What happened with IHOP and why should you care?


On June 11, IHOP announced that they were changing their name to IHOB.

For most people, the temporary rebrand was just an excuse to make hilarious memes. And when I say hilarious, I mean HILARIOUS.

So, if anything, thank you IHOP for the new material — that is invaluable.

But seriously, what exactly was IHOP trying to do with their newest marketing strategy. And, did it work?

By now, we all know that IHOP was making a statement about their offering of burgers, apart from their pancakes.

In an interview with IHOP President, Darren Rebelez, he stated that the reason for the name change was that they never put enough emphasis on the lunch and dinner crowd that they should have, in the first place. In this way, they felt like they needed to do something to increase awareness of ALL of their food offerings to the market. Just in case we forgot.

On Monday, July 16, IHOB changed their name back to IHOP. Because, well, they are still the International House of Pancakes always and forever.

They just also happen to make burgers.

So did IHOP achieve what its top executives set out to with the IHOB Campaign?

According to YouGov, IHOP’s word of mouth score increased from 19% to 30%, the week following their announcement. However, their purchase consideration, which measures the likelihood that someone will go in and eat at their chain, has remained consistent throughout 2018, ranging between 20% to 30%.

IHOP officials say they are satisfied with these results.

In the end, the campaign received more than 30 billion media impressions and was the storyline for over 20,000 news stories.

Apparently, Word of Mouth was all that IHOP ever wanted.

But, now when all is said and done. Was it really worth it? Was there any damage caused by the short (but very loud) publicity stunt?

Some feedback showed that people lost trust in the brand. Some people thought that it was silly and pointless. Others just used it to create some of the world’s greatest memes — I’m super serious about the meme thing, you guys.

Some of the reactions and memes to the IHOB campaign

In the end, we can all learn from each other and I think this campaign showed that IHOP is still present.

They figured out how to get their name in the mouths of the people who matter. They emerged themselves in conversations, they otherwise, would have no place being. They made themselves relevant and got lots of media attention from customers, influencers, and even global brands like Netflix and Burger King.

Consumers lost trust in the IHOP brand because of this publicity stunt.

While the IHOB campaign broke the internet, it also hurt IHOP’s brand image. Seriously, some feedback showed that people found IHOP to be more untrustworthy after the campaign.

But couldn’t all brands come off as untrustworthy? I mean, they are trying to sell us their product, right?

We listen to celebrities sell us products all the time. You mean to say you trust Kim Kardashian when she tells you her beautiful locks are all because of Sugar Bear Hair Care supplements?

IHOP didn’t pull this publicity stunt to disillusion us — they did it because it was new and funny and different. And to get people talking.

They did it to stay relevant. And it worked.

Katy Prohira