It’s clear that Elon Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter as “X” is motivated by his own personal vanity, rather than by a desire to create a better user experience for Twitter’s customers. Musk’s 25-year obsession with ‘X’, from the original name of PayPal ‘’ (which now redirects to, the name of his son, X Æ A-12, Tesla’s Model X, his rocket maker SpaceX. Musk sees the letter “X” as a symbol of his own personal brand, and he is using the Twitter rebrand as an opportunity to further his own ego. While garnered 200,000 users shortly after its launch, it’s clear, not one of those users said, “Just X it to me” although many might have said, “I’m going to X this!”

In this blog post, we will explore five reasons why Twitter’s rebrand to “X” hurts brand authenticity. We will also discuss how 1-Stop Design Shop’s ultimate goal of any rebrand is to grow your business and better serve your customers.

5 Reasons Twitter’s Rebrand to ‘X’ Hurts Brand Authenticity

#1 Twitter is throwing away brand equity.

The Twitter name and brand are worth significantly more than the company’s annual revenues. By rebranding, Twitter has ignored this valuable asset and is starting from scratch.

The name and brand are synonymous with real-time news and information. They are trusted by users around the world, and they are used by businesses to reach a large audience. By rebranding, Twitter is throwing away all of this brand equity and starting from scratch. This will be a costly and time-consuming process, and it is not clear that Twitter will be able to regain the trust and loyalty of its users.

#2 All brands need distinctive assets.

The Twitter bird, blue color, and name are all distinctive assets that helped the brand stand out from its competition. By rebranding, Twitter is losing these assets and making it more difficult for users to find and use the platform.

Brand names play a vital role in establishing a visual and auditory connection with consumers. By appealing to both the shape and sound senses, the brand name becomes an essential factor in creating a memorable and impactful first impression of the brand identity. It is at this stage that consumers start forming opinions about the brand, even before interacting with its products or services.

The Twitter logo is part of one of the most well-known brands in the world. It is instantly recognizable and helps users to identify Twitter quickly. The Twitter name is also very easy to remember and pronounce while it is difficult to say “X” in both verb and noun forms. It is not clear whether “to X” means “to tweet” or “to use the X platform.” The new logo for example, for the X platform is simply 𝕏, a generic Unicode character that stands for a “mathematical double-struck capital X.” Should we read into that meaning or ignore it? Brands are typically filled with subtle or obvious meanings, there was no planning and development on the logo. There are various types of brand names and they could be descriptive, evocative, invented, lexical, acronyms, geographical, etc. But unlike human names, the focus is not always on the meaning entirely.

“Musk has singlehandedly wiped out over fifteen years of a brand name that has secured its place in our cultural lexicon.” said Mike Proulx, an analyst at Forrester.

#3 The new name is ludicrously bad.

It’s been clear that brand names that inspire customer loyalty have real value to the company that owns them and shouldn’t be changed casually. The “X” is already used by a number of other companies, including X Games, X Prize, and Xerox. It has negative connotations, such as “unknown”, and “uncertain”.  The x-rated, pornographic-sounding new name has exposed the social network’s users to a wave of security problems that have alarmed experts as they shiver switching to

Now when you go to download the “X” App on your phone, the tagline is “Blaze your glory!” What does that mean? I can’t begin to imagine. X is hard enough to comprehend, but “blaze your glory” just adds to the feeling that this is all X-rated.

There is a clear distinction between corporate rebranding, which involves changing the official name of a company and changing product names. For example, Google changed its name to Alphabet to convey its broader goals beyond being just a search engine, but the search engine itself is still referred to as Google.

Changing product names can be risky as it may lead to a loss of customer loyalty. Therefore, it usually only occurs when there are genuine issues with the existing name. For instance, it was a wise decision to rename Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda to 7UP. Remarkably, PepsiCo took so long to recognize that the Aunt Jemima brand name needed to be retired in light of America’s progress. However, unless there are valid reasons like these, sensible businesses retain brand names that continue to resonate with their loyal customer base.

