Op Ed: The danger of playing blindly with your brand, the IHOP case
Plastic surgeries performed on brands occur in the imaginary, not in real life — like an actor who becomes unrecognizable. In the latter case, we know that only affects the person.
In the case of brands, it affects the conglomerate of employees, customers, suppliers and other interests inherent to the brand; change can be devastating. This is the case of IHOP or now, IHOB.
This is not the first historical gaffe by a brand. From the new Coca Cola to the ill-fated rebranding of Gap, effectively communicating the intentions of a marketing strategy or a matter of modernizing a brand, is as dangerous as trying to cross a tightrope without talent or preparation.
In the new area of immediacy to the reaction of social networks, an upward unparalleled spiral is extrapolated.
In the case of IHOB, the result seems to carry the dark fate of good intentions cloistered in the egocentric corporate world.
I predict an unhappy ending for this initiative. The TV ad is based on the ridiculousness (a subject that further sinks the creative genius of turning a “p” to a “b”) that most Americans eat hamburgers.
IHOP is a recognized brand. With more than 50 years in the minds of American culture, with franchises that dominate the flagship dish — contrary to Jack Trout’s Positioning Act — they can deal a blow to the IHOP brand from which it may not recover.
The damage is done. Repentance and asking for forgiveness may be the Solomonic exit available to prevent the Wendy’s of life (which already issued its judgment in a Tweet,) from continuing to block the way for a goal that will not materialize.
The radiography behind this attempt to boost burgers sales in place of pancakes will happen with more pain and no glory. The one trying to save himself is the CEO, who, based on his enthusiasm, I’d say he was the genius of it.
There is no syrup to help us swallow this rebranding.
I give it three months. Bon Appetit!