We
name

companies
& products.

Marked for Success

River + Wolf’s branding specialists have worked with companies of every size and across a wide range of industries, from beverage, technology, and consumer goods to electronics, healthcare, and software, to mention a few.

In addition to collaborating with global brands, we enjoy working with small businesses, social enterprises, and non-profits. Featured naming samples from our portfolio appear below; non-naming samples available on request.

Consumer
Makeup

Burt’s Bees needed a name for it soon-to-launch, 98.9% natural, liquid makeup. The name needed to keep within the Burt’s Bees plain and simple tone—nothing overly metaphorical. Goodness Glows, the final name chosen from hundreds of submitted candidates, suggested beauty inside and out. With its simple message and memorable music, the name will help keep this full coverage makeup uppermost in mind.

Consumer Food & Beverage
Protein Chips

This client wanted a name for their new high fiber chip that makes meals biologically complete. The product name also needed to sound like a movement. To accomplish this goal, we combined “planet” with the Latin ‘arian’, a suffix meaning a person who advocates for a set of principles. Extra bonus? The word ‘plant’ is embedded in ‘planet’.

App
Communications

Ramzey Chelab needed a name for his all-in-one name conferencing app—a name that highlighted ease and efficiency. The name also had to hold appeal for Arabic speakers, the primary target market. The elegant, two syllable Sleekmeet, with its repeated letter “e” and powerful “k” proved the perfect fit. The minimalist design further emphasized the streamlined nature of the app.

Business
Self-Development Events

Steven Cayre came to River + Wolf in need of a name for his new enterprise — a company that organizes day-long events composed of events — wisdom talks, meals, and arts — designed to nourish and enrich the whole person. The name needed to be warm and welcoming, but not sound like a spa or yoga retreat. Journeywise hit the mark, speaking to the idea of traveling through life in the smartest possible way.

Consumer
Lifestyle

Target needed a name for their new active wear that blended fitness, fashion, and function into a short natural word name. After reviewing over 600 candidates, ranging from the descriptive (Life in Motion) to the suggestive (Limber) and allusive (Joule), the Target team finally landed on Joy Lab. Partnering “joy” and “lab” together instantly conveyed fun, happiness, and well-researched and tested materials.

Partner Agency: Collins

Engineering
Business

RJR Engineering, a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, needed a new name. What emerged in conversation with Director of Marketing, Kevin Opp, was the idea of caring teams working collaboratively to solve the toughest problems. Encorus delivered on that interest, suggesting engineers (en), chorus (corus), and heart (cor).

Real Estate
Brokerage

Founder Troy Palmquist envisioned his company as a unique real estate brokerage hub where home buyers, property owners, neighbors and friends could drop in to discuss their real estate goals over hand crafted coffee. The Address, brought two key communications under one roof: the concept of a physical destination and the crucial role of “location” in (real estate) the industry.

Business
Property Investment

A full service investment firm focused on the acquisition of multifamily real estate assets needed a new name to replace their existing moniker. The new name needed to comfortably fit with the industry’s more conservative tone while playing to strength, support, and multiple services. TriArc Properties captured all these interests through its image of an arc plus multiple offerings through the idea of 3.

Business Platform
Professional Network

After building businesses at CNET, Yahoo!, and Time, Inc. Bettina Cisneros needed a name for her own enterprise—a platform that provides tips and reviews along with pre-vetted products, services, and resources to shore up the lives of professional women. A play on the word “joist”–a support beam–the name conveys both the platform’s function and the happy feeling that comes when things get done and done right.

Business
Craft Brewery

With over 4,600 craft breweries in the U.S. naming new suds and breweries poses quite a challenge. Most English words are in use and hop puns are almost impossible to find—besides, who wants to be a hoppy cat? Given client interest in a Florida-centric name, we focused naming efforts on the Sunshine State. Hundreds of names later we reeled in a big winner—Bone Hook—a prehistoric fishing hook found in many of Florida’s rivers.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Business
Consultancy

Frances Miaetta came to River + Wolf needing a re-brand for his consulting firm that helps clients refashion their businesses through game design insights. Digging deep into game theory and games history, we eventually unearthed the ancient Egyptian board game 20 Squares. Not only is it one the world’s oldest and most brilliant games, but its alphanumeric name crisp, contemporary, and possessed great brand storytelling potential.