As of today, Elon Musk has shown no signs of reversal. However, there is a precedent for brands who’ve made transformations and that they reversed after large negative user feedback. For instance, a decade ago the department store JCPenney’s rebranded to JCP but was largely rejected by loyal consumers, which caused them to revert back the name.

#4 People are scared of change.

Advertisers are scared of “weird Elon sh*t” associated with Twitter. They are worried about the platform’s brand safety and media investments, along with the new security concerns.

Elon Musk is a controversial figure, and his ownership of Twitter has made advertisers nervous. Concern about the platform’s brand safety, and the possibility that Musk will make decisions that could damage their brands. For example, Musk has said that he wants to make Twitter a freer speech-friendly platform, which could lead to an increase in hate speech and misinformation. The rebrand comes after months of erratic behavior by the world’s richest person which has turned off users and pushed away advertisers, leaving Twitter in a troubled financial position and increasingly vulnerable to competition.

Rebranding takes time, money and people, which Twitter is lacking now with advertisers leaving and massive staff cuts. This seemly impulsive switch containing many parts has not been in unison. Some platform areas and brand assets were slow to update, and some were even missed. The rebrand has given an overall feeling of instability.

The rebrand announcement was on July 23rd, the next day Twitter replaced the bird logo with an X. The social handles were changed to @x and @xblue. But for a moment, X could only be in dark mode before someone noticed that wasn’t very “bright” and allowed for light mode, too. An entire week passed before the Apple App Store listed the app under the name X. As of August 11th, Twitter advertising services were still called “Twitter Ads”, possibly causing Musk’s advertisers to feel forgotten and unsure. Whoops!

#5 The rebrand is not aligned with Twitter’s mission and values.

Twitter’s mission is to “give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.” Its values include “sincerity, accountability, inclusion, and safety.” 

The new name “X” does not align with these values. It is a generic name that does not convey any sense of purpose or mission. Additionally, the rebrand is being implemented by Elon Musk, who has a history of making impulsive and erratic decisions. This makes it seem like the rebrand is not being driven by a clear vision or purpose, but rather by Musk’s own personal whims. When Musk announced that he is rebranding Twitter to “X”, he said if someone submitted a “good enough” logo that night, he would make it go live the next day. Many would call that careless.

“Twitter’s brand worked so effectively because it was part of our everyday language. Its genius was it could be both verb and noun. ‘X’ will never have the same equity that tweeting tweets via Twitter had.” – Bright Space Principal, Ian Firth

Whether or not Elon Musk’s decision to rebrand Twitter as “X” will be successful is a matter of opinion. On the one hand, the rebrand has been met with widespread criticism, with many people finding the new name, logo, and premise to be unlikeable. However, on the other hand, the rebrand has also generated a great deal of attention, which is something that Musk is clearly seeking.

In an era of disinformation, clickbait, controversy, and engagement at any cost, Musk may have found a way to cut through the noise by rebranding Twitter as “X.” Even if the rebrand is not popular, it is certainly memorable, and it has generated a great deal of discussion. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to turn Twitter around, but it is clear that Musk is willing to do whatever it takes to get attention.

It’s official: Twitter is dead, and X marks the spot of its burial.

Here at 1-Stop, we would do things differently…

We specialize in rebrands, brand refreshes, and even first-time brand launches. We watched the rebrand of Twitter as “X” with horror, and we couldn’t help but think, “They should have hired us!” The new name, logo, and premise are all highly unlikeable, and it’s clear that the rebrand was done in haste without the users in mind.

We know a thing or two about creating a brand that will resonate with new and existing audiences. We believe that with skill and attention to detail, you can craft an original, authentic brand. We understand it is an incredibly complicated undertaking that requires planning, strategy and research. No business should commit to a rebrand without clear, strategic direction and customer-centered reasons. Communicating with customers during a rebrand is key to maintaining your existing client relationships, unlike an overnight switch (like X).

If you’re looking for a rebrand that will help you achieve your business goals, then we encourage you to contact us today. We would be happy to help you create a brand that brings name recognition, strengthens your mission and promote growth.

Check out our portfolio here to see some of our previous work and visit our branding work to learn more about our services. We look forward to hearing from you!