When a Branding Overhaul Just May Make Sense
by Angie Ash, Executive Vice President
Most big companies have embraced tweaking their brand over the years, some to good effect and others not so much. These smaller tweaks are typically noticeable but not jarring. For example, the modernization of McDonald’s storefronts has evolved slowly over the years, and Taco Bell quietly made the move from a multi-colored logo to purple on white.
However, every once in a while, a big brand decides to make a big, hairy audacious move. And that’s not always met without some backlash or criticism. Case in point: the move Elon Musk made by changing the Twitter bird to X.
You may have thought this one was a head-scratcher yourself. Why kill off the famous blue bird and its “tweets”? It’s so iconic. I mean, would Nike ever get rid of the Swoosh?
Turns out, there are reasons both big and small why Elon Musk decided to make this audacious move. Let’s explore them, shall we?
- It should come as no surprise that Elon Musk has already embraced X in his other endeavors—Space X, the Tesla X model, and x.com. He has brand equity in X and it makes logical sense for his acquisition of Twitter to follow suit.
- Elon Musk is an innovator and thought leader. Doing the conventional, expected thing is not in his DNA. Those who want to revolutionize are not afraid of taking big risks, and changing a famous icon to something entirely different is his MO.
- Musk famously said the idea of changing the logo to X was to “embody the imperfections in us all that make us unique.” And “The Twitter name made sense when it was just 140 character messages going back and forth—like birds tweeting—but now you can post almost anything, including several hours of video.” The Twitter name, he added, “does not make sense” anymore.
Before Musk purchased it, Twitter was facing a ton of backlash for suppressing the commentary of some and promoting the ideology of others. Twitter was deleting accounts. Twitter was suddenly the authority on what was ‘misinformation’ on the Covid vaccine and our presidential election, among countless other topics. But, you know what? Americans got a bit testy. They said not so fast. The app started getting deleted by millions of users. It was canceled by those who said it’s not right to cancel what we have a right to see, hear, and judge for ourselves as true or false. Free speech is kind of important to us, it’s what our country was built on, you [insert swear word].
To understand this move in a different way, picture your frustration when you’re working on an important project and your laptop jams up, slows down to a snail’s pace, or revs and sounds like it’s going to explode.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is hit the restart button. Refresh the page. Reboot the system. Rebuild the message.
Time will tell if X will revolutionize modern communication. His bold move has certainly drawn lots of attention and intrigue. Whether you love or hate his decision, I certainly applaud Musk’s bravery. We need more of it, don’t you think?
Ready to make some bold and brave marketing decisions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org