Local Marketing: How Domino’s Got Localization Right in the Indian Market

Delivery pizza may have its roots in American culture, but the delivery chain Domino’s is bringing fast food to the international market in a big way. In fact, Domino’s has the greatest market share of any foreign fast-food operator in India, with roughly 20 percent of the market, according to the International Business Times. The pizza chain leads brands such as McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, and Pizza Hut.

Though this dominance in the Indian market may be surprising, a closer look at Domino’s local marketing and localization practices reveals that carefully crafted decisions have helped lead it to its current regional success.

Create a Product That Appeals to Locals

If you pull up to a Domino’s in India, you might be surprised to see what’s on the menu. In addition to one or two familiar products, you’ll find several items that cater to local tastes, including paneer tikka, Manchurian pizzas and a “Taco Mexicana,” which, despite its name, is a dish actually inspired by an Indian dish called parti parathai.

These local items have been created especially for the market in part by Narendra Jaravta, the head chef of Domino’s Pizza in India. Jaravta does extensive research in the region and goes on “food walks” every two weeks to get a feel for the types of food locals want from their local Domino’s, according to the Economic Times of India. Domino’s invests in localizing its product and local marketing instead of slapping a translated label on American products and hoping for the best.

Get Local Franchise Owners Involved and Take Feedback Seriously

Although regularly touring the diverse regions of India is certainly a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of the popular flavors consumers want, it’s hard for a single person to keep track of local changes in each region. However, instead of adopting a homogenized approach, Domino’s instead leans on the inside knowledge of franchise owners in each region.

Store owners are allowed to propose ideas and report on sales of specific items in specific areas. Domino’s currently has a system in place where franchise owners can create menu items at the store level, then, depending on their level of success, they can then expand those items across the region. Likewise, if a menu item isn’t working in a specific region, Domino’s can tap its franchise owners to get an idea of how locals feel about the specific menu item and decide whether the item should be changed or removed.

Domino’s approach to localizing what could be considered a distinctly American product has certainly paid off. By leveraging local knowledge and employing a positioning strategy that involves decision-makers in both India and America, Domino’s has mastered the art of localization.

Image source: Flickr


About Amanda Kondolojy

Amanda Kondolojy is a full time freelance writer with a passion for language and technology. She loves to travel and enjoys trading pins with locals, wherever she goes!