Pancake chain flips logo in sweet rebrand

Good branding is all about communicating a company's product or meaning through design. With this in mind, we have to give the International House of Pancake's simple but effective rebrand announcement a pass.

Posting on its Twitter account on Monday, the breakfast food chain announced that it's flipping the lettering in its logo design, going from IHOP to IHOb. Cue speculation as to what the mysterious 'b' could stand for in the build up to the big reveal on 11 June.

Considering that pancakes are famous for being flipped (or dropped on the floor), this letter flip is a clever link between the food and the brand. Last year Golden Syrup tried to incorporate the flip into their celebratory Pancake Day packaging, although they didn't go so far as to turn the lettering upside down.

If getting tossed around in a frying pan is a pancake's main selling point, at least IHOP saw this angle through in its branding. Elsewhere on its Twitter account, the social media manager is reduced to posting a barrage of strange and tenuously pancake-related tweets in an effort to drum up attention, possibly running into the same creative obstacles that face not-so-cool companies who struggle to come up with cool branding.

So what could the 'b' stand for? Barnacles? Brexit? We'd be amazed if it wasn't breakfast in an effort to better reflect all of the food on offer, especially seeing as Ihop's executive director of communications, Stephanie Peterson, is reported to have said "we’re serious about the quality of food and our menu, and this name change really reflects that."

It's a bold move for a company that has traded under the same name for 60 years. Sceptics are unconvinced that the decision is little more than a publicity stunt to tie into a product launch, or perhaps a temporary change in the style of Budweiser's decision to rename itself 'America' in the run up to the 2016 presidential election.

Either way, it's a good lesson in how you don't need a big budget to successfully bring together a product and branding, and generate a whole lot of attention in the process.

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