What makes a Brand Iconic // IHOP changes their promise for great pancakes into Brand Suicide burgers? We can't make this stuff up

What is a brand? What makes up the identity of a company? Is it the name of a company? Is it their logo? You would be happy to find that the identity is a combination of the "look" of the brand and the personality it makes us feel when we think of it. Those emotional reactions we have to the brand.

Like when you would get to sleep in on weekends and then the family would head to to IHOP for pancakes Saturday mornings. Not only of the consistent taste of the food, but the friendly service and the "extra whipped cream" every time feeling you get when you think of IHOB, sorry, we mean IHOP. Let’s dive into What makes a Brand Iconic? We we can watch as IHOP changes their promise for great pancakes into (Brand Suicide) Burgers? We can't make this stuff up ...


When a brand changes their image, logo, or name, its considered a radical move in the industry. Sometimes out of desperation, and sometimes because it's sheer genius. But when does a brand nail it, and when it is a sore excuse of a gimmicky act of desperation? When the famed ICONIC brand IHOP Becomes a Burger Brand.

What makes a Brand Iconic // IHOP changes their promise for great pancakes into Brand Suicide burgers? We can't make this stuff up.

Let's Get Started

Consider some branding basics. Amongst the important factors of brand icons:

  1. Why People Love You (brand values)

  2. What they Love You For (brand personality)

  3. a Consistent Brand Promise (brand promise)

  4. and the Brand Competitive Difference (brand difference) 

As marketers we do struggle to keep a brand relevant and “pop culture” current. And the fresh ideas are needed to keep the brand alive amongst all the noise around us. Usually we follow a more traditional route of a new product offer or some kewl discount, and vere away from the radical consumer comparison to nails-on-a-chalk-board-sound of "changing our name." Sound crazy? Yeah we think so. 

We recently went thru a re/branding campaign for Joanne Klee Marketing. Learn more about how a small business SHOULD rebrand.

Today International House of Pancakes (IHOP), you know, the iconic pancake house that specializes in, well pancakes, announced they are changing their name to International House of Burgers (iHob). Brand Suicide? Brand Genius or Stupidity? IHOP is asking consumers to temporarily suspend their belief in the pancake specialty as a burger best! International Burgers perhaps? 

Pancake Icon IHOP Becomes a Burger Connoisseur 

While this marketing gimmick (yes, the name change is temporary for the summer season) has potential to help IHOP get more beyond breakfast business, it clearly has the potential to CRASH the restaurant brand. IHOP has literally crushed every step of the branding tier. 




meaning: an expert judge in matters of taste.
— Definition of a connoisseur. Dictionary.com


We will see how well IHOP does in burger sales, and if they can be a player in the burger conversation. And the competition is great, from Five Guys, Red Robin, and not to mention the Golden Arches.  



A Little Bit More . . .  


About how we help entrepreneurs develop their own business identity and brand. 

Recently the American Marketing Association (AMA) posted a fun article about the characteristics of such a brand. READ the AMA article here to learn about making a brand, any brand, iconic >>>


I hope this article brings some insights into your branding and company name recognition process. Did you learn new insights? Tell us below and Read More about branding in our INSIGHTS ARTICLES hosted on the blog.


Do you want more Marketing Insights? More posts like this one? Join our newsletter. We promise it's infrequent. 

If you want more frequent content you can also join our Facebook Page, it's our mini blog.


Leave us your thoughts below, and share this post to your friends.