Does 'X' Mark The Spot?

The Elon Musk Rebrand Of Twitter
Published on:
August 10, 2023

The bird has flown the nest, so to speak, as Elon Musk, CEO of Twitter, has swapped the iconic bird logo for “X”. We’ve covered rebrands in our previous articles, we know that rebrands are usually trying to convey a message, in this instance, Musk is making his own mark on Twitter, fulfilling his vision for an “everything” app where users can communicate, shop and consume entertainment. That includes allowing its users to order groceries, book a gym class, and chat with friends. Musk has gone as far to say that followers should no longer refer to their posts as “tweets” but as “X’s”.  

Why has Musk gone for a complete rebrand? Well, shortly after Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022, he changed the structure of the organisation by laying off 80% of the staff at Twitter, altered the revenue module, and proposed to make Twitter an open and free space to speak, promising to unban controversial users like Donald Trump and Andrew Tate. Musk wanted to put his own mark on the app, the rebrand was a representation of the change in vision, culture and processes Musk had put in place. However, some users feel that the rebrand was more a cry for attention, one commentator called Joshua White labelled the rebrand a mistake, saying “this is akin to buying Coke and changing the bottle and name without changing the formula.” Other branding experts have said Musk has thrown out years of brand recognition, trust and familiarity, which would have been a major advantage to him.  

The ongoing sense of confusion and distrust among X users has resulted in the projected loss of around $2 billion in ad revenue this year. The rebrand could have been the opportunity of a lifetime to introduce a cool new app that was smart, futuristic, and all-encompassing, but the staggered rollout and ambiguity in messaging adds to the chaos and distrust of the app. Unfortunately, there is no longer any sense for what Twitter stands for as a brand.  

In our previous article, we stressed how rebranding needs to be well thought out, carefully executed, and intentions need to be clear. Hasty rebrands are often destined to fail. Branding needs to be done with a strong, cohesive mission statement, the launch of the new brand should be well thought out and organised, and the company should all be on the same page well in advance of the brand being revealed.  

For now, it’s bye bye birdie. Don’t fall into the same trap as Elon Musk, use Minto when you rebrand.

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