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X Musks the Spot

It's a fascinating time we live in. At one point Elon Musk was beloved. He was the car-genius-space-hero and everybody's favorite CEO. One year and a free speech crusade later and the people that loved Musk most now say he's some sort of bumbling menace. The cognitive dissonance among the Musk fanboys has certainly been fun to watch. All that aside, over the last 48 hrs I've watched the branding & design community lose their minds over the Twitter rebrand and I personally believe that history is going to side with Musk on this one.

Here are the arguments I've read against it:

  • "He's flushing $1B in brand equity down the toilet"

  • "Killing the birds kills the vernacular. Tweeting is part of the culture."

  • "He's going to alienate or confuse users"

As for brand equity, I'm pretty sure it was the previous Twitter administration who bludgeoned their brand, threw it down a well, and left it for dead. The platform was filled with bots and was useless from a marketing perspective. Whatever your feeling on the Twitter Files, they cast an enormous shadow over the original platform and the damage caused by former execs had been driving down the value of the brand for years. If you prefer to think of Musk as the villain, that's fine. Just know that you're probably the target market for whatever comes next.

Twitter is very different today than it was a year ago and the argument for a rebrand is the perfect storm in which they find themselves – a devalued brand, internal chaos, market disruption, product transformation, C-level support for change, and the loyalty & support for the rebrand by the remaining users. One scroll through Twitter and you'll see that many have fully embraced the "X".

If you're concerned about "tweeting" or whatever a post is going to be called, don't fret. Users will create/adopt a new vernacular that will allow them to claim some ownership over the direction of the brand. I also seriously doubt the C-level at "X" is worried about alienating anyone that's left on the platform. I think we might ALL be ready to live in a world without the bird.

From my POV the time is right. Whether X continues to grow or fizzles out, there is no time for a rebrand like the present. Given the huge stain on pre-Musk Twitter and all of the market conditions, I think it's a no-brainer. Either way I'm enjoying the theater of it all as he reduces the original brand to ashes. If you're a branding nerd, wouldn't it be kinda cool to see the bird come back as a PhoeniX?


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