Domino’s Pizza Cooks Up Delivery Vehicle Open Innovation Contest

Published Aug-29-13

An innovative, agile one-seater vehicle wins the first phase of pizza brand's crowdsourcing competition.

Domino's Pizza, United States

The Story:

Domino’s Pizza Cooks Up Delivery Vehicle Open Innovation Contest Domino’s Pizza has a reputation for innovating pizza delivery services. It came up with the Heatwave Bag (heated bag to deliver oven-fresh pizzas) and the corrugated pizza box among other innovations.

When it decided to re-invent the way it delivered pizzas to home-based customers the company turned to the crowd for help in designing a new delivery vehicle from scratch.

A Slice of the Action

Domino’s teamed up with Local Motors, an open source automobile designer and manufacturer, to turn crowd wisdom into a new kind of vehicle.

Many pizza companies rely on staff using their own cars to deliver pizzas to the customers’ front doors. But Domino’s was after a hi-tech van that would be instantly recognizable on the streets and fulfill a number of other criteria.

The five-phase competition sought a vehicle that would allow drivers to do their jobs more efficiently and be exciting to drive. In addition, the van must be able to maintain the temperature and appearance of pizzas as well as inspire franchise owners to buy the vehicle.

“Part of the excitement of this campaign is that none of us is really sure how the design will end up, or what it will feature," said Russell Weiner, Domino's Pizza chief marketing officer.”

Speedy Delivery

The Ultimate Delivery Vehicle Project's phases included an industrial design conceptual sketch and rendering contest, and a packaging and vehicle layout collaboration exercise. According to Local Motors a crowdsourcing competition of this nature can be about ten times faster than conventional automotive designing.

Following a six-week competition that saw the submission of more than 200 entries, a top ten list was drawn up by the contest’s online community. Their order was determined by Domino’s following a period of in-depth analysis.

Top Prize

The ultimate winner of this initial phase was Anej Kostrevic of Slovenia, who was awarded the US$10,000 prize first prize for his single-seater Domino’s Pack delivery vehicle.

The Domino’s Pack is a compact vehicle with a small engine that can easily manoeuver through congested city streets. It can handle all weather conditions and there are multiple storage options for the hand-tossed pies. Maps and navigational aids are accessed via a large touchscreen and an auxiliary light in the right side mirror illuminates the surroundings at night.

Before this first phase of the competition closed, Pack went through eleven design revisions.

Subsequent phases were held over a period of six months with Domino’s expressing the hope that the eventual prototype design will "truly revolutionizes the Domino's experience for everyone."

Benefits of Co-Creation Contests

Done well, co-creation contests can create win-win scenarios for all involved. Participants have a chance of collecting significant amounts of money and increasing their exposure. Companies receive ideas, some of which may be brilliant and actionable.

When it comes to launching and designing new products with customer involvement, there are additional benefits. Since a product has been designed by consumers it creates greater customer loyalty and product anticipation. These two factors are also useful promotional tools as consumers spread the word both offline, and online through social media.

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