Twitter's rebrand: What does it mean for brand identity and user loyalty?by
We discuss the Twitter rebrand and the potential consequences for the platform's image and relationship with its users.
In the fast-paced digital world, companies need to stay relevant by connecting with their audiences in new ways. Twitter has recently rebranded itself as 'X', which has sparked conversations.
This change is more than just a name swap; it signals Twitter's ambition to expand beyond its original scope. However, the success of this rebranding will depend on how users react to the new identity. Will they embrace the change, or will they miss the familiar bird logo and everything that came with it?
Embracing the X-factor
Twitter's rebranding appears to be a strategic attempt to reflect the platform's growth under new leadership. From a platform centred on short text posts, Twitter has evolved into a diverse network encompassing audio, video, and interactive content. By adopting the X identity, the company aims to portray itself as dynamic, adapting to changing user preferences.
Squadhelp.com's founder Darpan Munjal, tells MyCustomer: "In this context, X certainly has the potential to be a versatile and memorable brand name that can be applied to various tech-related ventures. It also aligns with Musk's other businesses like PayPal, SpaceX, and Tesla."
Aaron Goldman, Chief Marketing Officer at Mediaocean, agrees: "The model is more familiar in places like China where 'super-apps' rule the day. Over time, people will get more familiar and comfortable with the idea of X being a catch-all of sorts."
Bye bye birdie
The move signifies a departure from the iconic bird-themed logo and associated words. However, the success of this rebranding hinges on how users perceive this transformation. Will we start referring to it as 'Xing' instead of tweeting?
There is already a new brand on the block, so doubling down on brand legacy would have been a smarter move at this point.
"To choose to lose this level of brand equity as part of a rebrand (one which was - unlike Facebook/Meta - unnecessary) is a foolish move," notes Laura Richards, Founder of marketing agency Idea Junkies. "It's also an odd choice coming on the heels of Meta's Thread launch - there is already a new brand on the block, so doubling down on brand legacy would have been a smarter move at this point."
Brand identity and perception
A brand's identity significantly influences how customers perceive and interact with it. A rebranding effort can signal a company's willingness to adapt and stay relevant. For Twitter, adopting the X identity is an opportunity to redefine its image, enticing users with a fresh outlook.
As Permele Doyle, Founder and President of Billion Dollar Boy, says: "In its defence, the rebrand does help to align the Musk brands - bringing Twitter closer to Space X and everything that it represents. The ambiguity of the X brand also allows the leadership to take the platform in new directions."
The rebrand does help to align the Musk brands - bringing Twitter closer to Space X.
The success of the X rebranding will ultimately depend on how users interpret and respond to this change. Embracing a new identity may excite some, but others may feel a sense of detachment from the platform they were once familiar with.
Doyle argues there is a lack of clarity surrounding the rebrand: "We're still unsure what the direction of this new platform is. And, given the CEO's relatively vague public announcement of the launch of the new brand, so are they."
Building loyalty in a changing landscape
Loyalty is a coveted goal for every brand, and emotional connections play a crucial role in fostering customer and user loyalty. Twitter's rebranding to X opens opportunities to form new emotional connections with its user base. X may attract users by presenting itself as a dynamic and evolving platform. However, there is still a possibility of losing the loyalty of current users. People who are accustomed to Twitter's traditional branding may have difficulty accepting the X identity.
Darpan Munjal argues the rebrand could be one step too far, even for the most loyal users: "Switching to X when some of the platform's core user base is already considering alternatives risks alienating even the users who may have stayed loyal during the original change in leadership."
Balancing innovation and brand recognition
When undergoing a significant rebranding effort, companies must be prepared to face risks. Twitter's transformation may not be well-received by users attached to its original identity. Balancing innovation with brand recognition is a challenging task.
Replacing Twitter with X.com seems like it could be a personal choice.
At the moment, people are questioning the reason behind the rebrand. Katrina Haggarty, spokesperson for Business Name Generator, says: "Elon Musk named his first company X.com, and is returning to this name 24 years later. Replacing Twitter with X.com seems like it could be a personal choice, which may not have considered customer research."
To ensure the success of this change, clear communication about the reasons and goals behind the rebranding is crucial. Transparency can help build trust and allow users to understand the company's motives, which could make the transition smoother.
The start of something new?
Twitter's rebranding to X represents a strategic move to adapt and appeal to evolving customer preferences. By embracing a fresh brand identity, X aims to forge new emotional connections with users and enhance brand loyalty. However, striking the right balance between novelty and familiarity will be crucial for the success of this transformation.
If Threads manage to steal market share from Twitter, then this will be seen as another poorly thought-out, snap decision.
The potential rewards are significant, but so are the risks. As Steve Vinall, Director of Global Brand and Communications at Bynder, puts it: "If this is Elon's first step in his journey to deliver a successful and game-changing 'everything app', then this rebrand will be seen as a genius move. In the meantime however, if Threads manage to steal market share from Twitter, then this will be seen as another poorly thought-out, snap decision that will take more value from a beloved brand."
Keir Taylor from Conscious Communications adds: "Could Elon's decision be the start of the end, rather than the start of a new beginning?"