How a renewed sense of purpose can renew your bottom line.

10 years ago, the Domino’s franchise in India was a mess. Heavy debt and a bad reputation, with a topping of hygiene problems and unreliable delivery.

Then a new CEO, Ajay Kaul, took over.

Today, India is Domino’s second largest market. They make 55 million deliveries a year, employ 28,000 people and dominate the market with a 70% share.

How did Ajay do it?

Well, not how you might expect.

He didn’t turn to any classic business strategy playbook. Instead, he focused on the emotional connection between the staff, the customers and the brand.

In particular, he revised the purpose of the company and captured it in a short statement: ‘We bring happiness into your household.’*

Discovering and articulating your brand’s purpose is one thing. Executing on it is another.

Ajay implemented ideas to make his staff happier, and rewarded them when they came up with ideas of their own.

He backed this up with a monthly happiness metric for employees and customers. This is the metric they talk about in the boardroom.

As a result of this focus on the emotional promise – the purpose – of the company, the other metrics soon rocketed.

There was nothing naïve about Ajay’s plan. It wasn’t soft and fluffy. He knew that a sense of purpose was the only way to change the habits of every employee in the company. People don’t commit to targets like they commit to purpose. A purpose can make people sing. Targets don’t.

If you don’t believe me, go to India over New Year.

Many Indian families celebrate the New Year with pizza (I know – I found that odd, too). So, on December 31st each year, every Domino’s employee reports for work. But here’s the kicker: last year, they were also joined voluntarily by over 1,000 former employees as well, just to help take care of customers and ‘deliver happiness to households’ throughout India. They found the purpose so compelling, they worked for free.

 

Recently, we’ve helped an online retailer, a fashion house and a cosmetics company to discover and implement the purpose that drives their businesses. If you’re interested in defining and articulating your brand’s undeniable purpose, email us.

 

*previously, the franchise had focused on the functional benefits of pizza – their tagline was ‘Hungry Kya?’ (literally – ‘Hungry what?’). The line has changed again, recently, to focus on the importance of relationships between friends and families.