Shocker: IHOP is staying IHOP.

And now, I’ve got a beef with IHOP !

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Last summer. IHOP shocked the world by announcing that they were changing their name from IHOP to IHOB … from P is for pancakes to B is for burgers.

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At the time, we posted: IHOP changing name to IHOB … or are they?

We argued that changing the name chainwide would be pure folly since (1) IHOP is an iconic brand that “owns” the pancake niche. (2) “IHOP” — the name — has “stretchability” … since not all folks are even aware the IHOP “P” stands for pancakes (3)  The battlefield is strewn with the bodies of companies who have tried to do battle with the burger chains (4) Changing a brand name is a very expensive process … it costs a lot to change the signs, menus, letterheads etc.

At the time our bet was that the publicized name change was just a marketing ploy … aimed at generating mucho publicity for the non-pancake part of the menu … for getting more lunch and dinnertime business.

And, we said: If that’s the case, then the headfake is a brilliant marketing move … garnering  a lot of buzz around some new burgers on its menu.

OK, that was then, this is now … so let’s update….

In case you haven’t noticed, IHOP only changed the signage at one of their flagship restaurants.

Just as we predicted, it was a headfake … and a brilliant marketing move.

According to published accounts:

The IHOB campaign got the brand more than 42 billion media impressions worldwide, and immediately quadrupled the company’s burger sales.

Now to garner some more social media promotion , IHOP has formally announced that it’s staying IHOP.

But, there’s a twist.

Yeah, it’s staying IHOP, but to maintain momentum, it’s rebranding its burgers as “beef pancakes” … and, keeping media emphasis on its burgers.

As we said last year and above, the IHOP brand has stretchabilty … and, IHOP’s hopping on that.

This move won’t have the mega-impact of the IHOB gambit … but it is a clever way to generate media interest.

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My beef with IHOP

No kidding, last weekend my family went to a new IHOP.

Without looking at the menu, I ordered my decades-long regular: the corned beef and cheese omelet with a side of pancakes.

The server politely broke the bad news: “That’s been taken off the menu.”

What ?????

Heads-up IHOP … I don’t take disappointment well.

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Follow on Twitter @KenHoma

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