American Media Brand History X

If I could interview Elon Musk right now, the first question I'd ask him is, why "X?"

I'm assuming he means it ironically -- like so many other things he's done since acquiring Twitter -- but as someone who has studied and covered media branding for nearly half a century, I'd really like to know if he understands the generic connotation of "brand X."

And I'd like to understand why he has chosen to scuttle the long-term, built-up equity of the Twitter brand, for better or worse.

Don't get me wrong, it's a question I would have liked to have asked a number of media titans in recent years.

"Why did you rebrand it Alphabet?"

"Why did you rebrand it Meta?"

"Why did you rebrand it Max?"

But brand X? It's got to be an inside joke, right?

Or maybe it's just another example of Musk's sophomoric sense of humor and that he's trying to "own" the multitude of Twitter followers who actually loved that brand.



Or maybe he just wants to own the branding elites -- you know, the ad pros who have built a legacy of branding art and science -- who have placed "brand equity" on a pedestal, by showing them his personal brand is even more powerful and people should just buy into whatever he's branding or re-branding at the moment.

Clearly, Musk has established and built up some terrific equity with the Space X brand, though some of that likely is attributable to his success with another one he owns -- Tesla -- which may be one of the greatest brands ever in the history of branding, not just because of the economic valuation of it, but because of the historical roots it connotes.

But brand X?

Probably just ironic, right?

Whatever his reasoning is, it's been a fun story to cover. Especially how people -- ad pros and consumers alike -- have reacted to it.

Take X Corp. (formerly Twitter) CEO Linda Yaccarino's line extending X-rated re-branding of herself, when she changed her Twitter -- er, I mean X -- handle from @Lindayaccs to @LindayaX.

Also wonder why the CEO of X Corp. couldn't go all-in and get @LindaX?.

But even that was a lesson in be careful what your wish to rebrand as. Almost as soon as she abandoned it, a parody account user quickly grabbed her old @Lindayaccs handle and began having fun with that.

I guarantee you you'll get more laughs from that account than all other @Lindas combined.

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