Business and Operations
Can’t compare cooking and delivery
By Laura Aiken
The Wall Street Journal’s Carl Bialik blogged about DiGorno’s
ad that claimed one of its frozen pies cost basically the same as the
delivery charge alone for a fresh pizza. Numbers aside, the unpalatable
comparison of frozen to fresh and the point of delivery is the most critical problem with the campaign.
People that are ordering-in have different motivations at
the time than the customer standing in their grocery isle. They want hot, fresh
food with the least effort involved, namely a few steps to the door and back to
the couch. The desire is motivated by the same subconscious that buys remote
controls, even though we have to pay for batteries for the remainder of our TV watching years. Convenience is always worth
a few extra dollars. Most humans have some innate laziness and a voice inside
their head that justifies treating oneself to a night or day off from some chore, of which cooking falls under for many. Ordering-in is a break from
the responsibility of feeding yourself and getting your favourite pizza is a fix
because it’s a flavour that can’t be replicated, in the same way that slapping
a frozen burger from a box on the stove and baking bagged fries doesn’t compare
in any way to McDonald’s.
In tough economic times, people will look to retain these
small bits of pleasure as they are forced to hold off on larger ticket items.
In a society as spend-oriented as North America, it’s unlikely that a meager difference
of $6 or $7 will be the catalyst to change a customer’s entire evening experience and
stick a frozen pizza in the oven instead. Besides, you can get a pre-made
frozen version of everything from lasagna to stir-fried rice. This is who
DiGorno really should be looking at in their campaign—all the other ready-made
meals in the aisle. That would be comparing apples to apples, rather than apples and valet parking.
To read Bialik's blog, see “How much does pizza delivery cost” in our news section.