Since Elon Musk took over the reins of the social network Twitter after its acquisition for 44 million dollars in October 2022, controversy has been the order of the day due to controversial (not very well received by users) changes to the platform. . Something that was certainly not seen coming, was the bold rebranding of Twitter now called “X” but was it really necessary? From Uzink, as experts in branding and brand positioning, we tell you everything about the successes and mistakes of the new face of Twitter. Shall we start?
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How did Twitter branding evolve?
Since its inception, this social network has projected a consistent and effective brand image. Both in its concept and in its graphic representation, the branding of Twitter has been impeccable.
The origin of the branding and logo goes back to the early days of the platform. In summary:
Name: Twitter comes from the English verb “to tweet”, which refers to the sound that birds make, which in Spanish would be “twitter” or “trill”. The name was intended to communicate that messages on the platform were short, fast, and consistent. Alluding to the trills of birds. Simple, memorable and with a solid message. Could there be a better example of a good naming?
Color: Blue has been a signature color of the brand since its inception. Although there have been small variations in hue over the years, blue has remained the primary color associated with the platform.
First logo: Initially, the logo represented a bird with more detailed strokes with the name "Twitter" below it.
The evolution of the bird: Over the years, the bird has been simplified and modernized. It went through several iterations before arriving at the design that many know. With each version, the design was more stylized and minimalist than the previous one without neglecting its essence.
In its latest version of the logo, it was decided to exclude the name of the platform and only use the already iconic silhouette of the bird. The idea was that the bird was already recognizable on its own and there was no need for it to be accompanied by text. Spoiler – They were correct.
The rebranding of Twitter: a success or a serious mistake?
Taking risks can lead to remarkable results. However, it is crucial to be cautious, especially when the image and reputation of the brand is at stake. He branding It's the DNA of a brand, and a drastic change can be detrimental, making all previous efforts to stay in the top of mind of the consumer fade quickly.
Although it may seem like a simple task, rebranding goes beyond simply changing the logo, and it is not a decision to be taken lightly. It is crucial to choose the right moment and carefully evaluate if it is what your brand really needs. With this reflection in mind, we lead you to what, in our opinion as branding experts, these were the 5 mistakes made in the rebranding of Twitter.
Choosing the right moment for a rebranding
This is a delicate task that can make the difference between the success and failure of a new brand identity. It is not just about feeling that it is time for a change, but about evaluating a series of factors such as the current state of the market, consumer perception and alignment with the strategic objectives of the company. Untimely rebranding can confuse customers, dilute the strength and reputation that has been achieved.
When the rebranding of Twitter was announced, the company was already navigating troubled waters due to the multiple changes driven by its new owner, Elon Musk. These changes ranged from drastically reducing its workforce to issuing ultimatums to employees to commit to working hard or leave the company.
Among the users, the predominant feeling was restlessness and concern. They felt that the elements that had made them fall in love with the social network were in danger of disappearing. In this context of general discontent, the decision to change the brand identity and remove the iconic blue bird was, without a doubt, a significant mistake.
Respect the personality of the brand
This is a fundamental principle in both marketing and graphic design. It is a golden rule that emphasizes the importance of putting aside our personal preferences to focus on the essence and brand values. This is particularly crucial when considering any type of significant identity change in the company. The visual and conceptual elements that make up the brand are not mere decorations; they are the DNA of the brand and the key to connecting with the public.
Taking into account the aforementioned, it is evident that Elon Musk has a predilection for the letter 'X'. From his first venture, which bore the name of x.com and later became PayPal, to the most recent acquisition that brought Twitter under the umbrella of 'X Holdings Corp,' this bias is notorious. Tesla even offers an 'X' model, his aerospace company bears the name of SpaceX, and how can we forget the controversial name he gave to one of his children: X Æ A-Xii.
When evaluating the changes in the color palette and the new Twitter logo, everything indicates that the redesign seems to be more in tune with Musk's personal tastes than with the intrinsic personality of the brand.
Internationalization of the Brand
Whether in the branding phase or during a rebranding process, a crucial aspect that should not be overlooked is the connotation that the symbols and elements of the brand may have in different cultures. This is especially relevant if it is a brand with global reach, like Twitter. What may be well received in one culture may have a negative meaning in another. In the case of twitter rebranding, the X for many people can have a negative or rejection meaning.
It is essential to remember the potential obstacles Musk could face when trying to register the trademark in different countries, especially due to legal restrictions that can vary from one jurisdiction to another. Registering a symbol as universal and simple as the letter “X” could not only be complex from a legal point of view, but could also require a significant investment of resources and capital. Each country has its own laws and regulations regarding trademark registration.
Strategy to announce rebranding
Announcing a rebranding is a delicate process that requires careful strategy to ensure a positive reception. It is vital to prepare the public with campaigns teaser or social media activity prior to the announcement. The message must be clear, coherent and be accompanied by visual material that highlights the renewed elements of the brand, without losing sight of its essence. Following the announcement, ongoing communication and feedback is key to adjusting and reinforcing the new approach.
Elon's surprise announcement about rebranding Twitter, made via tweet, left many of us with the impression that it was a hasty decision, almost as if he had made it at shower time. Following the announcement, the new logo began to appear in certain areas of the platform, but without overall consistency. For example, the domain remained twitter.com and the color palette retained its iconic blue despite the abrupt announcement touting black as the new institutional color.
The bold rebranding of Twitter under the leadership of Elon Musk has shown that even the most daring decisions need to be grounded in a solid branding strategy. From timing to consistency in implementation, every detail counts. The transition from Twitter to "X" offers us a series of valuable lessons on the importance of respecting the personality of the brand, being aware of its global impact and having an effective communication strategy.
If you want to avoid the mistakes made in Twitter rebranding and make sure that your own branding strategy is successful and well received, don't hesitate to contact Uzink. We are experts in branding and positioning, and we can help you navigate the complexities of rebranding or creating a brand from scratch. Together, we will make sure that your next step in branding is the right one.