Thursday, June 25, 2009

Highlights of the Week - Perth Hero's in Pizza wars

Like many of you, I get excited when I see a company doing that little bit more to drive business their way. I am of course talking about Hero's Pizza in Perth. The pizza market in Australia is already very crowded, with smaller operators having to think beyond sticking a sign on the top of their shop and hoping people stumble in so there is nothing like a small pizza shop taking it to the big boys in town with their all-out efforts to market their dough. They stop short of putting up a road closed sign on Canning Hwy in order to get people to get a pizza before they realise that they didn't actually want one.

Underwear Outside on - if you want $5 off your pizza, turn up at the shop wearing your underwear on the outside. Here are a few that beat you to it.

Ongoing Winners wall - The website has a winners picture gallery of people who have recently won their pizza.

Quality guarantee - If the pizza is not bigger, better and fresher, you get it free.

Everyone loves gamble - Every time you buy a pizza, you get to spin the wheel for a chance to win a free pizza. The website claims that they have given away $34,262 worth of pizza so far.

FREE stuff - While waiting for your pizza, they offer free coffee, tea and slushy drinks while you wait and I think arcade games as well.

Massive signage - When business is slow, they hire a roadworks wheelie sign to direct all traffic to Hero's Pizza from Canning Hwy, one of the main arteries in Perth.

Merchandise - Nothing says you need to get with the "Jones" like an offering of merchandise to die-hard fans. To push you that little further to buy your own Hero's underwear, they run promotions to give discounts to those that bought into their success, maybe to reduce the buyers remorse you may suffer when your friends don't think that your Hero's visor is as cool as it looked in the shop.

There are very few businesses that make such an effort on their doorstop to bring in customers. We all have those streets in our cities (eg James St in Perth and Lygon St in Melbourne) where people are hounded as they walk past but many businesses sit there and wait, hoping that someone would walk in to buy their kebab or whatever. I can imagine the owner of Hero's frantically pacing up and down at any moment there are no customers sipping their free slushy. We need more business owners like that.

One admission from me is that I haven't actually tried their pizza. But their effort so far certainly wins a gold star from Great Strategy.

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