We just have to talk about it. We have to talk about X.
Throughout the past week, the internet has been in shambles over the app formerly known as Twitter. Okay, the word “shambles” might be hyperbolic, but the general sentiment remains. (Also, we needed an excuse to use “hyperbolic” in a sentence. What can we say? We wanted to make our 10th grade English teacher proud.)
In any case, the name change of Twitter to X has sparked conversation amongst the general public. “Out of all the names Elon Musk could pick,” netizens are asking, “why ‘X’?” And while it would be fun to do a deep dive into Musks’s fascination with the letter, we’d rather spend our time discussing the implications on the brand. We are marketers, after all.
While Musk hinted at the name change back in October 2022, many of us didn’t expect it to actually happen. But at the tail end of July 2023, Musk made the move.
Twitter emerged 13 years ago and has since become a household name. Rightfully so, many have concerns about doing away with the name. It’s like changing the name of Cola-Cola or Kleenex. An abundance of brand recognition is at stake. Times says the Twitter brand could alone be worth $15-20 billion.
To make matters worse, X didn’t do a proper rebrand. Sure, Musk changed the name and logo, but the bright blue color scheme and bird iconography is still sprinkled throughout the website. This mismatch causes severe brand confusion for consumers. And (as of right now), people still post Tweets. One article says, “By rebranding Twitter as X, Musk breaks the connection between the name of the platform and what people do on it. It seems unlikely that people will refer to sharing Xs or re-Xing any time soon.”
Most critics say the rebrand is bound to tank the company, and consumers seem to be unhappy about the move. So much so, in fact, that there’s been a surge of 1-star reviews of X on the App Store.
As of now, the future success of X is up in the air. We’ll have to wait to see what happens for the social media giant.
In the meantime…what are we all going to do about the blue bird icon in the footer of our websites?