September 4, 2023
In March 2006, a momentous event occurred in the realm of social media that would change the way we communicate forever. Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter, posted his very first tweet. Little did he know that this 24-character message would mark the birth of a platform that would transform the world. While we often hear about the surface aspects of building a brand, such as the name, elevator pitch, and logo, there exists an intricate and invisible life force that is equally essential to the success and longevity of iconic brands.
Jack Dorsey had the fundamentals right from the beginning. He had a catchy name, a concise format of 160 characters (reminiscent of a bird's tweet), and a logo that would become one of the most recognised symbols on the planet. These elements formed the visible surface of Twitter, but what truly mattered was the invisible life force that Jack infused into the platform.
Great brands, like Twitter, possess the ability to pivot, adapt, and thrive in changing times. This adaptability is possible because their founders planted the seed of their idea and nurtured it with unwavering dedication. The deep roots of these brands enable them to flourish in any climate, but there's a catch—they must stay true to their roots.
The problem arises when new leadership takes over iconic brands and becomes fixated on making their mark by introducing drastic changes. It's essential to remember that these brands are not blank canvases for personal experimentation. They are living entities with a rich history, a devoted community, and a profound connection to the hearts of those who interact with them.
In the case of Twitter, its potential to expand into various areas aligns with the vision of figures like Elon Musk. However, the key is not to bulldoze what has grown or to extinguish the life force that sustains it. Every iconic brand carries within itself the essence of its founders' vision, and this essence must be preserved.
It's a source of frustration to witness those who take over businesses with little awareness of the heritage and significance of the brands they now oversee. They often become overly focused on making their own mark and being seen as the "new" leaders. In reality, they should approach their role as guardians of something precious and deeply loved by a dedicated community.
When you inherit a brand with a storied past, you inherit its legacy, its history, and its community. You become the steward of a brand that matters not just in the present, but also holds the secrets to its future. This is a responsibility that should be embraced with humility and reverence.
In conclusion, the true magic of iconic brands lies not only in their name, logo, or marketing strategies but in the invisible life force that founders infuse into them. Jack Dorsey's first tweet marked the beginning of Twitter's incredible journey, and its success is a testament to the power of vision, dedication, and community. As we continue to witness the evolution of brands like Twitter, let us remember that they are more than just products or services; they are living entities with a soul, and they deserve to be treated as such. Shame on those who fail to recognise this truth—it's about community, history, and brand, and not just about them.