Within recent years, worldwide powerhouse Pizza Hut has come to the realization that in order to remain relevant and in demand, venturing outside of the box might just be a necessity. A Marketing News article, written by Elisabeth A. Sullivan and titled "A Cut Above," delved into how Pizza Hut was looking to change. In addition to adding pasta to the menu (Who can forget the TV spots showing first-time consumers who thought they were eating restaurant food?), they are embracing the digital world by reaching out to their customers online. Last year the company launched a Facebook app that enabled people to view the menu -- then place an order. Select new "fans" of the Pizza Hut page earned $50 for, well, being a fan. And the grand prize? A vacation for two to Italy, awarded to one lucky pizza (or pasta, or wings) lover.
But it does not end there. Yes, Facebook has over 200 million active users, but we all know a handful of people who won't join the FB ("It's just a fad!" "I would become addicted!" "I'm too old!"). In hopes of targeting those individuals (and more!), Pizza Hut created both a widget and an app for tech-savvy individuals looking to order some food -- quick. To reach a younger set, they partnered with video game companies willing to promote the brand in-game, and even came up with "The Hut," their hip new moniker.
It's too soon to say if these efforts are pulling through for the company, but if I had to guess, I would think things at least begin to level out. Keeping in mind more people are opting to eat in, and that Pizza Hut is not exactly known for its healthy fare, I still expect that these marketing efforts will pay off in the long run because they are coming to their customers and embracing change. The company is doing what it can to beat out the competition, and hey, if all else fails, they have my vote...that pasta is darn good.
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