Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > News

Why Rebranding isn’t the Answer: The Tragedy of Kum and Go

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

In April of this year, Elon Musk decided to change the iconic social media platform formerly known as “Twitter” to “X.” This was a strange choice when one considers the societal impact and brand recognition that Twitter has always known, with the definition of “tweet” even being amended to include “a post made on the social media application Twitter.” By making this rebranding decision, billions of dollars have been lost in brand value. Many of my friends and classmates have continued to refer to the site as “Twitter” regardless of the official rebranding, as “X” just doesn’t have the same ring to it, nor does it have the same colloquial recognition. Users of the website have also had negative responses to the brand change. 

Elon Musk has continuously made moves that have lowered the value of Twitter since he purchased it for $44 billion dollars back in 2022, with several analysts believing that it has lost 32% of its value since last year. So why rebrand the company at all? Elon Musk states that the rebranding had the purpose of changing Twitter from a social media site to an “everything app.” However, losing the kind of brand recognition that Twitter had built shows that Elon Musk has a fundamental misunderstanding of its users, especially when you consider that people on Twitter are generally younger millennials who have no desire to see a website they’ve consistently used for years undergo drastic changes. 

Elon Musk is not the only CEO to make a harmful rebranding choice. Another drastic rebranding choice that will be implemented within the next few years is the American gas station staple known as the Kum and Go. 

Kum and Go is a gas station with most locations in the midwestern United States. It has become funny and popular due to the inappropriate connotations associated with the name of the store. While it is generally used as a convenience store, Kum and Go has been able to put out a merchandising line that is available both through the official Kum and Go website and also through websites such as Redbubble. Several of my friends, in addition to myself, have Kum and Go merch, with many of my friends wanting to buy it from the Kum and Go near my house while visiting from out of state, as not all states are graced with the glory of the Kum and Go.

If you have a gas station with a name that is so popular that people are willing to spend money to have it printed on shirts, hats, and bottle openers, why would you change the name? This is the question I asked upon hearing the tragic news that all of the Kum and Go’s in Colorado will be closed by 2024. Kum and Go has been bought by the convenience chain store known as Maverik, with the intention of rebranding many of the current Kum and Go stores into Maverik stores. 

In my personal opinion, what Maverik fails to realize is that part of the draw of the Kum and Go stores is both the novelty of going to one, as well as the jokes that come with being able to tell people that you’re going to the “Kum and Go.” The Kum and Go brand recognition that had led to people purchasing shirts and hats is simply not applicable to “Maverik.” Maverik simply doesn’t have the humor that Kum and Go has. While I may not be a financial analyst or economist, I feel like rebranding a popular convenience store with a recognizable name simply isn’t the best choice. 

These rebranding choices continue to show the disconnect between the people who run these companies and the actual people who use their products. Kum and Go is a popular convenience store that is able to sell merchandise due to the humor of an inappropriate name. Twitter is an incredibly recognizable social media site that has impacted the way we use words such as “tweet.” Shifting a marketing strategy does not always need to involve a name change to be successful, as changing a recognizable name can potentially cause revenue and advertising loss in addition to pushback from users. I am sad for the day when I will no longer be able to drive down the street to my local Kum and Go to purchase a silly t-shirt for my out-of-state friends. 

Jess Alschuler

CU Boulder '25

Jess is a junior at CU Boulder pursuing an Aerospace Engineering degree with a minor in atmospheric and oceanic sciences. As a writer for the CU Her Campus chapter, she enjoys writing about the local music scene, television and entertainment, and the outdoors. In the future, she hopes to start a career as an Aerospace Engineer working with NOAA on remote sensing. She enjoys running, hiking, reading, and mountaineering in her free time.