your platform.”

Those who participate will earn anywhere from 25 cents to $4.50 on each sale of their pizza creation, depending on the number of toppings it incorporates. The more users share their concepts, the more they’re likely to earn.

Pizza Mogul's pizza designer
The process begins by designing your own pie.

The website and app have been designed in consultation with ThoughtWorks, who worked closely with Domino’s over a period of nine months to strategise, develop and implement the project.

ThoughtWorks’ Product Lead, Jane Hong Nguyen says the biggest challenge was reconciling tension between the vision of the project and its delivery, the richness and granularity of each feature, as well as the number of features than needed to be released and in what timeframe.

“Mogul has been designed to allow for new features to be pushed to production on a daily basis, allowing early customer testing that helped validating the direction of the product (please note, considering the entrepreneurial nature of this project and working under NDA [non-disclosure agreement] through the entire process, ThoughtWorks had to find creative ways to run user testing),” Nguyen said. “These working pieces of the product in addition to user feedback, were showcased to the business every fortnight, creating visibility to the progress of the team, as well as allowing Domino’s make changes along the way when facing unforeseeable challenges.”

Mobile Pizza Mogul app
Pizza Mogul was designed with mobile users in mind.

Nguyen identified the following techniques and technologies as critical to the development of this agile-centric project:

  • Design (storyboards, low and high fidelity wireframes)
  • Rapid Prototyping (click through pictures, clicking working prototype)
  • Build, Test, Deploy using Continuous Delivery – automating and streamlining the build-test-release cycle

“Even though Pizza Mogul seems like a slick app, what the user sees is only the tip of the iceberg,” she says. “Pizza mogul interacts with 13 systems and apps, which include Domino’s internal systems (e.g. pricing engine, national ingredients list, national menu, etc.) in addition to external systems and applications.”

Perhaps most interestingly, Pizza Mogul is a potentially lucrative early example of how the principles of gamification can be utilised to drive engagement and revenue to a customer-facing business. By giving users a greater sense of control over their experience, businesses can generate a lot of interest for little ongoing effort, but the strategy has to be very well thought out to be successful, Nguyen warns.

“ThoughtWorks did a significant amount of research on gamification, various models and its uses in the e- and me-tailing space, comparing successes and failures before designing Mogul. When used deliberately and with purpose, gamification is very effective. Introducing elements for no apparent reason or use may engage customers for a brief period of time, but does not maintain that engagement.”

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