We chatted with Miguel Justribó, chief purpose officer of the Food Delivery Brands Group, to which Telepizza belongs. A position held by only three people in the world and which makes him the person in charge of promoting responsible communication and social action for the group’s brands at a global level.
Born in Zaragoza, he lives in Madrid, but with his homeland always present. Miguel has worked in different agencies as General Manager at McCann Erickson, Vice President of Strategy at Grey, Director of Client Services at Delvico or CEO and founder at Cathedral The Creative Center, among others. He has also worked for renowned brands such as Coca-Cola, Open Bank, Red Cross, Ballantines, Combe and Madrid City Council.
-He was born in Zaragoza, but has spent half his life abroad.
-I was born in Zaragoza in 1964 but when I was 6 or 7 years old I moved to Madrid with my parents because my father, who was not from Zaragoza but as if he were, found work in Madrid. My mother’s family was still in Zaragoza and still is, so we used to go to Zaragoza a lot, for long periods of time, we spent our summers in Panticosa, Salou and Cambrils. As a teenager I discovered that my hometown was a territory of freedom because I was there at my aunt’s house, with my cousins, I came and went… All this time I kept in touch with my family and made many friends. There are two things that I always say that I was born with: one is being from Zaragoza and the other is being from Atleti.
-What links you to the city now?
-I have a lot of links with Zaragoza through family and friends. On a professional level, I did campaigns for Real Zaragoza in the past, including several season ticket campaigns. I have also collaborated with SD Huesca doing brand consultancy, even before the first promotion. I have a very good relationship with the University of San Jorge. Whenever they call me from Zaragoza for anything, I’m always happy to go and I love it. I was missing a better relationship with the Teruel area, but through the president of the Teruel Chamber of Commerce, Antonio Santa Isabel, who is a franchisee of Telepizza and a person I admire, I was invited to teach at the campus there. When you are abroad you meet a lot of people who are from Zaragoza, especially in Madrid, and you always have that special thread or connection. Everyone you ask about me will tell you that I’m always nagging them about my city. I am a great believer in Zaragoza’s potential.
-Do you think the region is sufficiently promoted and valued?
-I think Aragon still has a lot of capacity to surprise. The region has enormous capacities and there are examples. Teruel Airport seems to me to be a success story and a spectacular example that perhaps has less impact than it should. The province of Huesca has the potential to attract very specialised tourism in adventure and sports and has an example such as the SD that should be promoted. In Zaragoza I have a very good relationship with AGM and Gonzalo Corrales, a company with worldwide projection, thanks to which thousands of students – my son, for example – have been able to study in the USA. I also have great admiration for the councillor Carmen Herrarte and the city is very powerful in logistics and has an advantage over other cities: a very friendly brand positioning. If there is one thing I understand, it is branding and I see that without having worked very specifically on it, with the exception of Expo2008 which was a missed opportunity to make that decisive leap, you ask people about Zaragoza, in particular, and Aragon, in general, and it has no edges. To anyone you tell that you are from there, the answer is always positive.
-How could it be improved?
-Both Aragon and Zaragoza are demonstrating precisely this hard year how things can be done well, with dialogue and consensus. The community must stop looking inwards and start looking outwards, and promote the number of Aragonese outside Aragon who are proud to be Aragonese. That is why Go Aragón seems so important to me. There are many very talented people from Aragon.
-What relationship do you have with people in your sector in the region?
I know people who work in communication and advertising, but I know more people who work outside Aragon and who have been and are references. Miguel Ángel Laborda, who has been the worldwide creative director for the Danone account, is an incredible guy and is very proud to be from Zaragoza. I also have a relationship with agencies like 3lemon, Cubo, SUMA or La Colmena, which is the agency in Huesca that manages the communication of SD Huesca in an incredible way, they do it very well. There are people who have come out of the San Jorge University, with whom I have a great relationship. Some have decided to stay in Zaragoza like Jano Cabello, Ángel Algora or Jorge Caín. Also Lucía Santos and David Moreu who won the last edition of the Telepizza Excellence Lab and the CdeC (Club de Creativos). They are people who are succeeding, some inside and others outside.
-Since 2019, you have been chief purpose officer of the Food Delivery Brands Group. How can you explain this in one sentence?
-Actually, I am in charge of the internal and external communication of the company and of the social responsibility and brand strategy. The purpose of the company is to know why we do what we do. We make sure that we all know why we do what we do, and that purpose at Telepizza is to bring people together.
-Does this position exist in any other company?
-In Spain, yes, at least that I know of. I saw that there were two more people in the world, two women, one in consulting at KPMG and one at Unilever in India.
It’s going to become more and more established. They don’t just choose you because you have a good product at a good price, they value how you behave with society in general, with your employees… and that has to do with communication, with marketing, with human resources and with the company’s strategy, in short. We have just launched 100% vegan telepizzas and we have done it because we understand that it is not a trend. This is about working on sustainability and from Telepizza we can act to make the world a better place.
-Is it what people demand or do you make them see that it is important?
-Because people demand it. You can’t just create a need for it. For some years now, in major world forums, there has been talk of the need to continue to generate benefits that are not only economic or that do not come at any price. With the new activism of society, the product or service that the client understands to have a position on life and that is in accordance with their ideals is more in demand than the product or service itself. It is not a fad, it is a phenomenon that affects the whole company and we are working on it.
-In the case of smaller or local companies… can this idea be applied?
-It should be applied to small companies. Obviously it is created with one objective, which is to make a living. The more market you have, the more money you generate, the more employment, the more taxes you pay, but to be sustainable over time I have to comply with a number of reasons. It clicked for me when I understood the purpose, when you understand why you do what you do as an entrepreneur… suddenly if you are honest with the answer you will find many areas of improvement and change and much more motivation.
-How can this purpose be communicated?
-Before you communicate it you have to do it. Once it is done it is communicated. There is nothing worse than saying it and then doing it because you usually waste a lot of time saying it and communicating it. You have to do what you have decided to do because you are convinced, not to tell people about it. In Zaragoza there are people who are very clear about this, like Ana Robledo from Pikolín. If you look at their latest campaigns, you can see that they are working more and more on this.
-What Telepizza actions are you most proud of?
-There is one that makes me very excited that has to do with Zaragoza and our commitment to work inclusion. We reached an agreement with the LaLiga Foundation to collaborate with LaLiga Genuine, for people with intellectual disabilities. We didn’t just want to put the Telepizza logo and we committed to incorporate at least one player from each team to work in the shops. The first player we incorporated was Noel in the Telepizza shop in Huesca and one of the next ones was Sasha Latorre, from Real Zaragoza, in the Pizza Hut shop in Paseo Pamplona.
Throughout the first phase of the pandemic we were collaborating with the collective that emerged that took food to hospitals and then with the City Council we worked to take pizzas to shelters and so on.
In Teruel, at the beginning of January, we collaborated with the Chamber of Commerce, the City Council and some other companies in the campaign “We’ll give you a box”. On the Telepizza boxes all over the city we put free advertising for local businesses to promote themselves. It was one of the winning projects of the Telepizza Excellence Lab, we did the pilot in Teruel and the idea is to start doing it all over Spain. Despite the convid we are happy to have maintained employment and to have continued to grow.
-Now that delivery is booming, how is Telepizza adapting to all this competition? Is it an opportunity?
-The good thing about new players is that they contribute to the habit of eating at home. Also, the more competition you have, the more you have to be at the forefront. Telepizza invented home delivery back in the day, but you can’t live by being the first: you have to always be ahead of or at the same level as the trends.