"IHOB", genius marketing plan or epic failure?
Updated: Apr 14
By now, everyone has heard or seen the International House of Pancakes (IHOP)s newest marketing campaign. But the question has to be asked, was it for the better?
Wait, what new campaign?
On Monday, June 3rd, IHOP announced they were changing the P to a B and “rebranding” themselves as IHOB. This somewhat shocking announcement (considering their brand was solely based around breakfast food in the past) sent the internet into a frenzy of speculation. It wasn’t until the following week that it was revealed what the new abbreviation meant - IHOP has, temporarily, now become the International House of Burgers.
Why the big change?
Contrary to popular belief, this marketing plunge was no spur of the moment decision. Over a year ago, IHOP began the process of revamping menu items outside of their breakfast staples in an effort to break into other markets and increase sale of lunch and dinner menu items. The elaborate stunt was orchestrated in order to generate excitement and credibility for their new and improved burger lineup, and that it has succeeded in. While the transition isn’t permanent, it has generated a monumental amount of buzz in the social media world.
Results thus far:
However, many steadfast breakfast fans aren’t reacting exactly how they had planned. The IHOB transition has become the end of an countless amount of online jabs. From your average consumer to other fast food competitors, one cannot scroll through twitter or facebook without seeing a new meme or joke about the great IHOP/IHOB switch. What the campaign has accomplished for sure however, is increase overall brand recognition and social media interactions. These communication feats in and of themselves indicate a successful campaign, but as we all know, there is more to success than becoming viral on the internet.
If IHOP was solely looking to achieve the "shock factor" for more social traction, they got it. If they believe in the age old idea of "any publicity being good publicity", then the IHOB stunt should definitely be chalked up as a success. The question goes now to the sales and foot traffic. If they can pull this off and remain one of the leading breakfast restaurants in the country, then more power to them - but for now, we wait and see.