In today's age, social media for any brand or company is massively important. It's how you connect with your customers, promote your brand, and create a voice for your company. It adds a human element that we've never had before and has become the backbone to successful PR.
I have always been a fan of great brand social media. Some of my favorite accounts include:
The pattern here is that most of these are food companies. Most of these brands/companies I follow on Twitter and can easily interact with them myself if I want to. These accounts offer witty replies while also keeping up a specific brand voice.
I know, you're probably thinking: "We get it, Selbe. You're obsessed with fast-food chain's social media. Why are you talking about this now?" (Maybe not, I'm not inside your brain.)
Well, I'll tell you.
What sparked this thought process was the recent launch of IHOB. Yes, the International House of Pancakes is no more. It is now the International House of Burgers. Personally, I do not know how to feel about this. I never go into IHOP thinking: "I really want a burger." Apparently, this was done just to promote their burgers. But why rebrand everything just for one item on the menu? Will they forever be IHOB? Will they change their signs on the front of the restaurants? I have many questions.
So, how is the "rebranding" of IHOP going to affect the company? Looking over the reactions from yesterday and today, most are negative. But, from the marketer's point of view, IHOP(B?) is still being talked about and still getting attention and promotion. There is no doubt that people are going into the restaurant now just out of pure curiosity. Will I go there and try a burger? Probably not.
But, for now, let's focus on how this "negative" attention could actually be benefitting iHOB.
1. Other companies are promoting them by making fun of them
Shortly after the release of what the B in IHOB represented, brand and companies all around started to A.) either say they would never do that or B.) jokingly changed their logo/name to something pancake, waffle, or burger related.
For example, Burger King updated it's profile picture to Pancake King last night in light of IHOB's announcement.
Other companies like White Castle and Netflix followed suit.
Then, bring in the other brands subtly referencing the big branding change of IHOB and how they are "sticking to their roots" and "what they are good at."
With these posts, they are acknowledging IHOB and the controversy around it, thus promoting it and getting their audiences also talking about it. Not too bad of a promotional tactic on IHOB's part.
2. Customers will go to the restaurants out of curiosity
As I stated above, I'm curious to see if this is actually a total company rebranding, or if it's just a short marketing campaign to promote their burgers.
Thus, this big change will bring customers in the doors and ordering burgers because they are curious. This increases people in the store and revenue made. Isn't that the point of marketing all along?
Now, this all ties into brand social media because customers really interact with brands today. And when one decides to up and change their name, it's almost like a sense of trust is broken. Customers may be thinking: Who is this new brand? What are they like and why did they change?
Will IHOB lose customers? Probably not. The overall shock of the name change will wear off soon (or even go back to IHOP for all we know) and it'll be like it never happened.
What do you think about iHOB's rebranding? Is it a good idea? Or is it a waste that could possibly affect their whole business?
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