How can a company built on a foundation of pancakes, up and decide to change that foundation to hamburgers? The casual dining sector is filled with restaurants that consumers have come to rely on. However, when one of these restaurants decides to challenge that reliability, it can be met with praise or disdain. But is being met at all a sign of victory?
IHOP (International House of Pancakes) has survived for sixty years on the idea that they specialize in breakfast. That, coupled with their 24-hour service, has made them a major consideration on that 3 AM Uber ride home (as I’m sure many of us have experienced). However, allowing perceptions to become stagnant can be dangerous and IHOP understood something needed to be done.
On June 4th, IHOP started generating buzz after tweeting out that they would be changing their name to IHOb. By not initially revealing what the “b” stood for, suspense and dialogue began to build. Though some may beg to differ, the old adage, there’s no such thing as bad press, began to work its magic for IHOP. Three weeks after their initial tweet, IHOP’s parent organization, Dine Brands Global Inc., saw a 30% increase in their stock. However, after just over a month, IHOP disclosed that the name would not be permanently changed. Whatever name they choose to go by, they have kept themselves on people’s minds, which is what a marketing stunt is made to do. The main question remaining is if it will yield long lasting results. They’ve got people in the door. It’s up to IHOP to keep them coming back for more.
Sage Bayslinger, Ameritest Intern & 3am IHOP Visit Aficionado