Business
Market Intelligence

The merger of Buyer’s Lab and Infotrend required a new name. The dual meaning of “key”—something essential and something that unlocks—especially when paired with “point” with its suggestion of exactness and conciseness quickly found favor. Adding intelligence strengthened the mark from a TM perspective and highlighted the quality of the company’s reports and advisory services.

Agency Partner: JK Design

Consumer
Book Delivery

This bespoke book delivery service project perfectly complemented River + Wolf’s love of literature. For client Elizabeth Lane, we developed over 300 names, Scop (a Scottish storyteller), Bibbly, Unbound, Ink Spell, Cloverbells (Emily Dickinson), Paper Quilt, and Bookfolk. After lots of lively discussion, everyone agreed that Quarterlane fit the bill as it elegantly captured the personal nature of the business plus its quarterly delivery schedule.

App
Taxi Transport

Arro is a ride-hailing, free app for iPhone and Android that connects people directly to NYC yellow taxis. With quick pickups and no-surge pricing Arro is fast becoming a success story. After traveling several naming routes, we landed on Arrow, a name that speaks to speed and efficiency. The client, Creative Mobile Technologies, loved the name and once we lopped off the final consonant, it reached its destination.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Software
Design Platform/App

Whole New Home Ltd., a North American-based SaaS e-commerce and omni-channel platform, wanted a name that better captured their brand. Kabuni, a Swahili word that translates as “design”, speaks to what designers do in a fun and playful way. Too, as the platform provides a place where users can grow their business, the name suggests “designing” a career.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Medical
Surgical Product

The medical technology company, TransEnterix, had a great product—the ALF-X surgical robot system. Unfortunately, the existing name felt cold and clinical. So the search began for a new name that would would appeal to both surgeons and patients while conveying the system’s chief function – to enhance the surgeon’s senses. Senhance accomplished both these goals with the added benefit of being highly ownable.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Software
Ecommerce Platform

Pixafy, an ecommerce platform that gives life to online shops, approached River + Wolf for a powerful, premium sounding name. But when many rounds failed to yield the desired mark, we suggested they re-visit their chosen tonality—why not try a whole new approach like a proper name? Happily, they agreed and after exploring names A-Z, we mutually landed on Zoey, a female name meaning life in Greek.

Technology
Digital Music Co.

Tenoch and Tlacael Esparza called on River + Wolf to develop a name for their new music technology company. Using the latest advances in signal sensor and signal technology, the company’s products reinvigorate and expand the possibilities of live performance. We found our inspiration in an Aztec myth that tells of a once dark world transformed through music. The name, Sunhouse, resonated with the founders for numerous reasons, among them its link to their Aztec heritage.

Initiative
Women's Program

River + Wolf teamed up with esteemed colleagues, Catchword, to re-brand Unilever’s new initiative for women. And while not typical for competitors to work together, it proved a great experience for all. After two rounds of naming, GALvanize caught fire with the Unilever team. “Gal”, as part of the word, addressed women without excluding men, and the word’s meaning directly conveyed the initiative’s purpose.

Agency Partner: Catchword

Food & Beverage
Plantain Chips

The cooks at Agro had developed a delicious plantain chip. The missing ingredient? A name. Wishing to reflect Caribbean culture, we journeyed through the fascinating world of island traditions. When we happened on timbal–a kind of Cuban kettle drum–we knew we’d hit the mark. With its ties to Caribbean culture, festive music, and a cooking utensil associated with chip making, the name proved hard to beat.

Personal Care
Hair Product

John Frieda’s non-silicone formula with Pure Coconut Oil eliminated frizz while adding control and manageability. The sought after name needed to convey a product that surpassed the ordinary in a direct way. “Beyond”, when partnered with “Smooth”, created an easy to grasp name with just the right amount of style.

Agency Partner: LPK

Finance
Re Investment

We explored multiple naming paths before coming up with BlackPlum for a soon-to-launch real estate company. The name instantly conveys the company’s unique selling position—juicy returns through investments in plum properties operating in the black. It also calls up the plum blossom, a nearly universal symbol of hope, and reflects the founder’s passion for gardens and orchards.

Services: brand naming, storytelling, logo, website
Design Partner: IrasemaDesign

Finance
Impact Investment

BlueFinch, the name developed for a social impact investment platform, suggests giving wing to entrepreneurial undertakings while playing to industry terms like hatch, nest, and incubator. On top of that, the bird’s coloring and its habit of repurposing old nests, symbolically expresses the founder’s belief that trust, brilliance, and ecological sensitivity should be at the heart of every enterprise.

