Goodbye Kentico Cloud, hello Kontent!
Kentico Cloud has undergone a rebrand, and is now called Kontent. In my opinion, it was long overdue! You might have seen the marketing from Kentico about the new name and image, but here are my thoughts on the transformation from the agency side.
Kentico Cloud has emerged from its cocoon, and is now a beautiful butterfly known as Kontent. This isn't the first time we've seen its name change as it evolved from its humble beginnings as Draft over four years ago, but it will certainly be the last.
Come for a little stroll down memory lane, those of you who maybe can't quite match my fanboi levels of the last 4 or 5 years...
- 2014: Kentico CEO Petr Palas realised that the market was changing, and people were starting to move away from massive on-premise WCMS platforms, to cloud-based, best-of-breed SaaS services for their digital marketing. I believe he had also had enough of what we were all seeing plaguing content-heavy projects – content always came last, and was a huge bottleneck for most projects, when it was supposed to be king!
- 2014: Kentico launched Kentico Draft, a purely cloud-based SaaS product, that allowed teams to create and populate content models, independently of their traditional CMS platform. They also produced a module to integrate with Kentico EMS, so users could easily import their content from Draft when their site was ready for it.
- 2015: Kentico released Kentico Deliver, a high-performance, globally distributed API interface for published Draft content. Deliver transformed Draft from a content gathering tool to a fully-fledged Headless CMS.
- 2015: Kentico also released Kentico Engage, an add-on for Draft and Deliver, which provided marketing automation capabilities such as analytics, content segmentation, activity tracking and a single customer journey view.
- 2016: At their 404 conference in Las Vegas, Kentico merged and relaunched Draft, Deliver and Engage package as a single product: Kentico Cloud. This marked the start of their official "Dual Rail Strategy", where they maintain two completely separate products: the mature, traditional WCMS platform in Kentico EMS, and the cloud-first, SaaS product in Kentico Cloud.
- 2018: GDPR arrived, which for reasons that could probably be spun out into a post of their own, Kentico Cloud's focus moved away from analytics and activity tracking, and more towards content performance, and being the best tool possible to manage your content in the cloud.
- 2019 (today): Kontent launches with a bang at https://kontent.ai/.
So why rebrand again?
This is where the perspective of an agency and an end customer come in. While Kentico Cloud is a great name and was building strong brand recognition in the market, there were two nagging issues:
1. Kentico's "Dual Rail" product strategy is unique, and frankly not easy to understand
It was a good idea, initially, to leverage the significant brand power of Kentico to launch their new product a few years ago. However now that both products are targeting mid-level and enterprise markets but serving different purposes, there is some confusion for new-comers as to what 'Kentico' represents in the market. Most other CMS vendors have a flagship product that is synonymous with their company name. We've seen quite a few customers and even staff members get a little confused about the two being completely separate products. Even Gartner expressed some confusion, while listing Kentico in their magic quadrants!
2. Kentico Cloud is not 'Kentico' in the Cloud
While Kentico Cloud is a great name for a cloud-first content management system produced by Kentico, unfortunately there has already been a big name product on the market for 15 years, which people refer to simply as "Kentico". And made even more confusing, nowadays Kentico typically makes heavy use of the cloud (Azure). This has led to many people assuming that Kentico Cloud is simply Kentico in the Cloud. We've heard talk of Kentico's "Cloud version", and even people asking about switching from EMS to the Cloud, like it would be a simple licensing/hosting change.
Well isn't this all very confusing for existing customers?
Sure, there's going to be a period of time where existing Kentico partners and customers are a little confused by the name change. That's inevitable. However, I know that it will pass quickly, and the benefits will outweigh the concerns by many times.
How do I know this? We recently underwent a rebrand too! Just last year, in 2018, we changed our name from Get Started to Luminary. We were terribly worried about the effect on our existing customers too. But the fact is, they knew us and our offerings, and they got used to it quickly. The point of a rebrand is less about keeping those who already know you content (excuse the pun), and far more about making the right impression on those you haven't met yet. And for those people, it has made the world of difference.
Get used to the name Kontent, because it's here to stay, and it's going to be a big player in the Content as a Service game.
Based on the rumblings and hints in Kentico's email marketing, and the fact that they have their global Kentico Connection conference tour kicking off over the next month, I'd expect to see further efforts from them to reinforce the clarity around the Kentico brand, and their dual rail product strategy that includes Kontent and their flagship EMS product.
Kentico Cloud is dead, long live Kentico Kontent!
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