So comes the news that Musk is ditching the little blue bird logo of Twitter and replacing it with an “X”, perhaps the better to align with his space venture. There’s a lot of criticism of it, naturally, most corporations don’t throw away a well established branding symbol without good cause.
But I see how this can play out for Musk. For example, the blue “verified” check mark can now be an X-pense. You could be X-communicated if you are too X-treme, although that seems unlikely given the X-travagent X-emptions of rules. Twitter threads (sorry Zuck) can become X-trusions, and X-tensions of X-hibitionists will be known as X-aggerations of X-cess. And logically, all content will be known simply X-crement.
Anyway I hope he gets some X-citement before this whole absurd X-periment is X-tinguished.
Seems that the MBAs sometimes see a brand as a liability. Remember when “Xfinity” was Comcast? When Peugeot SA bought Fiat Chrysler, they made up “Stellantus” for a name, rather than retain any of the established corporate names. Sometimes established brands are tossed aside to create a new image, with a new brand. Ford probably named it’s small pickup “Maverick” to mine image from the “Top Gun” movies, rather than remind people of Ford’s cheap, rust-bucket, car of the early 70s.
So Musk changes the name, to make it “his”, just like a dog peeing on a fire hydrant.
Musk came up with a online payment system back in the 1990s which he called X.com. That later was incorporated Paypal. Musk was supposedly bent because he thought X.com was a better name. I think Paypal is better. What is Paypal? It is your pal that helps you make payments.
Musk wants to turn Twitter into an everything app that combines social media, payments, video chat, etc. So perhaps there needs to be a name for the overall platform that is separate from the Twitter part.
BMB prediction: Everyone will still call it Twitter. The brand is too strong. And the name fits. Each tweet is like a bird chip. Short and fast by design.
I remember when Comcast [here] was Adelphia. Heck, some of the cable boxes on the streets here still say “Adelphia” on them!
Another ridiculous example is HBO first changing in a very confusing manner to “HBO Max” and then shortly thereafter dropping the HBO and going entirely to Max. “HBO” was one of the iconic and instantly recognizable brands for quality video entertainment, and they just threw it away.
Same for Twitter and Tweet. “I saw a tweet” is ubiquitous at this point and it’s ridiculous to throw that branding away.
Now throwing a good brand away doesn’t always mean failure, sometimes it works out, but you never know if it might have worked out better with the well-known brand name still around.
In an interview Zaz said “HBO” did not play well in the heartland. Too liberal. Too Hollywood. Too, you know, upscale. Everybody else had already appropriated “Plus” (Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Discovery Plus, ESPN Plus, BET Plus), they thought “Max” would give them a fresh start.
Speaking of, in a lifetime faraway I was running a station in Pittsburgh. The call letters might be familiar from your history book: KDKA, and in Pittsburgh they are HUGE. I was told more than once that being the GM there was second only to being the Mayor. A major ad agency pitching our business came up with an (unrequested) TV campaign for promotion of the station. They thought the call letters were associated with “old”, and that by changing the image we would attract a younger audience. They threw the call letters out, they were never mentioned in the split or in any ancillary materials.
Heh. We thanked them for the effort and left, never to do business with them again.
Seriously Twitter was under priced. X will be a huge success. I mean all of that.
I know from experience Twitter’s ad manager was not good. Any improvements in that will make X super successful. The audience is large enough there to help it be ultra successful making the mcap of $44 b plus debt not bad.
I don’t know if “X” is trademarkable at all. Apple started putting a lower case “i” in front of the name of everything they made. I have a Serta “iComfort” mattress. Someone else makes an “iComfort” thermostat. BMW and VW both put an “i” in front of the names of their EVs.
Did you read the article? It absolutely can. Just ask Musk as he already lost that battle over the Model E/3.
To quote the article:
X is so widely used and cited in trademarks that it is a candidate for legal challenges - and the company formerly known as Twitter could face its own issues defending its X brand in the future.
“There’s a 100% chance that Twitter is going to get sued over this by somebody,” said trademark attorney Josh Gerben, who said he counted nearly 900 active U.S. trademark registrations that already cover the letter X in a wide range of industries.
Apple started putting a lower case “i” in front of the name of everything they made. I have a Serta “iComfort” mattress.
Yes, but if Serta were to try and make a communication device with “i” in front of it and they would likely be in violation. The copyright is usually industry/technology specific.
You can have a Mustang car that is copyrighted and Mustang Ranch that is also copyrighted but Tesla had to settle for the Model 3 because Ford had a copyright on the Model E. If E can be copyrighted, then certainly X can be.
The Model 3 was codenamed Tesla “BlueStar” in the original business plan in 2007. An intended name of “Model E” was not used owing to Ford’s trademark for an electric vehicle expected to be released by Ford in early 2019.
I don’t know that Musk would necessarily disagree that switching the name probably destroys a fair amount of brand value that’s been built up around the “Twitter” function. It’s worth noting that other tech companies that have changed their names late in life (Alphabet, Meta) still kept the name and branding associated with their primary services (Google, Facebook) even after making the switch.
I think that’s a clear indication that Musk doesn’t really care about the “Twitter” part of Twitter all that much. IMHO, he didn’t buy the company just because (or even primarily because) he wanted to own the micro-blogging service - he really is dedicated to his everything (or at least financial services) app. He wanted to buy a nine-figure user base.
He’s going to pursue a different model than Alphabet and Meta, apparently. Those companies have multiple enormous apps (for example, Google and YouTube, Facebook and Instagram) - but for all their interconnectivity, they keep them very much separate apps and very much branded separately. Musk seems not to want to do that - he doesn’t want “XPay, a Twitter company.” He wants one app with multiple functions, like WeChat. The Twitter function may not even be the most important, or even a very important, part of that app - any more than book sales are really much of what makes Amazon valuable these days.
Personally I think that effort is doomed to failure (hard to get permission to offer financial services if you’re going to have such a confrontational and hostile view of regulators, and you can’t replace customer service with a emoji auto-response in that field). But I think that if Musk’s long-term goal is to convert Twitter into the “X app” he’s always wanted to build in order to prove to Peter Thiel that, no, Musk has the bigger thingamabob…well, it’s probably a necessary step to move towards that goal.
Because neither car is simply called “i.” iD4 is trademarked as is iX. iPhone is trademarked but the letter “i” is not.
Again, E is trademarked for cars which is why Tesla, despite Musk’s desire to have an “ess eee ex” line up of cars, had to settle for the 3. If the Model 3 was instead the Model E3, it would have been fine as well.
Similarly, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) also has a strict standard for registering a single-letter trademark. It must meet the requirements of being “distinctive, non-descriptive, and non-generic”.
In other words, a single letter must be unique and not commonly used in a particular industry or business. It should not describe the product or service that it represents, and it should not be a generic term. For example, the letter “A” could not be trademarked for use in selling apples.