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How Companies Disrupt Their Industry

Classify Domino’s Pizza as a company.

  • Fast casual food?
  • Franchiser/franchisee construct?
  • Pizza company?

Sure, all three are correct, but increasingly Domino’s is a technology company, as are many others. In an age of disruptive entries into traditional industries, Domino’s is but one example of how companies disrupt their industry. In many cases, these companies are using completely new business models to change the way industries engage with customers. Whether new entries or, like Domino’s, an existing company, these disrupters are shaking up the norm.

The Domino’s Change
In 2010, Domino’s was growing slowly and had a stock price hovering around $8.76. Today, CEO Patrick Doyle has turned the company into the second-largest pizza chain worldwide with 12,500 locations and a stock price around $160.

Doyle focused the turnaround by reminding employees that Domino’s is not in the pizza-making business, but the pizza-delivery business. For Doyle, business leadership meant helping Domino’s think of itself as technology business, too. Of the 800 employees in the company’s corporate headquarters, 400 work in analytics and software.

Domino’s has focused on shifting its brand identity by embracing technology. Today customers can order via the Domino’s app, Twitter, or text. Customers can track their order door to door, too.

While Doyle also focused on improving the quality of the product, the technological emphasis has been key to its success. Doyle crowd-sourced with auto engineers to develop a better delivery vehicle and has experimented with driverless and drone delivery options.

Other Examples
There is no industry that is immune to digital disruption today. Consider these other examples of transformative, disruptive companies.

    • Tesla Motors. Elon Musk’s company made a name for itself with its battery technology. Now it’s going after the smart car market. Its new Autopilot is pushing the driverless car market. The technology integrates feedback from various technologies, including cameras, ultrasonic sensors, radar, and GPS to help cars avoid accidents.
    • Huawei. The Chinese smartphone maker is now the third-largest provider worldwide. Its secret has been a dual approach. At first. It gained market share by offering simpler phones that were packed with features, including a dual-lens camera. It exploded onto the world scene in 2016 when it partnered with Google to design and make the Nexus 6P. The company projects a 39 percent increase in revenue in 2017 to $75 billion.
    • Uber. The San Francisco company has revolutionized the ground transportation business. Launched in 2010, the company has created an app-based platform that uses private drivers to transport customers, putting a major dent in the taxi, hired car, and limo services. Its greatest asset may be its data, which has helped to improve its customer service. Uber has monetized its data, too, implementing surge pricing around in-demand locations and events and securing deals with the likes of Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Disruption is the norm today and companies that embrace the use of technology to forge new models and markets can make sure that they are transformative … not delivering pizzas.