Elon Musk risks 'New Coke'-style marketing blunder after ditching blue bird for 'X' logo

Elon Musk risks ‘New Coke’-style marketing blunder after ditching blue bird for ‘X’ logo

Billionaire Elon Musk risks a significant marketing blunder with his controversial decision to ditch Twitter’s iconic blue bird branding in favor of a generic-looking “X” logo – with one expert suggesting it could rival the infamously ill-received “New Coke” rebrand of the 1980s.

The refresh, while part of Musk’s long-stated strategy to build a do-it-all “super app,” was nevertheless a potential “jaw-dropper” for advertisers that “take[s] away from the value” offered by the bird app’s existing brand, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives told The Post on Monday.

“This is taking a page out of the ‘New Coke’ branding,” Ives said. “Musk is ripping the Band-Aid off on the iconic birdie and going toward the super-app ‘X’ brand. It’s a head-scratcher from a timing perspective, but makes sense for the long term given his vision.”

Musk, who projected a giant X onto the exterior of the company’s San Francisco-based headquarters after making the decision Sunday, is attempting to lure back advertisers that fled the platform over its loose content moderation practices and to reverse a major loss of revenue since he bought Twitter for $44 billion last year.

Meanwhile, Meta-owned rival Threads has already amassed tens of millions of user signups since its debut earlier this month.

Elon Musk changed Twitter’s logo to an “X” on Sunday.
AFP via Getty Images

Gary Black, the Future Fund co-founder and a noted Tesla bull, openly questioned the logic behind Musk’s move.

“I’m struggling with rebranding Twitter to X and losing the little blue bird’s brand equity,” Black said, adding that “advertisers who dislike change may wait to see how the branding change impacts advertising efficacy.”

Musk risks making the worst branding move since The Coca-Cola Company’s infamous decision in 1985 to change the soda’s famed recipe in favor of an updated version called “New Coke.” The public backlash was so severe that Coke execs quickly reversed course and went back to using the old recipe.

“I really don’t understand this “X” business. @elonmusk is a forward thinker, and probably has a grand plan, but this one is really hard to see,” said Albert Bridge Capital founder Drew Dickson. “Feels like dumping years of brand value in a single swoop.”

Elon Musk
Musk plans to build an “everything app.”
Getty Images

While the Twitter rebrand appeared to catch many users off guard, Musk had telegraphed a looming change for months. The billionaire argued the platform would serve as an “accelerant to creating X, the everything app.” Musk also changed Twitter’s corporate name to “X Corp” earlier this year.

Musk is a vocal proponent of the concept of a “super app” such as China’s WeChat, which offers services ranging from payments to food delivery and ride-sharing.

He also has had a long-time obsession with the name “X.com,” which was the original domain name associated with a financial services startup that Musk founded and eventually merged with PayPal.

Musk and his handpicked Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino have already touted the “X” rebrand as a major step in the right direction – with the latter referring to it as part of the process for “transforming the global town square.”

Musk has long been fixated on the X.com name.
Twitter/Elon Musk

“X is the future state of unlimited interactivity – centered in audio, video, messaging, payments/banking – creating a global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities,” Yaccarino said. “Powered by AI, X will connect us all in ways we’re just beginning to imagine.”

Social media users, however, were not convinced.

“To be fair if I’d done this much damage to a brand in under 12 months I’d also probably change the name and logo. But I’d also change MY name and face and walk into the sea,” comedian Mark Watson tweeted.

“Call it “Twitter X”, that’s cleaner,” joked the account @HighYieldHarry alongside a shot from the scene in the 2010 film “The Social Network,” where actor Justin Timberlake’s fictionalized version of Sean Parker tells Mark Zuckerberg rename his site “Facebook.”

A black-and-white X is Twitter’s new logo.
Getty Images

“They’re changing the Twitter logo to an “X”. Literally the icon I click on when I want to close something on my computer,” comic book writer Dan Slott said.

Some users, such as former GOP congressman Joe Walsh, said they had no plans to call the company “X.”

“It’s a free country. He’s free to change the name to X. And I’m free to keep calling it Twitter,” Walsh said.

Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion last year.
Getty Images

A day before he unveiled the rebrand plans, Musk brushed off criticism he has received over his oft-erratic leadership of the company.

“Frankly, I love the negative feedback on this platform. Vastly preferable to some sniffy censorship bureau!” Musk tweeted.

Source by [New York Post]

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