IHOP is back at it with another headline-grabbing name change. A year after the pancake chain flipped the “P” in its name to “b” and introduced burgers to the menu, the brand is hinting another big change is around the corner.
On May 28, IHOP teased on Twitter that something would be happening again to the “P” in its name on June 3. The announcement caused a stir on the social media site with thousands of fans speculating what crazy promotion or menu change could take place next at IHOP.
Some believe the change could focus on a new ingredient like peanuts or potatoes. People are also speculating it could be the addition of pizza, pasta, or pie to the menu. International House of Pasta has a nice ring to it.
PEANUTS!— Mr. Peanut (@MrPeanut) May 28, 2019
We’re nut telling yet.— IHOP (@IHOP) May 28, 2019
Others were more imaginative with their guess about the upcoming promotion.
Probably not… but definitely not definitely not.— IHOP (@IHOP) May 27, 2019
But a lot of people were also skeptical of what IHOP was up to. The IHOb promotion drew some criticism last year as well. Many customers took to social media to tell IHOP to stick to pancakes. The sentiment is still true with this new announcement.
Cmon IHOP, not again man pic.twitter.com/NgefXWSXsU— Amanda (@IAmDramaMama) May 27, 2019
It turns out, even with the criticism, the marketing stunt paid off big for the brand over the last year. The temporary name change got people talking about the Dine Brands chain. YouGov’s data showed 14 percent of American adults were talking about IHOP in the wake of the change. It peaked at 29 percent in early July. In September, IHOP’s Word of Mouth score stood at 20 percent—a higher figure than anything IHOP attained pre-IHOb, said Ted Marzilli, YouGov’s CEO Data Products.
YouGov’s Ad Awareness score, measured by asking consumers if they’ve come across an advertisement for a particular brand in the past two weeks, climbed to an all-time high of 47 percent in late July.
After the campaign, IHOP made moves to become more than just a breakfast restaurant, as it looked to boost lunch and dinner dayparts.
“We've changed the narrative about our lunch and dinner occasions,” president Darren Rebelez said during an earlier conference call. “We've clearly proven that we can attract guests throughout the day, not just at breakfast. Since the launch of IHOP's highly innovative and all-new Ultimate Steakburger platform in mid-June, our dinner daypart has delivered positive comp sales every week.” IHOP also experienced positive sales growth across the lunch and overnight daypart, he added.
IHOP’s same-store sales have steadily climbed over the past year. The past quarter marked five straight quarters of gains.
- Q1 2019: 1.2 percent
- Q4 2018: 3 percent
- Q3 2018: 1.2 percent
- Q2 2018: 0.7 percent
It’s clear the IHOb promotion gave the brand a boost last year. Will the new promotion do the same thing this year?