Earlier this summer, IHOP announced that they were changing their iconic name to IHOb, putting the pancake lovers of America in a panicking frenzy. Where are the pancakes going? What in the world does the “b” stand for? Why are they taking away my pancakes?!
IHOP might have just pulled the greatest marketing stunt of all time. All that they did was simply flip the “P” upside down to a “b” to encourage people to indulge in their revamped menu item: BURGERS! You don’t have to panic any longer, the pancakes are here to stay! IHOP has switched to IHOb for a limited time to promote their Ultimate Steakburgers, except for one flagship location in Los Angeles that is now strictly the International House of Burgers. Every other location is sticking with pancakes (thank goodness). This is re-branding at its finest.
There’s a story behind the madness, or what we like to think of as a genius marketing strategy:
IHOb Breaks the Web
The groundbreaking post is made. IHOP is flipping it to IHOb. No explanation. We had to wait to wait a week to find out the truth. This is what everyone was talking about on the web. At the time, nobody was taking it seriously that IHOP was potentially changing its entire restaurant foundation. People were throwing out all kinds of guesses for what the “b” could stand for. Breakfast? Bacon? Bananas? Burritos? Boloney? We didn’t have a clue! Nobody could bear the thought of losing their favorite pancakes for good.
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All Signs Lead to IHOb
Things were starting to get real. Spotted in Los Angeles, construction workers were seen changing all signage on a popular IHOP location. This is when the real panic started setting in across the internet. Are they seriously taking away our pancakes? Some people thought this was just a transition to the International House of Breakfast, not changing much about the restaurant at all. Others were skeptical about IHOP’s loyalty to their deeply beloved specialty. Everyone couldn’t wait until the revolutionary reveal of the new game-changing restaurant name.
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The “b” Stands for BANG!
BOOM! BAM! BANG! A NEW BRAND-CHANGING NAME!
The “b” stands for BURGERS! Some were surprised, some were confused, and some were not satisfied. Other popular restaurant chains had some hilarious reactions to the controversial name change, as seen on Twitter the day of the announcement:
The important fact of the matter is that IHOb is not permanent and the pancakes are here forever! The publicity for this marketing stunt was incredible. The social media uproar brought an immense amount of attention to the branding change that people might actually consider ordering a burger at IHOP. This is now one of our favorite examples of how to take the marketing world by storm. Not only did IHOP succeed in gaining attention from loyal customers all across the country, but they also received public reactions from their competitors, boosting knowledge in their re-branding strategy.