Starbucks faced a truly terrible situation of its own making. Yet, ultimately, the company handled the crisis with transparency, leadership, and bold action. Closing every single U.S. store for several hours to better train your staff means losing real money for the sake of a principle. That kind of bold, executive action signifies a greater commitment and greater sincerity than a mere apology or donation.
By contrast, IHOP seems to have followed the Trump playbook for PR: It doesn’t matter what people are saying about you — as long as they’re saying something. Of course, this is a stunt. To be sure, stunts demand guts and creativity, but ultimately this one just confused people and dented a brand that was once singularly, gloriously associated with pancakes. “IHOB” sparked our attention, but left us with empty stomachs.
Addendum (7/2/2018): Success!
Addendum (7/8/2018): Success!