Like any creative endeavor, naming can be messy. And there is nothing wrong with mess. It is part and parcel of creative work. To keep the mess from turning into crazy chaos, however, it’s important to have a defined brand naming process.
Helter-skelter brainstorming sessions between colleagues, friends, or in-house marketing teams or “naming contests” seldom work as they apply no method to the madness of naming. At River + Wolf, we’ve developed a streamlined, five-step process that, if followed, leads to high quality, well-received names.
If you’d like to learn more about our brand naming process, please download our naming guide. Here you will find the definition of the five steps of a well-designed name development project.
I was impressed by how they pinpointed our needs and provided a list of names that hit our brief perfectly. Within two rounds, they gave us a list of names that thoroughly fulfilled our requests. The workflow was great.
Meridith Miller, Chief of Staff, NCC Media
It’s difficult to choose just one thing that makes them stand out because it was such a positive experience. The knowledge they brought to the project was on another level. They have extensive business experience and have implemented a process that clearly works for them and their clients.
Theresa Harris, CEO/Founder, TAH Services
I found the responsiveness and thoroughness of River + Wolf very impressive. They also went above and beyond in responding to our (sometimes changing) attitudes towards names, which required that they explore quite a few concepts on our behalf. Margaret was extremely knowledgeable and was clearly an expert in her field.
Jeremy Tillman, President, Head of Marketing and Product, Ghostery
Thank you again for the quick turnarounds on the naming project and great body of work shared. I look forward to another opportunity to partner with River + Wolf in the future.
Felicia Midgett, Senior Manager, Agency Operations, Coca Cola
Their understanding of the legal limitations of naming as well as the wide net they were able to cast in order to present us with numerous names and so many good options. The workflow was very clear and precise.
Dana Miller, Vice President of Marketing, Motiion
The team at River + Wolf brought a lot of value to the table. River + Wolf knows the naming business, including all of the legal ramifications that go into it. Through the transparent process, we had great conversations that led to an excellent outcome. We are super excited about our name.
Margaret Murphy, CEO, Bold Orange
River + Wolf, by far, had the most soul of any naming agency we interviewed. Throughout the process, we felt empowered and heard. Not only did the process help us come to a name, but it also deepened our understanding of what it is that we are trying to build. I couldn't be more impressed or satisfied with the process
Brophy Tyree, Co-Founder, Regenerative Travel Start-Up
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
We had been working with a rebranding agency for the past year, so we gave them clear criteria and priorities. River + Wolf went above and beyond our expectations. Their team streamlined the process and was very knowledgeable. I can’t think of anything they could improve.
Heather Appel, Communications Manager, Partnership for Working Families
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
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
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
I really liked the hands-on nature of the founder and her ability to probe you with questions that get you to think about what you really like in a name. The workflow was aligned. The process was a genuinely fun experience and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Dr. Stephen Lee, Founder, Healthcare Start-Up
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
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
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
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
They performed very well. We find that a lot of marketing companies don’t understand our space since it’s quite technical in nature. Everything was right on budget and within our timeframe. We had the option of doing two rounds, but we opted not to do so since we were happy with the first round.
Jeremy Van Horn, Director, Strategy/Technology, IFD Corporation
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
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
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
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
River + Wolf had seamless project management skills that expedited the entire process. River + Wolf had the passion, knowledge, and creativity needed to make a naming project work.
Jenna Kiernan, Senior Associate, William Blair
Margaret was always responsive and made sure to address all our concerns. All in all, it was a very smooth process. Margaret's direct involvement in the project as the founder, and her guidance throughout the process, is impressive. There is nothing they could have done better.
Osman Abbasoglu, Project Lead, VerScale
Internal and external feedback to the name has been overwhelmingly positive. Expertise, creativity, and responsiveness are hallmarks of River + Wolf’s work. Too, they very supportive. Margaret has been a real champion for my company. Compared to River + Wolf, the communication I had with other agencies felt really impersonal.
Michel DuPres, CEO, Tandem Goods
There were three companies I had discussions with, but River + Wolf understood what I was doing, what my industry was like, and what I was looking for. I’m very satisfied with River + Wolf’s process and their work—the quality of the discussions was great, and they are very organized. It’s hard to do naming and they’re experts at it.
Grégoire Leleu, Founder,Vertical Blue
They were able to deliver something that I wouldn’t have thought possible given the timeframe. I’m personally happy with the outcome, and my team is as well. Margaret (Founder & Chief Creative), moved mountains to make sure that things got done on time and to my satisfaction.
Kashif Naqshbandi, Chief Marketing Officer, The Frank Group
I really enjoyed working with Margaret and her team. Margaret was very thorough, thoughtful, and she put a comprehensively creative touch on their process. River + Wolf’s name ideas dominated the top-20 list that was later generated by focus groups and consumer research. River + Wolf was easy to reach, thoughtful, and very helpful.
Ashley Davidson, Senior Marketing Manager, Big Fish Games
River + Wolf made a tremendous effort to ensure they met expectations and developed not only a fitting new name, but also rationale behind the name for effortless messaging. They go above and beyond to make sure they conform to our expectations. They worked so hard--even over the holidays--to ensure they found the perfect name for our company.
Marlea Clark, EVP, Marketing and Insights at Women’s Marketing Inc.
The project started slowly for us because we were going in different directions, but Margaret Wolfson is phenomenal and made it a really smooth, effortless process. The professionalism, psychological viewpoints, and knowledge of the business made River + Wolf an excellent partner for us.
Maria Roberti, Marketing Director, Ringmaster Technologies
We are fully satisfied with the name, and we are excited for our company to launch. We believe the name is creative and different without being too elusive. River + Wolf was efficient, creative, dedicated, and thoughtful. The moniker is representative of company goals and stands decidedly apart from others in the industry.
Joie Jager Hyman, Co-Founder, Hugo
Their level of creativity and passion for what they do set them apart from similar vendors. Their collaborative approach yielded outstanding results. Executive-level involvement ensures an enjoyable process. They consistently create exceptional deliverables.
Perry Abbenante, President, Abbenante Consulting Madécasse Chocolate
I trusted River + Wolf to deliver perfectly. And they did. We’ve gotten a lot of praise from colleagues for the logo and brand name. River + Wolf was helpful throughout the entire process, which was very detailed. In addition to the naming suggestions, they were able to offer ways for us to develop our overall branding.
Linda Yin, Marketing Director, Foxx Development, Inc.
River + Wolf generated insightful, fresh, and striking ideas and delivered a promising list of company names. Their exemplary presentation skills also highlighted their trusted expertise. River + Wolf had seamless project management skills that expedited the entire process.
Albert Comas, CEO, Yazara
River + Wolf are great listeners and delivered a name that meets all requirements. Their responsiveness and flawless project management contributed to the positive experience. The internal team and the leadership are very impressed with the results.
Lydia Brantingham Payne, Marketing Communications Manager, PlasticsOne
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
Our team was very pleased with the new name. We’re looking forward to launching our new name in Europe with a name we can be proud of. The work flow was very easy. Margaret was a joy to work with and they were very understanding during the process. We had an exceptional experience.
Jamie Milas, VP of Marketing, Medical Micro Instruments S.p.A
We are so happy with the name River + Wolf helped us find. The whole team was regularly in touch and communication was excellent. River + Wolf combines professionalism with a personal touch to create a unique and rewarding engagement.
Nishant Batra, President, Wagg Inc
We’ve received positive feedback regarding the name. They excel at project management. I appreciated their approach and professionalism. It was easy to work with River + Wolf’s creative team. There’s nothing they need to improve.
Evgeny Blinov, Product Operations Director, Wargaming