Domino’s Pizza and the Domino Effect


Domino’s has been experimenting with new ways to deliver pizza, including self-driving cars and drones. But these efforts have little to do with delivering pizza and everything to do with re-branding the company in the eyes of its customers. The underlying goal is to create a modern image that will give the company an emotional advantage, and this article examines how Domino’s can use the domino effect to do just that.

A domino is a rectangular block of wood or ivory with one to six pips (or dots) on each side, typically painted in black or white, and 28 such tiles form a full set. The term is also used for a series of games played with these tiles, in which a player scores points by placing adjacent pieces so that their ends match (i.e., a “one’s” end touches a “two’s” end). These matches can then be used to construct lines or angular patterns of points that may form the basis for other games.

The domino game first appeared in Britain toward the end of the 18th Century, likely via French prisoners of war, though it was well known earlier in France where it had a longer history. The word “domino” itself has a somewhat obscure origin, but was originally the Latin vocative form of the Scottish and English word dominus, which meant master or teacher. The name was later applied to the hooded cloak worn by Christian priests in winter or at a masquerade, which suggests that its meaning may be linked to the domino piece’s resemblance to the black robe and white surplice of a priest.

In addition to blocking and scoring games, there are many other types of domino play, such as solitaire or trick-taking games. The latter were especially popular in some areas as an alternative to card games and to circumvent religious proscriptions against them. Most domino games are played by two or more players, and a domino is considered to be out of the game if its exposed ends do not match, i.e., if a “one’s” end touches another “one’s” end or a “two’s” end touches a “one’s” end.

While most people play dominoes with polymer or plastic tiles, some prefer to use natural materials such as bone, silver lip ocean pearl oyster shell (mother of pearl), ivory, and ebony. These sets often have a more substantial feel, and the darker materials tend to look more elegant than the brighter polymer and plastic options. The earliest dominoes were made of wood, but today’s sets are usually manufactured from various types of resins. They are also available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes. Some are even shaped like buildings or other structures. Several different manufacturers produce these sets, which are widely sold in toy stores and online. Some are available in custom colors and with personalized inscriptions. These special-order sets can be quite expensive. A very high-end option is a set of handcrafted dominoes, which are often extremely expensive and feature inlaid or painted pips.