Last week, the International House of Pancakes, better known as IHOP, announced it was launching a tasty new NFT, spurring words of praise from web3 enthusiasts.
Little did they know that the brand had no interest in blockchain-based tokens, and was instead referring to a delicious addition to the menu — "New French Toast.”
In doing so, IHOP was able to climb aboard the NFT hype train, without actually committing to the web3 craze.
While such an ambitious announcement has certainly left some of the IHOP’s fans disappointed, it’s quite a clever marketing ploy. And in the current state of digital marketing, cleverness and innovation go a long way with long-term customers.
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Attention-grabbing strategies like these often backfire, especially if the brand delivers a subpar product that doesn’t live up to customers’ expectations.
However, seeing as how NFTs are neither controversial nor sensitive social issues, and the New French Toast probably tastes like heaven, it’s likely that any disappointed customers will forgive IHOP.
In a Tweet announcing the new product, IHOP asked its customers if they’ve “heard of NFTs” and that the company is joining in on the sensation “before anyone else jumps on the bandwagon.”
They then accompanied the Tweet with a 15-second video, highly suggestive of actual NFTs, using graphic design someone would expect to see from regular non-fungible tokens.
In other words, the company went out of its way to tease its customers with a penchant for web3. It’s quite daring, but also expected.
More and more brands are experimenting with NFTs in a bid to drive customer engagement, boost sales and build brand loyalty.
It makes a lot of sense business-wise, as more customers than ever are looking to buy NFTs and prove their own commitment to a brand.
Loyal customers can now get Adidas, Starbucks, and soon, even Disney NFTs, and “wear” them with pride.
Despite the onset of “crypto winter,” brands are still investing in NFTs, suggesting that they expect to benefit from tokens regardless of what happens to cryptocurrencies.
Judging by the customer sentiment, they are definitely right to do so.
Even though IHOP bailed on NFTs for now, the company is already quite active in the digital realm. Customers can buy New French Toast with 10 PanCoins, a digital currency that IHOP launched in March as part of the “International Pancake Bank” digital loyalty program.