When IHOP announced that they would start going by IHOb, dedicated fans had mixed reactions. Weeks later, the company is going back to its original name, IHOP, admitting that the IHOb name change was merely a publicity stunt in order to promote their new burger menu. The name change coincides with the company’s 60th anniversary. And yet again, the public is reacting, with some happy to hear the news, while others feeling betrayed because they fell for the stunt, according to FOX13.
The initial name change caused a lot of confusion, with some believing that pancakes would no longer be served. Others criticized the chain’s decision to add burgers to their lineup, saying that it’s easy to find burgers anywhere.
Someone asked IHOP on Twitter, “So why’d you change [the name]?” To that, IHOP replied, “We just had some burgers to bromote.” And yet again, confusion ensued, as another person asked, “Okay but the burgers are staying on the menu right?” to which IHOP said, “We’ve still got ’em!”
Even prior to IHOP’s admittance that the entire name change was a marketing ploy, many people suspected that it wasn’t serious about its “new” name. While some argue that it was not a good marketing plan, others believe that it was quite effective in getting the public to talk about the brand.
We’re giving away 60¢ short stacks on July 17 from 7a-7p for IHOP’s 60th birthday. That’s right, IHOP! We’d never turn our back on pancakes (except for that time we faked it to promote our new burgers) pic.twitter.com/KsbkMJhKuf
— IHOP (@IHOP) July 9, 2018
On the other hand, Adweek reported that although the name change to “IHOb” initially created a lot of internet buzz, it didn’t translate into more customers in the stores. According to Foursquare data, foot traffic only increased 4.6 percent by male customers a day after the IHob name announcement, with a 2.2 percent decrease by female customers. Director of communications and editor at large at Foursquare, Sarah Spagnolo described the findings.
“While the IHOb stunt drove a ton of buzz, which is valuable in its own right, Foursquare’s foot traffic data shows that it didn’t deliver an actual boost in foot traffic. This is the data all marketers should all be paying attention to.”
This analysis was later refuted by IHOb, who said that the company was “pleased with early results and the guest feedback we’ve heard related to our new Steakburgers.”
After all this talk about the burgers, you may be wondering how they taste. One reporter from The Takeout tried all of IHOb’s burgers, and his opinion was that although the Classic burger had tasty buns and veggies, the beef itself was “just okay” with little seasoning, and perhaps a bit overcooked. The verdict for the Mushroom & Swiss was much more positive, as was the Cowboy BBQ burger.