Pizza halt: Can 'new look' Pizza Hut slice through old branding?

11/11/14 by Rennie Detore

The top brands in the world never bother to rest on their laurels as it relates to constantly trying to reinvent how they do business from top to bottom.
Call it reinventing the wheel, even if it works perfectly fine as it stands.
In the case of Pizza Hut, one of the more renowned and recognized companies in the world, let's just say they're on kind of wheel specific to them.

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Enter the "new" Pizza Hut, complete with pizzas that look nothing like what you'd expect from the pizza chain.
And in this case, that seems like a good thing.
Pizza Hut always has been competitive from a price standpoint but rarely do you see much from them that grabs your eye or is considered a monumental change in business as usual. Perhaps a $7 medium pizza deal or adding wings to their menu could have sufficed as modest change at the moment, but this time Pizza Hut isn't sugar (or would it be sauce?) coating its intent of taking what they do and adding another dimension to everything that goes on in and out of the kitchen.
As it stands now, Pizza Hut is just there. Granted, their name value alone generates revenue and has accounted for billions of dollars alone, but does anyone really believe that what Pizza Hut does from a presentation, taste or innovation standpoint really stands out in a crowd and in comparison to local pizza shops that dare to be different?
Pizza Hut is the status quo that makes money because they market aggressively and don't price themselves out of the marketplace when it comes to appealing to a wide array of consumers. Pizza Hut is the place that you call when you don't want to spend $20 on a specialty pie but have a craving for pizza.
This would be version of Pizza Hut wants to be all things to all people, an often difficult trajectory and path for companies that look for points of differentiation and stick to them.
For Pizza Hut, they want to continue their reign as a pizza giant but also want to begin to evolve its business plan and subsequent menu. The new look Pizza Hut pizza's and the variety of sauces they've listed as in the works sound outstanding, and the pictures make the rudimentary and rather bland pizza empire seem on the cusp of what customers want out of their pizza: taste.
Nothing about the infusion of new items at Pizza Hut screams boring, particularly the bevy of crusts to select. Granted, Pizza Hut isn't going to get out of the pepperoni and cheese business, but the brains behind the brazen move are clearly interested in appealing to a clientele that wants a side of gourmet with tonight's dinner pizza.
The biggest hurdle, aside from how the new pizza concoctions will taste, is Pizza Hut being able to shake its old image of being the pizza you know but never really describe as anything more than average.
By the looks of the new pizza, Pizza Hut has all its pies in a row and is ready to come out swinging. Whether they hit their target audience ultimately won't be from a lack of trying but more about pushing past their old norm.

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