Services: brand naming, storytelling, logo
Design Partner: Irasema Rivera

Finance
Family Investment

The founder of this investment advisory platform tasked River + Wolf with the job of creating a name that spoke to exclusivity, protection, and total discretion. Drawing on the founder’s Turkish heritage, we created Demira Gate. Pairing demira, the Turkish word for iron, with “gate”, communicates a trustworthy, transnational company with an involved principal dedicated to personal service.

Services: brand naming, logo
Design Partner: IrasemaDesign

Non Profit
Assistance Dogs

When Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota joined forces with another organization, their service area expanded. Even prior to the merger, however, the Executive Director wanted a name that better expressed the organization’s dynamic spirit. From over four hundred entries, Can Do Canines beat out the competition, winning best in show for its catchy sound, positive message, and meaningful wordplay between can and canine.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

Personal Care
Hair Product

Redken sought a dazzling name for their recently created hair coloring and strengthening system. Given the product’s 48 prismatic shades and the extensive research behind its development, we needed a name that tied to both beauty and science. The dual meaning of Chromatics accomplished this, playing to the science of color and the art of music. An added perk? It evoked the high shine of chrome.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Consumer
Elastic Ingredient

Hanesbrand had developed an ingredient that created softer, less binding waistbands in their briefs, boxers, and boxer brief products. In keeping with the brand, the name needed to be simple and easy to grasp. We mixed and matched hundreds of words to create ComfortFlex, a mark as relaxed and functional as the waistbands themselves.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

Automotive
Motor Oil

To differentiate Quaker State’s long-lasting motor oil from its competitors, we veered away from the industry’s preference for descriptive marks. To find a straightforward, but energetic name, we took a lot of ideas for a test drive, not stopping until we reached Defy—a name mark that said it all. Defy time. Defy an engine’s wear and tear. Defy corrosion. We were thrilled when the client said the name defied their expectations.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Finance
Credit Card

Discover needed a name for its 5% cash back card. Discover More fit the bill, creating a strong call to action while announcing the card’s many benefits: more money back, more services, and more opportunities to pay back without accumulating further interest. The company kept this imperative form for their latest card—the Discover It card. We also named Open Road, a gas mileage card.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

Food & Beverage
Organic Wine

To name Jacob’s Creek’s organic wine, we used the Rule of Three—a writing principle that asserts things bundled in threes are more satisfying than other numerical groupings. For this Australian wine, we picked three nouns—earth, vine, and grape. To emphasize the wine’s additive-free nature, we followed each with a period. The result? A pure and simple name that gets straight to the point.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Consumer
Water Bottle

Rubbermaid’s great new product offers a solution to the billions of plastic water bottles overflowing landfills. After inserting a simple filter, you fill the BPA-free bottle from the tap and voilá—pure water for the drinking. The client mulled over many naming candidates, from coined to metaphoric, before selecting the straightforward, but musically memorable FreshFilter.

Agency Partner: Nameflash

Technology
Surgical Laser

Founded in the 1980s, the Spectranetics Corporation markets the only Excimer Laser System approved in North America, Europe, and Japan for minimally invasive interventional procedures within the cardiovascular system. GlideLight succinctly captures the tool’s two key benefits—luminosity and ease of movement. With its memorable assonance and alliteration, the name proved a perfect fit.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Food & Beverage
Organic Tea

The founders of this artisanal tea wanted a name that paid homage to their Indonesian heritage. So we steeped ourselves in the region’s cultural traditions and brewed up Ikaati—a coined word inspired by ikat, the Indonesian dyeing technique and kati, the traditional vessel for transporting tea. We also created stories for each brand line and developed more than one hundred tea names, among them Malaysian Moon, Black Orchid, and Peppermint Sun.

Agency Partner: BrandEngine

Technology
Internet Of Things

The Swiss technology giant, AGT, sought a name for a subsidiary company focused on IoT (internet of Things). Stakeholders insisted the name be very short and convey intelligence, actionable insights, and immediacy. Knowla, coined from “knowledge”, plus the word “now” (embeded in “know”), covered all three ideas in two short syllables.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Technology
Fitness Tracker

Motorola wanted a name for their fitness tracker, a device that planned workout regimes, generated personal goals, and analyzed performance outcomes online. The name needed to be short, punchy, and reasonably transparent. We hit our stride with MotoActv. Moto recalls the parent brand, along with motion and motivation. When fused with a truncated form of the word active, the name took off running.

