IHOP’s fake name change helped it sell 4 times more burgers

Last summer, when IHOP teased that it would change its name to “IHOb,” it generated a lot of buzz on social media but it was unclear if it would help generate sales.

The results are in. Chief Marketing Officer Brad Haley said at Brandweek, a marketing conference, Thursday that the company sold four times more burgers after the campaign.

IHOP used the marketing stunt to promote its new line of burgers, designed to lure in customers during lunchtime. Although the company has been selling burgers in its diners for years, many customers still only thought of the restaurant for pancakes and other breakfast food.

Prior to the campaign, traffic to IHOP locations had been declining for the last 10 quarters.

There was some skepticism that IHOP could translate the 1.2 million tweets about the campaign in the first 10 days into sales. But it looks like the stunt has paid off. At its peak, the company was selling 500,000 burgers per week, Haley said.

Parent company Dine Brands reported that IHOP same-store sales grew by 1.2 percent during its third quarter, which ended Sept. 30.

IHOP is keeping up buzzworthy promotions in 2019. From Friday to Sunday, customers can buy a pizza-sized pancake, which it is calling a “pancizza,” to celebrate National Pizza Day, which falls on Saturday.

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