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Branding lessons from twitter

If you’re looking for a case-study of a carefully managed branding campaign, you can do a lot worse then to check out social media heavyweight Twitter.

Launched in 2006 and now yielding a worldwide usage in excess of 500 million, Twitter is already on its third branding package. The changes are subtle, and the ubiquitous bird has remained, but the brand has been refreshed multiple times as the company have grown.

Branding is a very significant part of website design, giving a company the ability to shape their image and the impact that it has upon customers.

However, the positive impact that rebranding can make is easily eroded by incorrect use of the branding. This is why successful companies are so particular about the way in which their branding is used, and why Twitter have produced such extensive guidelines about the use of their branding.

The Twitter logo and brand guidelines are extremely detailed. Whilst there are particular reasons for this detail, there is much that we can learn about safeguarding brand integrity and prescribing how a branding package should be used.

What do Twitter ask?

You’ll notice several interesting features in Twitter’s branding guidelines.

The company are very particular about the way that the logo is used. This means that previous incarnations of the Twitter logo are not to be used.The company also ask that the logo is not edited in any way, which includes changing colours or adding anything to it.

By outlining these requests (which are primarily aimed at web designers and bloggers) and making the correct branding package freely available to download Twitter have increased thelikelihood of the latest branding package being universally adopted.

Twitter have also outlined a series of “do”s and “don’t”s for companies who use their branding in advertising and marketing materials. This involves the particular use of the bird, #hashtag and @username functions.

Again, these are laid out for web designers in meticulous detail.

Why is Branding so important?

It has to be said that Twitter are in something of a unique situation. An international brand with 500 million users and countless companies and brands looking to integrate the Twitter branding package into their own publicity means that Twitter need to work very hard to ensure the consistent implementation of its branding.

It’s also in the best interests of the end user to use the branding properly! Even if the end user is unable to specify exactly what is wrong, poorly implemented or modified branding will not inspire trust. The worst case scenario is that the branding doesn’t even look official, raising suspicion and eroding confidence completely.

Whilst your approach might be a little different from Twitter’s, we strongly recommend that you produce a simple branding outline for all your employees and partners. This is particularly helpful when rolling out a new web design or branding package. This will help to ensure the integrity of your branding. It will also save time and money as you make it as straightforward as possible for users to find the correct logos, font families and colours for your brand.

If you have any questions about branding why not get in touch with us today.