In 1960, two brothers, Tom and James, purchased a failing pizza store for $900.
It was called DomiNick’s.
The brothers planned to share the workload equally, but one brother, James, didn’t want to relinquish his job as a Postman.
Within 8 months, James wanted out. He traded his 50% of the business for the Volkswagon Beetle that they used for deliveries, leaving 100% of the business to Tom.
Tom, with the weight of his business resting on his shoulders, got to work turning this failing business around.
And it wasn’t before long that Tom noticed that this failing pizza store had something special about it.
See, DomiNick’s was a stone’s throw away from Eastern Michigan University.
Which meant there were lots of hungry, lazy university students who didn’t want to cook.
On top of that, the ’60s saw the rise of a famous green plant that was very popular amongst younger people.
And it was notorious for making people high and hungry.
Lazy students who didn’t want to cook + a drug that gave the munchies + addiction?
That was a winning combination…
… If only Tom could get the message out.
So Tom asked himself the most important question a business owner can ask themselves.
“Why should people do business with me more than any other competitor?”
Because when it comes down to it, that’s exactly the question that needs to be answered in your prospect’s mind. When there are literally hundreds of different options available to your prospect… what is your business going to be known for?
How will it stand out?
Tom’s answer to this was captured in just 8 words.
And those 8 words made him over a billion dollars.
Want to know what it was?
“Fresh, hot pizza delivered in 30-minutes… guaranteed.”
Just like that, he spoke to his target market with precision and accuracy.
Because if you’re a hungry, stoned university student, you don’t need the best-tasting pizza…
And you don’t need Nonna’s secret Italian recipe…
You just want it to be hot, fresh and quick.
Tom nailed his unique selling proposition and it made his brand Domino’s famous (he changed the name in 1965 after the original owner refused to let him keep the name…)
Dominoes was catapulted to market leader in no time at all, so much so that the big players like Pizza Hut were soon scrambling to keep up.
But by then, he’d claimed the market share, and Pizza Hut was following the leader.
When Tom sold Domino’s in 1998, some 38 years later, he walked away with a 1 billion dollar cheque.
From a failing pizza store to a one billion dollar cheque…
Not a bad return on investment for an 8-word slogan and a $900 downpayment.
Makes me think… what’s yours?
– Karl Goodman