30 Jul 2023
  • Website Development

Twitter's Bold Rebranding to 'X': A Risky Corporate Move

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By Tyrone Showers
Co-Founder Taliferro


The tempestuous landscape of the corporate world was recently hit by a proverbial seismic shift as the prodigious social media giant, Twitter, underwent a striking metamorphosis, rebranding itself as 'X.' This enigmatic moniker replacement, which has largely been received with consternation and incredulity, raises poignant questions about the prudence and ramifications of such daring corporate rebranding endeavors.


Embarking on the odyssey of rebranding is akin to venturing into the turbulent sea of uncertainty. According to Caroline Wiertz, a distinguished professor of marketing at Bayes Business School, the fundamental interrogation before undertaking such a journey should invariably be, "Why are we doing this?" Such introspection is of paramount importance, as rebranding invariably is a Herculean task fraught with significant risks.

In Twitter's case, the hazard is exponentially amplified. Elon Musk's audacious decision to rebrand threatens to decimate over a decade and a half of brand building and obliterate a name that has nestled comfortably in our cultural vernacular. Furthermore, the quest to trademark the 'X' presents an insurmountable challenge due to its ubiquity in extant trademarks, making it nearly indefensible from potential legal quagmires.

The Ramifications

Other pertinent considerations in this labyrinthine process include securing suitable website domain names, social media handles, and international trademark rights, each carrying its own sets of challenges and complexities. These variables reiterate the wisdom that a brand, being an organization's most invaluable asset, should only be tampered with under compelling circumstances.

A Cogent Analysis

A cogent analysis of various rebranding expeditions underscores the intricate dynamics and potential pitfalls associated with this process. Standard Life Aberdeen's controversial vowel-dropping venture to 'Abrdn', despite its initial shock, was met with begrudging acceptance due to its meticulous execution and communication strategy. Meanwhile, Facebook's shift to 'Meta' reflected the company's broader ambition to transcend its roots and be recognized as a metaverse entity, a gamble yet to garner investor confidence.

An examination of Dunkin' Donuts' truncation to 'Dunkin'' presents a masterstroke in the art of rebranding, aptly retaining brand equity while reframing the company as a versatile, modern, on-the-go brand. In contrast, the short-lived transformation of Royal Mail to 'Consignia' serves as a cautionary tale, exhibiting the perils of misconstrued rebranding efforts. Petco's evolution to Petco Health and Wellness demonstrates a triumphant rebranding initiative, a strategic response to consumer values and Website Developments.

Radical Renamings

Musk's penchant for radical renamings, underscored by his audacious attempt to rebrand PayPal as and even naming his offspring X Æ A-12, does not necessarily evoke confidence in the corporate realm, especially given his track record. Mike Proulx, research director at Forrester, labels Twitter's rebrand as an "extremely risky move." This is exemplified by the adverse public sentiment reflected in Forrester's poll, indicating that 43% of respondents viewed Twitter's name change as a misstep.

This paradigm shift has been met with widespread negativity among Twitter's user base, with 67% of Twitter users expressing dissatisfaction as reported by YouGov. Consequently, the rebranding, viewed as a de facto app relaunch, has unfortunately alienated users and advertisers, leading to the pressing question: Was Twitter's X-periment a leap of faith or a foolhardy plunge?


Rebranding is undeniably a double-edged sword; when wielded judiciously, it can carve a new, prosperous path for a company. Still, a miscalculated move can potentially sever the ties a brand has meticulously built with its consumers. As corporations navigate the tumultuous seas of brand identity, they must carefully weigh the potential rewards against the inherent risks, lest their ventures become a cautionary tale for the annals of corporate history.

Tyrone Showers