Back in the summer of 2002 I had the experience of being laid off. Immediately I began working freelance projects and contract work to make ends meet. In an effort to present myself as a bona fide, well established business, I began searching and thinking for a unique name that would represent this venture. The name had to be different, catchy, abstract yet mean something if someone were to ask the question, “What does the name of your company mean?” Another quality I felt the name must have was to be able to use a domain name with the most common .com associated with it. By 2002 this was quite a challenge, but it was an effort I had been involved with during the renaming of the prior agency for which I worked. The outcome of that exercise was a name that was interesting and had meaning but the domain name for the company’s website had to append the word group after the actual company name. I never felt comfortable with this approach so I felt challenged to think up something that sounded clever, had meaning relating to what the business does and was able to stand on its own with regards to its .com domain name.
Besides redesign websites, I have many other passions. One of these passions takes me to the outdoors, to remote regions of northern New England where I stand in one spot for hours at a time casting a fly fishing rod’s line into the current of a swiftly moving river hoping to attract a rainbow trout or the likes to rise to the delicate dry fly pattern at the end of the leader floating there on the top of the water. In this early stage of my explanation, you may now start to see some slight analogy forming between the ultimate goal of my company to that of a fish being attracted the hook in disguise.
Now back to my naming challenge.
After unsuccessfully researching random words throughout the Encyclopedia Britannica, I decided to take a crack at using a different type of encyclopedia. The Encyclopedia of Fishing! A book my wife had bought me for a birthday present years before. It was at the back of this publication that I spotted among many other words and phrases the words Wake Fly followed by the definition:
A dry fly pattern that floats atop the water, creating a wake, which in turn attracts a fish to rise.
Upon reading its meaning, I was instantly struck at the similar basic principal shared by this little Wake Fly and what I have done for years using graphic design, internet technology and messaging. When executed successfully, both attract the attention of a market or intended audience.
Now that I had a what I felt was a viable name that actually related to what my business at it’s core was about, I had to examine it further through Network Solutions to be able to claim the .com domain and finally the Google test to determine the prevalence of the word/name Wakefly. To my delight, Network Solutions confirmed the domain www.wakefly.com was available to be purchased. Now my Google test. Even further to my delight, Google yielded only one result! That one result linked to some obscure Japanese musician website. I now had what I felt were important issues addressed in naming the fledgling company.
With this name and its derivative meaning, Wakefly all these years later continues successfully produce work that “hooks” its client’s audiences and target markets, converting those “hooks” to opportunities that enable business to grow.