Looking in the Mirror — Introducing Farinella

There’s an old adage that businesses that don’t take stock are doomed for failure. Well, after an extremely interesting year, F.W.I.W. Creative, LLC and Tidal Wave Social’s principal David Farinella has spent the past month looking at where we’ve been, what we’ve been doing and where we want to go.

It was eye-opening in that there were almost equal parts positive and, well, negative. Outstanding new clients came aboard, legacy clients continued to work with us and our team executed strong work throughout. At the same time, there were a handful of risks that just didn’t pan out. Such is business.

During the mirror-gazing, David reached out to a dozen or so current or past clients, trusted advisors and friends who have an amazing perspective on what we do and our value to our clients.

A couple of things became immediately clear and are driving some major changes here.

Number one, effective 1 January 2011, the name of the agency is changing from F.W.I.W. Creative to Farinella.

Why? Well, here’s what one recent client said: “I came to you originally because you put your name and reputation on the line on my project. When I refer you I always say, ‘Call David Farinella.’ I don’t say, ‘Call F.W.I.W. Creative.’”

Also, a number of people were confused by the name. What we thought was a clever nom de plume wasn’t. F.W.I.W. (for what it’s worth), we heard, called into question the value of our work.

The bottom line is that we are extremely proud of the work we do, see that there is a value to clients and don’t want to do anything to dilute that perception.

“I do put everything I have into each project and so my name is important,” David says. “It was that way when I was a journalist and it’s that way now.”

Our Art Director Steve Epstein is working up a handful of logos for the new agency.

In addition to renaming the agency, we are simplifying our brand. To that end, F.W.I.W. Creative and Tidal Wave Social will be working under the Farinella name.

Our services will not be changing. In fact, our creatives, writers, designers, social media and public relations experts, and media planners and buyers will continue to service all assignments.

So, while 2010 gave us the opportunity to continue to work with our long-term clients Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Bad Animals and CSS Studios, we were also fortunate to help some great new companies, including J. Ogden White Associates, Stuntbird Games and Devereaux, Kuhner & Chin LLP.

We were also happy to assist Alex Speaks, a San Francisco-based nonprofit that benefits Bay Area schools working with autistic children, with a new website and social media strategy and execution.

Sitting back now, we’re grateful for the clarity this process offered. Our Client Satisfaction Surveys were all positive. Our relationships are strong. We are poised to be nimble in the projects we can take on in 2011.

“But most of all,” David says, “I’m proud to put my name on every project that comes through the door. Further, the things we learned this year make me optimistic for 2011. I’m looking forward to all new challenges and improving every day.”

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