If you have been disconnected from the internet in the past 2 weeks, you may have missed one of the boldest marketing moves of 2018. It all started with 1 single tweet:

IHOP's Rebranding Announcement

The IHOP we all know (and love) decided to shake things up a bit and rebranded itself into IHOb. They announced the news on Twitter on June 4 and waited for the internet to respond. And it did not disappoint.

IHOP's Rebranding Announcement - Teaser

Suggestions ranged from the obvious like breakfast, brunch and bananas to the less obvious bellinis. Finally, the brand revealed that B stands for BURGERS! The internet flooded with tweets from famous burger chains and celebrities commenting on IHOP’s rebranding.

IHOP's Rebranding: White CastleIHOP's Rebranding: K Nanjiani IHOP's Rebranding: Moon PieIHOP's Rebranding: Burger KingIHOP's Rebranding: Wendy's

Before you flip, IHOP’s sudden name change is temporary. This change has been reflected in the restaurant’s social media handles and on the sign outside of their flagship location in Hollywood, California. Officially they will remain IHOP.

Now people are debating whether IHOP’s rebranding efforts were a success or a failure. In my personal opinion, it was a success. IHOP could have spent millions of marketing dollars on outdoor advertising, guerilla marketing, videos, advertising on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, print advertising, flyers, TV commercials and so much more. What did they do instead? Posted 1 single tweet and it cost them almost nothing. Not only did they let their consumers know that they serve seven new burgers, but they also reached their competitors’ audiences.

Some people may argue that IHOP’s rebranding initiative was roasted by Wendy’s and Burger King. Although, it is true, none of the tweets were derogatory. In this storm of social media posts, I could not find tweets about IHOP’s bad food, bad service, racist employees (*cough* Starbucks *cough*) or bad pancakes. In fact, people went to IHOP and ordered burgers on purpose. According to Hollis Johnson from the Business Insider, “after trying the new line of burgers, we have to say we were shocked by how much we enjoyed them.” If you are interested in learning more about IHOP’s new burger menu, you can read Hollis Johnson’s full review here.

In conclusion, I think it was a bold move for a well-established brand like IHOP to announce its new menu on social media instead of using traditional media channels. It was risky and it paid off.