Dan Naden

Papa Murphy’s: They Make It Fresh, You Bake It Good

Living in Austin has its many perks: weather, music, technology, creative culture, and who can forget the legendary Tex Mex food.

The town is just bursting at the seams. If you’ve lived here 10+ years ago, you almost feel that the Austin of 2014 is a completely different city compared to 2004.

As a marketer, I love the fact that many retailers/shops/restaurants see Austin’s growth as an opportunity to test drive new concepts, ideas, and market expansions.

My wife recently discovered Papa Murphy’s (@papamurphyspizza) on a drive through the neighborhood. Tucked away in a small shopping mall, its exterior doesn’t really draw attention to itself.

Papa Murphy's: A surprisingly good, fresh, and convenient pizza option.
Papa Murphy’s: A surprisingly good, fresh, and convenient pizza option.

Shortly after its arrival in this Austin location, the geo-targeted couponing began for Papa Murphy’s, and we were drawn to a compelling deal. We hadn’t heard of the place before, so we decided to give it a try.

With coupon in hand, I walked into the store and was mesmerized by the open, airy, fresh feel. The staff greeted me with a smile while my son was immediately drawn to the ‘pizza artists’ who were making a hand-crafted pizza before his eyes.

After placing an order, I admired the clean, sharp interior: a large C R E A T E wall inspired all who stepped foot in the store; a cleverly placed in-wall oven planted ‘fresh’ in the mind of the visitor. Papa’s motto: Love at 425 degrees. I was smitten before I even knew what the pizza tasted like.

Within 120 seconds, my pizzas were being handed to me with a smile.

My son remarked: “It’s already time to go? That was fast. Are those our pizzas?”

“Yes,” I responded, knowing the two of us wanted a few more minutes to soak in the ambiance.

Being a Chicago native, and a bit of a deep dish pizza snob (read this Malnati’s love fest), I can’t say it’s in that category of pizza paradise, but the quality is solid for the time, money and attention investment. These joints are all about value; the cost-conscious, value-seeking folks in this zip code will be raving fans.

So what are the secrets? And how can your business/product/service learn from this brilliant blueprint?

                1. Simplicity: The people that routinely will come into these stores will be busy, harried, spent. Papa Murphy’s does nothing to bombard you when you first arrive at the store. Your first thought upon seeing the pizzas being freshly made: how can I get one of those? That has to be good for business. It’s about the pizza, not in-store promotional blitzes or shameless signage.
                2. Stay on brand: From the in-store oven and easy sightlines of fresh ingredients to the expansive, open kitchen feel, Papa Murphy’s makes you feel right at home – in their kitchen. As you stare at the C R E A T E letters on the wall, you marvel at watching your pizza take shape before your eyes. This is remarkably different than most pizza chains.
                3. Conveniently quick: We are always rushing to the next place, and Papa Murphy’s recognizes this by keeping your time from order to pizza in-hand to under five minutes. Busy Moms and Dads will appreciate that there’s not even enough time to check your smartphone.

Thanks Papa Murphy for testing your new store design concept here in Austin, Texas. IMHO: It’s a big hit!!

Until next time,

Dan Naden

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