Last week, my beloved International House of Pancakes (IHOP) changed its name to IHOb, or the International House of burgers. It was a big-time rebranding and, well, a pivot from flapjacks to hamburgers. (I guess they didn’t think to change it to IHOPb, the International House of Pancake Burgers. If they had, I’d be there right now.)
— IHOb (@IHOb) June 11, 2018
But now Foursquare is all over Twitter playing spoiler. The “location intelligence” company says its data shows that the big rebranding–complete with media blitz and wacko YouTube vids–didn’t really send people flooding into the restaurants. In fact, Foursquare says it didn’t see any increased traffic into the new IHOb at all.
Wondering if last week’s burger campaign from @IHOb drove actual visits to the chain? In short, the answer is no. @Foursquare data shows that here was no significant overall lift in foot traffic one week after launch, nor was there an increase in lunchtime or evening visits. pic.twitter.com/vrtCxTkmQl
— Foursquare (@Foursquare) June 21, 2018
IHOb, as you might imagine, wasn’t too happy about Foursquare’s assessment.
“While interesting, Foursquare’s findings don’t completely or accurately reflect what we’re seeing in our restaurants,” said IHOP’s comms and PR lead Stephanie Peterson in an email to Fast Company Friday. “Overall we’re pleased with early results and the guest feedback we’ve heard related to our new Steakburgers.” (I love how she managed to slip a little burger branding in there!)
Adweek gave credit to iHOb for responding well to the decreasing popularity of pancakes and the rising interest in burgers, and for making funny on the social medias. But, you know, likes and retweets aren’t going to keep the lights on in the stores.