What’s in a Name? The Origins of Axis41

Topics: Axis41

Most companies have a story behind their founding or name. There’s Amazon and Jeff Bezos’s desire to reflect the vastness of what his company could—and obviously would—become. There’s Nike and Phil Knight’s passion to help champion athletes everywhere with the Greek goddess of victory. There’s even the apocryphal account of Reed Hastings starting Netflix after he was fed up with Blockbuster’s outrageous late fees.  

But what about us? Many of our clients have asked, “What does Axis41 even mean?”

Well, here’s what happened. Our three founders, Ron Pynes, Steve Wiest, and Reed Wright, each came from respective backgrounds of event marketing, branding, and technology. During the middle of the dot-com boom, they concluded that the future of marketing and advertising wasn’t going to be limited to any one speciality—but multiple. They firmly believed that in order to engage an audience and deliver unique experiences in the future, these specialities must come together at the axis of digital technology.

“Naming our new baby after the partners wasn’t good enough. We wanted the uniqueness of what we did to be represented in the name,” said co-founder Ron Pynes. “Some office hunting, a web address, and a mountain of paperwork later, and bam, Axis41 was born.”

As for the 41? That’s the geographic latitude of Salt Lake City. Well, to be exact, it’s 40.7608° N, but that doesn’t look too great on a business card.

Fifteen years later, a poetic twist was added to the name. Merkle, a global agency specializing in data-driven marketing, purchased Axis41. Their speciality in data provided the resources Axis41 needed to successfully tackle the next marketing wave of the future and become a true full-service digital agency.

So today, the name remains, but it has become even more meaningful as we deliver precision experiences from the axis of technology, brand, and now data.