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The Bold New Face of Twitter: Breaking the Traditional Brand Launch Mould

27th July, 2023

The Bold New Face of Twitter: Breaking the Traditional Brand Launch Mould

As the way we consume content evolves, so do the strategies used by big businesses to harness that ever-elusive attention of their audience. Twitter (or X’s) recent rebranding serves as a prime example of how we’re seeing major companies step away from the traditional launching of a brand and pursue more audacious tactics which blur the line between genuine reinvention and a well-orchestrated publicity stunt.

As a branding agency witnessing this paradigm shift, we explore the motivations behind Twitter’s daring move and also touch on Manchester United’s ‘accidental’ new kit reveal at Glastonbury, to understand the effectiveness and implications of these unconventional approaches.

Twitter: The Metamorphosis of the Iconic Bird

Twitter, an iconic social media platform famous for its brevity and immediacy, underwent a radical and hasty transformation with its recent rebrand.

Traditionally, a brand overhaul would follow a carefully orchestrated rollout of design changes, messaging updates, and a gradual adaptation. However, Twitter defied convention by completely replacing its iconic bird logo with a bold and masculine looking ‘X’ that left many users perplexed.

The move ignited a flurry of discussions and speculations across the internet, with Twitter becoming the center of attention in both digital and traditional media outlets. The lack of a comprehensive explanation behind the new design sparked curiosity, controversy, and a whirlwind of online conversations but it’s really not so much of a mystery after all. Elon Musk has owned the domain ‘’ for many years and has been quoted on seeing ‘X’ as an “everything app” where users can shop, chat, book taxis and restaurants and everything in between. However, from a branding agency’s perspective, the overnight transformation was a high-risk strategy that could either elevate the brand’s image or backfire spectacularly.

Musk’s Calculated Gamble: The Publicity Stunt Advantage

The genius of Twitter’s rebrand lay in its ability to create a viral publicity stunt. By departing from the conventional approach and teasing users with an enigmatic logo, they managed to generate tremendous buzz and anticipation. The intrigue surrounding the change had the entire social media sphere actively discussing Twitter, essentially creating free advertising for the platform.

This unconventional tactic tapped into the power of curiosity-driven marketing, where the element of surprise was used to captivate audiences and drive engagement. The rebranding’s unveiling became a global event, drawing attention from all corners of the internet. The “Twitterverse” was rife with speculation, memes, and fervent discussions, ensuring that Twitter remained at the forefront of users’ minds during the rebranding process.

Of course, Twitter isn’t the only recent big business to use unconventional brand launching methods and many well-known brands are pushing the envelope when it comes to more imaginative tactics. A notable, recent example of this is the reveal of Manchester United’s latest kit design.

Manchester United’s ‘Accidental’ Kit Reveal: The Power of Fake News

The Club’s new kit reveal was another instance of a big business using non-traditional means to garner attention. Rather than following the typical approach of releasing the new kit through standard channels, rapper Aitch performed at Glastonbury festival wearing the kit and seemingly ‘spoiled’ the release of the design, which was due just a few days afterwards.

With Manchester United’s only response to the event being a cryptic rose emoji in the comments of the social media post, it was highly speculated that this was fake news and a publicity stunt to draw more attention to the kit design launch and it did indeed bring it to the forefront of conversations and across the internet.

The Advantages of Non-Traditional Rebranding Strategies

Both Twitter and Manchester United’s rebranding approaches illustrate how big businesses are leveraging non-traditional strategies to capture attention and drive engagement. This new wave of branding techniques brings several advantages to the table:

Viral Reach: Publicity stunts and unconventional approaches often lead to viral sharing, extending the brand’s reach far beyond its regular audience.

Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to traditional advertising campaigns, many of these strategies are cost-effective, relying on the power of social media and word-of-mouth to spread the message.

Emotional Connection: By involving the audience and sparking curiosity, these approaches can create a more profound emotional connection between the brand and its customers.

Fresh Image: Rebranding through unconventional means allows companies to break away from their established image and show a more dynamic and daring side, appealing to a wider audience.

The Drawbacks and Risks

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the potential drawbacks and risks associated with these non-traditional approaches:

Backlash: The line between a successful publicity stunt and an outright failure can be thin. Missteps may lead to backlash and negative sentiment towards the brand.

Long-Term Impact: Whilst these strategies may create a short-term spike in attention, their long-term impact on brand perception and loyalty remains uncertain.

Authenticity Concerns: Audiences are becoming increasingly discerning about authenticity. If perceived as disingenuous or manipulative, these approaches could alienate customers.

Brand Consistency: Companies must ensure that these bold maneuvers align with their core values and long-term brand strategy to avoid confusing customers.

In conclusion, Twitter’s recent rebranding and Manchester United’s kit reveal demonstrate how big businesses are exploring new avenues to grab attention in today’s digital age. By leveraging unconventional approaches, they have managed to create impactful, engaging, and memorable campaigns.

As a branding agency, we recognise that while these strategies offer undeniable benefits, they require a delicate balance to ensure authenticity, consistency, and long-term success.

Embracing the boldness of new branding techniques can be a powerful tool, but companies must tread carefully to navigate the fine line between an effective publicity stunt and a potential fiasco.

If you’re considering a re-brand for your own organisation then get in touch with us at Sanders + Jay for advice from our in-house brand experts. Perhaps we can even get started on a revolutionary reveal of your own!

We create high performance, business driven websites for a variety of markets, where our team of website designers capture your business goals in powerful designs that will engage your audience and drive the growth of your brand.

We help businesses create big ideas that inspire people and engage their clients or consumers to buy into their product or service. We invest time in getting to know a business, which allows us to deliver outstanding visuals.

Our experienced team offer a co-ordinated approach to your marketing to produce a tailored strategy. From tailored campaigns to full-service support we have a range of services to help transform and grow your brand.

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