DineEquity (formerly IHOP, Inc.)

A new name for the world’s largest full-service dining company

IHOP’s acquisition of Applebee’s in late 2007 was a bold and ambitious effort: Not only did Applebee’s enjoy name recognition to rival that of its new owner, but the Atlanta-based casual dining chain was actually larger in terms of units, revenues and franchisees. With this reality, the IHOP name no longer made sense for the corporate parent, which was on its way to becoming the largest full-service dining company in the world.

Applied Storytelling developed the new name and tagline as the most high-profile element of a comprehensive corporate brand definition effort. As a top priority, the effort was geared to conveying the company’s core strengths quickly to financial audiences and franchisees.

In a company release, CEO Julia Stewart summarizes the thinking behind the new name and tagline: “The acquisition of Applebee’s required that we select a name for our company that reflects our company’s core competencies and recognizes our ownership of multiple brands, and DineEquity does just that,” she says. “Further, DineEquity’s tagline ‘Great Franchisees. Great Brands.’ prominently identifies two of the most important contributors to our success. With Applebee’s and IHOP, we have brought together two great brands, and we are beginning to demonstrate how we are more successful together than we could ever have been apart. Our name change to DineEquity reflects the promise of our newly combined company.”

In association with Baker Brand Communications