Agency Partner: Namebase

App
Training

TopDog Media turned to River + Wolf for a name for their new app—one packed with daily, boredom-busting activities for humans and their canines. Given the app’s international market, the name had to be easy to pronounce. We unleashed hundreds of candidates—among them Pooch, Fetch, and Dog Days. MyDog365 leapt to the fore, capturing the idea of everyday activities in a warm and personable way.

Electronics
TV Ingredient

Samsung 4K SUHD TV’s re-defines the viewing experience with a revolutionary technology that makes true-to-life color possible. In addition to creating authentic color, the technology sharpens the picture. The name needed to embody these concepts while being easy for non-native English speakers. Crystal Color captured both concepts in a richly imagistic but surprisingly simple way.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Technology
TV Ingredient

Traditionally television display colors feature adjustment points of red, green, and blue. Samsung believed viewers deserved a more colorful experience. To attain this, they designed a technology for 4K UHD televisions that added magenta, cyan, and yellow to the standard primary hues. This resulted in colors better matched to nature’s shades. Naming ideas ran the spectrum, from the cool to the classical, but in the end, PurColor prevailed.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Technology
Blind Control

Hunter Douglas, the world’s leading maker of window blinds and coverings, was in search of a name for their latest innovation—an intelligent motorized operating system that enables you to create the perfect ambiance, anytime of day or night. The name, PowerView ™ Motorization, captured the company’s request for an easy to say moniker that embraced both technology and visuals.

Agency Partner: Namebase

App
Social Sports

QFive is an online social hub for the athletic community that brings athletes, coaches, and fans together. On the site, athletes can feature their workouts, coaches share their practices, and fans upload some of their favorite moments. After a lot of overtime, we came up with QFive, a name derived from the urban slang, “Fifth Quarter”—the party that follows a four-quarter football game. To give the name competitive edge and create a wider playing field for design, we shortened “Fifth Quarter” to QFive.

Electronics
Speaker

After developing a whole raft of names getting at the concept of all around sound, among them Encompass, Everywhere, Wrap, and SoundAround, the Samsung group chose Radiant360 for their newly developed omni-directional wireless speaker. In addition to conveying multi-directional sound, the name suggests audio that is clear, pure, and brilliant.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Technology
Pet Micro Chip

Bayer’s Animal Health Division’s pet-tracking chip featured an ISO scanning device that helped re-unite lost animals with their owners. The search ended when we found Rescue, a mark in total synch with the product’s purpose. We then replaced the final syllable with the capital letter “Q” and in one stroke, ended up with a happily ever-after naming tail.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

Food & Beverage
Sushi

Schwan’s Food Service had created a line of frozen seafood and vegetable rolls for school cafeterias. To appeal to their youthful market, they wanted a friendly, but not overly cutesy name. We found our inspiration in the ideogram for Japan, an image generally translated as sun-origin. Along with creating a strong and positive visual, Rising Sun rolls the product’s cultural heritage and freshness into one, bite-sized name.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

Service
Facial Bar

Entrepreneurs Cindy Kim and Matt Maroone came to River + Wolf in need of a name for their upcoming facial bar. But while they liked the “stickiness” of competitor names such as Skin Laundry and Face Haus, they wanted a name that would better reflect their more premium brand. Silvermirror, particularly as one word, straddled the fine line between sticky and elegant. And when an exact match dot.com proved possible, our work was done.

Consumer
Office Chair

The Iowa-based office furniture manufacturer, Allsteel, sought a collection of names for a line of chairs. To match the sleek designs, they requested natural language only—no morphemic mash-ups or other fanciful constructions. After weeks of naming, Clarity, Acuity, Relate, and Sum rolled into place. Like the chairs themselves, these streamlined marks will never go out of style.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

Technology
Outdoor Phone

The NEC Corporation’s new push-to-talk work phone had to convey durability, dependability, and outdoor usage. However, given its executive buyers, they wanted the name to be slightly more refined sounding than the tough-as-nails marks common in this space. Terrain covers a lot of ground. With its French roots, it hints at style while its primary meaning—a piece of land with military advantages—implies ruggedness and the great outdoors.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Consumer
Home Tool

Dremel had developed a nifty DIY tool that cut, sanded, and routed. The name needed to address the tool’s three functions and appeal to both female and male consumers. Trio cut right to the chase, speaking to three uses while evoking the harmony, artistry, and craftsmanship of a musical ensemble.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Healthcare
Patient Program

Janssen’s new initiative filled a need for patients, patient advocates, and Janssen team members to discuss a wide variety of topics, from clinical trial design and advocacy to policy and disease management. The desired name needed to emphasize human connection and warmth without being sentimental. With its memorable alliteration and spot-on meaning, Valued Voices struck just the right note.

