Technology Enables. Imagination Wins.

WM Circle Logo

By: Mike Capizzi, CLMP™ |

Posted on January 31, 2019

There is a solid reason why Domino’s is the #1 pizza chain on the planet.

They have an unrelenting pursuit of excellence in using enabling technologies to deliver a superior customer experience for their patrons, especially their loyalty program members. While today’s rewards announcement may seem odd to some, it is absolutely brilliant!

Beginning on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019, just ahead of one of the biggest pizza days of the year, Domino's will begin awarding rewards points for ALL pizza that customers may eat through its new Points for Pies program. The process is simple: Customers download the latest Domino's app, sign up for the Piece of the Pie Rewards® loyalty program (if not already a member), use the newly-embedded pizza identification feature to scan their pizza and voila! Customers can then earn 10 points. After a customer earns 60 points, they can redeem them for a free medium two-topping Domino's pizza! All the details can be found at pointsforpies.com.  

As crazy as this sounds, giving points away for competitive purchases, the pizza-loving team at The Loyalty Academy office has already put the new Domino's app Points for Pies up on our legendary Wall of Fame.

First, kicking off the program on the eve of the Super Bowl guarantees extra exposure through non-paid media on the busiest pizza weekend of the year. Domino’s alone typically sells nearly 2 million pizzas for the big game and if we add up sales for all the other pizza chains, independent pizzerias and make at home brands – well we are talking about a lot of pizza!

Second, the program guarantees the identification of a consumer who is not a loyal customer – at least not on this occasion.  Having identifiable info like mobile number and competitive behavior on non-customers is the holy grail of marketing.  Domino’s can also compare transactional behavior they already have on file for these customers to see if they are past users of the brand being poached by the competition on this occasion.

Third, the tactic helps boost loyalty program membership and app usage all at the same time!  Both are prerequisites for the consumer to participate.

Fourth, the entire approach is enabled by a new AI technology that Domino’s internal teams have developed. The new Domino's app contains “a pizza identifier” that will scan each pizza or slice and will then use artificial intelligence-driven software to identify the image as pizza, so that points can be awarded. This technology will recognize all pizza – not just Domino's – for rewards. Sorry – it won't give points for hamburgers, turkey sandwiches or chicken wings.

"This is the first time a Domino's app is using AI technology like this," said Dennis Maloney, Domino's chief digital officer. "It will be running the pizza identification process and is already smart enough to identify all pizza, even if it is a homemade English muffin pizza, a pizza with a hotdog stuffed crust, or a high-end artisan pizza. It can even identify if it's a dog's squeaky pizza toy."

Yes, technology can enable. It always has, it always will. But imagination is a winning play that can never be underestimated. 

Domino’s also announced that they will NOT run an expensive ad during the super Bowl but will use the media dollars throughout the weekend in other venues and programming to announce the Points for Pies program. Company sources report that the ad was shot in a competive pizzeria!  The new ad can be viewed at youtube.com/dominos.  The program will run from Feb 2 thru April 28th.  We’ll report back as soon as we can come up with some tangible results. In the interim, enjoy the game and don’t forget to bring the pizza!

Mike Capizzi is the Dean of The Loyalty Academy and a Certified Loyalty Marketing Professional™. A pizza aficionado, he prefers thin crust with anchovies and olives.