This Week in Business and Brands: The Secret Sauce, Startup Stats, and More

slice of cheese pizza

Brand-New Branding: Taking a Pizza Chain to the Upper Crust

File:Dominos pizza logo.svgYou might think there’s not much to be adopted from a pizza franchise’s recipe for reinvention. But after watching Domino’s dough rising from $8 a share to $160 in just six years, everybody wants to know what went into the sauce. As a recent presentation from CEO Patrick Doyle revealed, the first and most important slice of the pivot pie was the product itself – improving the acknowledged “cardboard” taste was necessary above all else. Then came the embrace of the digital – with half of the company’s 800 employees devoted solely to software and analytics, the brand tapped into the current business evolution and properly prepared for the future. Finally, there was the company-wide policy for success: be willing to fail. Otherwise, being too cautious would inhibit those big ideas rewarded for their risk – like the 80-pizza delivery vehicle that hit the streets last year. Just goes to show you how superior innovation needs to be like superior pizza – delivered hot and fresh.

Talking Tactics, Tête–à–Tête: Start With Why

Need some fresh inspiration for your own firm’s strategy? Take a tip from these branding leaders’ insights offered this week:

Interactive Insights: The 700 (Founders) Club

It’s always helpful to pick the brain of a startup founder about the state of the tech industry. And what’s better than one founder’s brain?  How about 700+ compiled in one dynamic infographic scroll?  Here are some key takeaways:

  • We’re not in (as much of) a tech bubble anymore. Well, about half of those entrepreneurs say so, down from 75% ready to pop in 2015.

  • Founders’ top concerns? Talent and customer acquisition – with a work/life balance and competition way down at the bottom of the list.

  • Diversity’s still a problem – but not everyone agrees why. Men point to ineffective college recruitment, while women blame an unconscious bias in hiring and promotions.

  • No need to burn the midnight oil – 77% leave the office by 7PM or earlier.

(Well Worth) The Long Read: The Win-Lose Future of AI in the Job Market

It doesn’t take a Watson to predict the inevitable, radical economic transformation yet to come from artificial intelligence. But some extra processors might help calculate just how drastic those changes could be, especially when it comes to the soon-to-be-replaceable-job market.  As an example of one massive figure in the equation, IBM alone is already investing $1 billion into their Jeopardy! champion, confident that the robobrain will provide countless unknown improvements to every facet of our lives.  But another figure looms on the less optimistic side of economic forecasts: with 3.5 million truck drivers in the U.S. (also the most common job in the entire world) set to be replaced with bots behind the wheel, that set of workers could suffer the same fate as the gas station attendant and be left in the dust within the next decade. Since the same holds true for any “predictable and rote” job, the question becomes not if the human worker will be replaced – but when?

Video Victory: O (Royal) Tannenbaum

That’s all for this week! We’ll leave you with this special holiday collaboration from H&M and Wes Anderson, sure to warm the cockles of your heart with plenty of fashion and style.