Agency Partner: JK Design

App
Long Distance

LANCK Telecom, a Russian-based company sought a name for their soon-to-launch app. The name needed to be simple to say, easy to spell, and no more than two syllables. Yolla suggests “yo”—slang for “hi” or “hey”. It also evokes “ola”, which aurally suggests the international pronunciation of “hello”. Topping it off? “Ola” plays to “olé”, the Spanish way of saying bravo.

Agency Partner: Namebase

Pharmacology
Drug

Ash Access Technology had developed a new drug designed to reduce catheter-related infection events in hemodialysis catheters. The drug’s rich blue color inspired Zuragen, a mark created by mixing together the Latin combining form gen (meaning that which produces), with “zur” from azure. The name also captured the client’s interest in a name featuring a “z” or “x”.

Agency Partner: Strategic Name Development

All trademarks and logos are the intellectual property of their respective companies and hereby acknowledged.

All the names were such high-quality it was difficult to just pick one. We’ve only been using the new name for about three months, but there’s already a noticeable difference in how people perceive us.

Joseph Bramante, TriArc Properties

Thank you for your passion and amazing skills. The process was absolutely fabulous. You went above and beyond and all of us at Unilever appreciate it. Feel free to use me as reference for future clients. I would be honored.

Gail B. Tifford, VP Media and Digital Engagement, Unilever North America

Thank you for helping us achieve some great names that will drive the overall success of our color cosmetic line. It’s been a pleasure working with you!

William Melendez, Associate Marketing Manager, Burt’s Bees

Thanks for all the great names and for such a clear and well-defined process. I will definitely keep River + Wolf in mind for future naming projects!

Bryce Goodwin, Director of Innovation, Belvedere Vodka

Margaret is wonderfully creative, using the deep insights, knowledge and inspiration of a long and entrepreneurial career in the arts to deliver compelling branding solutions.

Lohren Green, Head of Brand and Market Insights at Dolby Laboratories, San Francisco, CA

Margaret [Wolfson, Chief Creative at River + Wolf] was all around a pleasure to work with. She is a true wordsmith and a genius at her profession. She did an amazing deep dive and came up with excellent company name options that my partner and I both loved.

Matt Maroone, Co-Founder, Silver Mirror

River + Wolf’s Margaret Wolfson intuitively understood the message I was trying to convey. Her suggestions were so creative and fresh, and yet so true to my brand's character and story. And her commitment to my business was absolutely stalwart. I feel completely confident saying: River & Wolf is the best of the best.

Elizabeth Lane, Founder, Quarterlane Books

There are very few sure things in life. River + Wolf is one of them. They bring calm, order, and laser-like focus to the complicated process of branding. This results in unparalleled excellence, delivered on time and on budget.

Steven Cayre, Principal, BlueFinch Investments

Margaret is a wonderfully creative wordsmith, editor and naming expert. She adds value and insight into every project and consistently over-delivers. She has an easy, collaborative approach to her work that makes her a joy to work with.

Elainne Roberton, Director of Client Services, CB'a BrandEngine

The team at River + Wolf don’t just deliver—they exceed all expectations. They are unbelievably creative, enjoyable to work with, and thoroughly professional. We cannot recommend them highly enough.

Abe Tatar, Director, The Hysek Group, New York, NY

Through the use of masterful language and crystal-clear strategic thinking, River + Wolf helped us better organize and more clearly articulate the brand, mission, and vision of our PARTNERS® program. We could not have been happier with the results.

Yolande N. Spears, Vice-President, Education and Community Affairs, The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts

River + Wolf developed an amazing presentation of widely varying names. The name we ended up selecting is a perfect fit with our interest in buying and selling quality homes, and the all-important concept of location.They exceeded expectations in both project management and creative development.

Troy Palmquist, Founder, The Address

River + Wolf’s responsiveness was phenomenal, and I liked that the company principal was involved at all touch points. They were completely attentiveness to our specific goals. They did everything they promised and more.

Kevin Opps, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Encorus Group

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