In a development that surprised virtually no one, IHOP announced Monday that its “name change” to IHOb, with the B standing for burgers, was just a gimmick to draw attention to some updates to its menu. The restaurants will continue to be known as IHOP, the chain said, although some wondered if the P now stands for publicity stunt.
The company’s scheme to gain attention was launched last month when it announced that its restaurant chain would change its name to IHOb. After a week of suspense, it was revealed that the B would stand for burgers. But skeptics stepped forward almost immediately, noting that there were no trademark applications for the new name. And despite all the hoopla, very few restaurants changed their signs.
USA Today reported on June 11 that the “name change” was merely a ploy for attention, quoting the company’s chief marketing officer, Brad Haley, as saying: “The whole goal of this effort was to convince people that we were just as serious about our burgers as we are about our pancakes. Consequently, we needed to make a bold signal to disrupt people’s thinking about IHOP and make it IHOb.”
The IHOb campaign appears to have accomplished its goal of getting people to talk about IHOP, USA Today says, noting that YouGov reported an increase in its Word of Mouth Score. But the effort did not create a significant increase in the company’s purchase consideration, which measures the likelihood of consumers eating at a particular restaurant chain.
IHOP’s latest announcement was not exactly welcomed by people on Twitter: