Last week, IHOP tweeted that it would be changing its name to IHOb. With an announcement on Monday June 11, 2018 as to what the “b” stood for. It encouraged the media and customers to guess what the “b” would be with IHOP becoming IHOb.
Some times, public relations work. See Iconic PR Campaigns Over the Decades. And sometimes, unintended publicity can be a disaster. See Another United PR Disaster: You Can’t Make This Up!
Click the image to visit the IHOP/IHOb Web site.
Pre-Disclosure Assessment: IHOP Becoming IHOb
When IHOP released its name change teaser last week, the media reacted quite negatively.
For example, Jade Scipioni wrote this for Fox News:
“Goodbye IHOP and hello to IHOb! The 60-year-old iconic pancake chain announced it’s literally flipping its last acronym from ‘p’ (pancakes) to ‘b’ which stands for burgers, the company disclosed last Monday. The breakfast joint’s acronym, coined for its host of international pancakes, teased the coming news last week to drum up press — and encouraged its customers to guess what its new name could possibly stand for. And then to make the official reveal on Monday June 11.”
“’The decision to change the name may have been the dumbest decision ever made in the world of branding. Brand equity is precious. It takes years to build, and it is the cornerstone of customer loyalty. IHOP just decided to throw it away,’ David Srere, co-CEO and chief strategy officer of Siegel+Gale said. Allen Adamson, co-founder of Metaforce, a brand consulting firm, says he believes the whole name change is nothing more than a ‘publicity stunt. It’s a symptom of the enormous pressures on marketers to get noticed,’ Adamson said. ‘The best they hope for is that an ad and social media campaign tied to a name change will get their breakfast-beyond-pancake story to stick,’ he said.”
In the following video, Fox News asked people to guess what the b would stand for.
After the Reveal: IHOP Becoming IHOb
After all of the build up, this is what actually happened.
According to Paul R. La Monica, reporting for CNNMoney.com:
“IHOP said that it’s temporarily changing its branding because the B stands for burgers. It’s only a marketing campaign. IHOP isn’t changing its name. But the chain of breakfast diners took social media by storm last week with the cryptic announcement that it was flipping the lowercase ‘p’ in its logo and making it a ‘b.’ IHOP, of course, stands for International House of Pancakes. But IHOP — sorry, IHOb — wants to be known as a place to get lunch and dinner, not just breakfast and brunch. It’s adding several burgers to its menu, including a Big Brunch burger with bacon, a fried egg and browned potato on top.”
See IHOb’s Twitter feed.