Pizza Hut scores big with Tuscani Pastas

On March 31st, Pizza Hut announced that it was temporarily rebranding its Dallas headquarters 'Pasta Hut' as part of the promotional campaign to introduce its new 'Tuscani Pasta' menu items.

On March 31st, Pizza Hut announced that it was temporarily rebranding its Dallas headquarters ‘Pasta Hut' as part of the promotional campaign to introduce its new ‘Tuscani Pasta' menu items. Individual locations also posted banners announcing, "Coming soon…Pasta Hut." In a press release, Pizza Hut CEO Scott Bergren, commented, “What better way to grab peoples' attention than with some tomfoolery.”

In addition, Pizza Hut accompanied the launch with major national print and television advertising throughout the month of April.

BrandIndex, our daily survey of 5,000 consumers, representative of the US population, indicates that the campaigns seem to have paid off.

Consumers say that they picked up on the news. On the day of the announcement, mindshare, which measures the percentage of consumers who have heard recent news about a brand shot up from 37 to 48. (Mindshare scores can range from 0 to 100, averaging a 15 for the dining brands we track.) Mindshare scores remained at an elevated level, averaging 43 for the month of April versus 39 for March, an 11% increase. Yet the increase in mindshare only tells part of the story.

Buzz, a corresponding indicator, which measures the percentage of consumers who have heard something positive about the brand in the previous two weeks, minus the percentage who have heard something negative about the brand during the same period, improved by 24% over the same period. This score, like most of the BrandIndex brand health indicators, can range from -100 (all consumers rate the brand negatively) to 100 (all consumers rate the brand positively). Pizza Hut's buzz increased from 22 to 27 from March to April. The average buzz score for dining brands is eight.

The campaign also seems to have positively impacted Pizza Hut's quality in the minds of consumers. Consumers rated quality a 25 in April, compared to 21 in March, an increase of 17%. Quality scores also showed a modest improvement, and were up 8% during the same time period. The average quality score for dining brands is a nine.

So what do the BrandIndex scores mean for Pizza Hut? The company reportedly sold 2 million units of the Tuscani Pasta menu items during the month of April at store locations nationwide. That makes it one of the most successful new product launches in the company's 50-year history, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Analysis conducted by YouGovPolimetrix

BrandIndex, a YouGovPolimetrix product, conducts innovative online market research, leveraging its 1MM person proprietary PollingPoint consumer panel. BrandIndex is a daily poll of 5,000 consumers, and measures 1,000 major commercial brands in 41 industry sectors, on eight indicators of brand health: mindshare, buzz, image, quality, value, satisfaction, willingness to recommend, and reputation. Results are available daily at 9am EST.

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