The year was 2009. Our content brand, Junta42, was floundering. Don’t get me wrong. We were getting thousands to engage in our content online, and many signed up to receive the newsletter.
But driving revenue was a big problem. A lot of that had to do with the name.
When we launched Junta42 in 2007, I thought it was an interesting Web 2.0 name. Its service was an “eHarmony for content marketing” – a matching service for providers and customers. So I thought Junta (meaning “meeting,” among other things) was a nice touch. And since I couldn’t acquire Junta.com, I added my favorite number. And voilà … content brand engaged!
But, the name was a challenge. Abstract brand names can sometimes work (think Patagonia and Nike), but for those to work, a ton must be spent on awareness and promotion.
For us simple content entrepreneurs, any confusion about what the brand does is generally a problem.
The simple truth was this: Any person who saw or heard of Junta42 didn’t have a clue of who we were, what we did, or whether we were relevant.
So, let’s go back to 2009.
Struggling, we talked to dozens of our customers and audience members and realized we had a brand problem.
Going into 2010, customers asked us for education on content marketing, including research and in-person events. The Content Marketing Institute brand was born. (It launched as Content Marketing Institute powered by Junta42 before we dropped “powered by Junta42.”)
The change made an immediate impact. In less than a year, we hit $1M in revenue. Five years later, we hit $10M.
Revealing the newest name change
In 2021, we launched the Creator Economy Expo (CEX) as the event for content creators serious about growing their content businesses. “Creator economy” as a term was the talk of the space. From social media creators like MrBeast to Web3 entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuck, the creator economy was as sweet as New Coke (yes, that’s a 1980s reference).
However, after a successful inaugural event in May 2022, lumping CEX into the creator economy became increasingly challenging. More and more, venture capitalists used “creator economy” to talk about their new software-as-service investments. News sites like The Information used “creator economy” to talk solely about influencer channels like TikTok and Instagram, mostly ignoring newsletters and podcasts. They lifted up the Kylie Jenners of the world but rarely wrote about any of the content entrepreneurs covered by The Tilt.
But the worst part? Our audience of content entrepreneurs didn’t see themselves as part of the creator economy. For whatever reason, these bloggers, authors, writers, podcasters, and YouTubers didn’t feel like “creator economy” spoke to what they were doing with their content businesses.
That was a BIG problem – the Creator Economy Expo didn’t speak to the people we wanted to attend.
After multiple meetings with the team and seemingly hundreds of conversations with our audience, we knew a change needed to be made. We wanted the event to be all about the attendees’ needs and pain points (not the industry’s). We wanted the event brand to be both practical and aspirational. We wanted to say the name of the event and have our audience know exactly who it was for and what the purpose was.
And today, we are proud to announce the rebrand that achieves that. CEX now stands for Content Entrepreneur Expo (see how we did that).
A content entrepreneur:
- Delivers consistent information to a group of people, with plans to build a loyal audience and then monetize that audience over time.
- Creates content to build a long-term, successful business (not as a hobby).
- Generates revenue from their audience in multiple ways.
What’s funny is I wrote an article about the importance of terms (like “content entrepreneur”) two years ago when we launched The Tilt. That’s how long it took us to make this important switch.CEX changes brand name to Content Entrepreneur Expo in 2024, says founder @JoePulizzi. #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet
And now we are ready … Drum roll, please:
CEX 24 – the Content Entrepreneur Expo – is open for registration. After a successful first two years of this event, we believe our renewed focus on being the event for content entrepreneurs only makes this event a better option for you, the serious content creator.
If you are a blogger, writer, author, podcaster, video creator, or multihyphenate creator looking to take your content business to the next level, we want your in-person networking home to be CEX.
Space is limited. We are keeping this event small to maximize the value for you. I truly hope to see you in person.
Oh, and on a final note, our good friend and 2023 Content Entrepreneur of the Year Jay Clouse went through a rebrand of his own last year (which has also led to amazing results). You can check out his rebrand journey here.
P.S. So you don’t have to scroll up, here’s a link to register for the Content Entrepreneur Expo for the best rate available.