Elon Musk rolls the dice with a radical rebranding of Twitter

Unveiled as Twitter's new identity in a bold move by Elon Musk, the new X brand reflects a dramatic departure from the iconic blue bird logo.

Aug 4, 2023 - 15:36
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Elon Musk rolls the dice with a radical rebranding of Twitter
Elon Musk rolls the dice with a radical rebranding of Twitter

Elon Musk tore down the towering blue bird that symbolized Twitter for more than a decade and replaced it with an enigmatic X in a dramatic rebrand. Musk announced the rebrand early Sunday morning, and by the next day the blue bird had disappeared, though everything else on the Twitter site appeared to be intact. "In general, people want to take the positive equity they have in a brand and transfer it to a new brand. This move by Musk is what people do when they want to completely remove the old brand," noted Patricia Hambrick, a. master's degree in marketing from Boston University's Questrom School of Business.

 "It's much more drastic than a typical brand change," he told TechNewsWorld. "Brands do this when they no longer have positive equity. You don't usually see something this drastic."

 "However, from a business strategy perspective, Musk needs to do something radical to get his purchases back on track," he added. "It could be something that could help him or it could bring him down, but it's a pretty drastic step."

 Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion in October 2022. Since then, he has cut the company's workforce by 70%. But that hasn't stopped the company from losing nearly two-thirds of its value under Musk, nor has it stopped a backlash from advertisers and users, according to a report in The Guardian, switch brands.

 Companies tend to rebrand to stay relevant in a dynamic market, attract new customers and differentiate themselves from competitors, explains Mark N. Vena, president and principal analyst at SmartTech Research in San Jose, California.

"Brand updates can also reflect a change in a company's values, products or target audience," he told TechNewsWorld. "A fresh brand image can spark public interest and create stronger emotional connections with consumers, which promotes business growth."

 Companies are also rebranding to remove negative associations with the old brand or adapt to new changes, added Jessica Melugin, director of the Center for Technology and Innovation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington.

 "Because Musk has talked for some time about the idea of ​​a platform that does a lot of things besides microblogging, I think we're seeing the latter here," he told TechNewsWorld.

Branding often goes hand in hand with business change, but this is not yet the case with Brand X. "This rebrand is a little different because Twitter hasn't really changed the product," said Mike Horning, associate professor of multimedia journalism at Virginia Tech.

 "That means Musk has a small window to prove that this is a new company with a new vision," he told TechNewsWorld.

Rebranding Twitter can help a business in a number of ways. It could, for example, make Twitter less politically polarizing, Melugin argued.

"Some people who were happy with the platform before Musk bought it seem to be taking the changes he made personally," he said. “This could be an opportunity to start over on both sides of the aisle. This idea could also apply to advertisers."

Greg Sterling, founder of news, commentary and analytics firm Near Media, noted that branding could be valuable to Twitter's future plans. "If Twitter really follows through on its WeChat-like 'super-app' vision, a new brand could better facilitate that," he told TechNewsWorld.

Rebranding can also have short-term benefits. "It will attract media attention and put Musk's company back in the spotlight," Horning said. "As we all know," he added, "Twitter has had a pretty rough year with advertisers and the brand has suffered a bit as a result. Rebranding could be a way to attract advertising in the future."

It could also be a way for Twitter to gain more relevance. "Twitter's current brand has been around for over 15 years and it's starting to look a little dated," Vena said. "The new logo and branding can help Twitter feel more modern and relevant to a younger audience."

Rebranding can also help Twitter differentiate itself from its competitors. “There are a number of other social media platforms out there and Twitter needs to find a way to stand out. A new logo and branding could help Twitter here," Vena stated.

He noted that the fresh look of the new logo could also help attract new users. "This is important because Twitter's user growth has slowed in recent years," he explained.

 Another positive aspect of the rebrand that Vena mentioned is the increase in brand recognition. "It could also lead to more people using the platform, which would ultimately benefit Twitter," he said.

 Of course, Musk's rebranding gambit has potential pitfalls. "In general, people don't like change," Melugin explained. "It can work against brand strategy - the new Coke situation of the digital age or Facebook's transition to Metal."

"It's a risk," he continued, "but Musk is a true entrepreneur in the sense that he doesn't mind trying, failing and getting better at what he learns."

"If he's not afraid to launch missiles, he's not afraid to change his name," he added.

Sterling argues that the name change has more disadvantages than advantages. “The X brand is tough and not brand friendly. It is also not very friendly to the consumers,” he said. "It also takes away from Twitter's remaining goodwill and brand equity," he added.

Can the X brand be confused with adult content? "If I take the time every morning to block or report graphic and inappropriate posts, some might say that regardless of brand, Twitter is already an X-rated site now that certain content and quality controls have been removed," said Liz Miller, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Constellation Research, a technology research and consulting firm in Cupertino, California.

"The real danger this move presents is that advertisers and users will go further without meaningful, real business direction," he told TechNewsWorld. “Shout into the air that you are a public town square and this town

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