Naming Agencies

Naming a company, a product, or a service is challenging. You need a powerful and original name, but also one that reflects your brand’s personality and values. You also want a name that has been screened for legal reasons and one that lends itself to a strong domain. A naming agency can take care of all that and more. Choosing the right one though is a challenge in itself which is why we prepared a list of the top companies in the field, backed by our custom methodology and hiring tips.

Company Size

Company Size

Freelancer

2-9

10-24

25-49

50-99

100-249

250+

Undisclosed

Hourly Rate

Hourly Rate

$0-$24

$25-$49

$50-$99

$100-$149

$150-$199

$200+

Undisclosed

Min. Project Size

Min. Project Size

Undisclosed

$1.000

$5.000

$10.000

$25.000

$50.000

$100.000

$500.000

14 Top Naming Firms

Zinzin

Zinzin is a naming and branding outfit known for creating powerful products and agency names that make brands stand out against the competition. The team at Zinzin is dedicated to helping companies rise above generic branding to truly make an impact. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Tanj

Tanj is a global brand naming and language studio based in New York. The agency aims to leverage the skills of its writers, namers, strategists, and researchers to help businesses stand out. The company has worked on top company names like Bravia, Juke, Natural Bliss, and Wii. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

The Naming Group

The Naming Group is one of the world’s top global business naming companies that have partnered with leading Fortune 500 companies, including the likes of Kohler, Reebok, Capital One, and General Motors. They have also created memorable names like Venture Card, Chevrolet, and hundreds of others. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 5,000

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Tungsten

Tungsten Branding provides company naming and branding services for all types of businesses, from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies and everything in between. The company is known for its insightful and intuitive brand name creations that align cohesively with a business, product, or company. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 10,000

$ 200+

2-9

United States

Wonsupona

Wonsupona is a strategic brand naming and storytelling consultancy based in San Francisco, California. They are committed to helping brands develop their stories, evoke emotions, and encourage action. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 10,000

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Lexicon Branding

California-based Lexicon Branding boasts a wide range of big brand clients, including Febreze, Pentium, and Blackberry, to name a few. The company provides market research and branding services to more than 3,900 clients in 19 countries, with over $350 billion worth of products sold featuring the Lexicon brand. See profile
Service focus

Market Research

Branding

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

10-24

United States

PS212

PS212 has helped numerous companies develop their brand and create excellent names over the 25 years it’s been in existence. Born and raised in New York City, the firm believes that its expert problem-solving skills and creativity are what helps brands express their character, inspire action, and influence sales. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Marketing Strategy

Key features

$ 10,000

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Catchword

Catchword is a brand naming service that has been naming companies, products, and services since 1998. Based in Oakland, California, Catchword views naming as a creative exercise and important component in developing your brand presence and values. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

Undisclosed

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Namebase Brand Naming

Namebase Brand Naming was founded over 20 years ago. The company is made up of marketing, creative, linguistic, and market research experts who service leading companies in industries across the board, including finance, automotive, technology, and retail, to name a few. See profile
Service focus

Market Research

Branding

Key features

$ 10,000

$ 100-149

2-9

United States

WANT Branding

WANT Branding is a company focused on delivering top-notch user experience and bottom-line growth for a variety of businesses, regardless of size or industry. Their creative brand consultants are agile and collaborative with an open way of working. See profile
Service focus

Brand Strategy

Brand Naming

Brand Identity

Key features

$ 50,000

$ 200+

2-9

United States

ZENMARK

Zenmark is a global brand agency based in San Francisco. The firm boasts an impressive clientele, from fast-growing start-ups to household name giants like GM, GSK, and HP. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 10,000

Undisclosed

2-9

United States

Pollywog

Pollywog is a Minneapolis-based brand naming agency. The company is here to guide you from uncertainty and create a name that truly expresses what your brand is all about. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 5,000

$ 150-199

2-9

United States

Matchstic

Matchstic is one of the top branding companies in the country, specializing in building brands that fit in perfectly with the ethos of their clients. The principles of the team behind Matchstic rely on bravery and honesty. They are always ready to dive into the unknown and get the best outcome possible. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 50,000

$ 150-199

25-49

United States

NameStormers

NameStormers is an award-winning brand naming company that endeavors to create memorable and relevant brand and agency names. The firm has been operating since 1985 and boasts a top-notch team of writers and naming experts who have worked with start-ups, Fortune 500s, and non-profits. See profile
Service focus

Branding

Key features

$ 10,000

$ 100-149

2-9

United States

How We Ranked The Best Naming Firms

To rank the best names in the game, we’ve put some strict criteria in place. Right from the start, our team of researchers gathers as much information about each company as possible, including the average size of their campaigns, the professionals involved, and the way it leverages different creative and strategic efforts. 

 

Classifying The Best Brand Naming Companies

Many companies specialize in a wide range of services, including product, brand, service, and business naming, as well as domain services. Some firms, on the other hand, cater to specific industries or clients, while others will expand their services to brand creation, rebranding, positioning, and architecture, etc., or, in other words, are not just naming but branding agencies. Whether a company specializes in a niche market or offers a full-service approach, it doesn’t affect our rankings, but it does help us classify the companies on our list. 

 

Case Studies & Portfolio

We look at case studies to analyze how the agency has solved a naming challenge in the past and whether the name was accepted and held strong over time. We also consider the past work of the company naming consultants by reviewing their portfolios and learning about the results they have achieved for their clients.

 

Reputation

We look into the following areas to make sure we only list companies that are recognized and reputable in the industry. 

  • Peer referrals
  • Online company reviews
  • Depth of experience
  • Any potential or unsolved issues that continuously repeat

We value user satisfaction. Former clients, therefore, will give us the best idea of their experience with the company and its core competencies. We look for reviews and ratings from past clients across the web and even approach them directly for more information. We also look out for any accreditations, business seals, and business accolades the company has received.

 

Expertise

The best naming companies usually employ up to six namers when developing the best agency names and branding for companies. This is because, ideally, a diverse range of namers will all be able to contribute towards different cultural and literary references, metaphors, foreign language and international usages, spellings, suffixes, prefixes, and much more. The more diverse, knowledgeable, and experienced the namers, the better.

We look at the following capabilities before we rank any company.

 

Research Capabilities

Do these naming agencies know what type of information is needed to solve a business problem? In addition to the information you give the agency over the phone or during in-person interviews, you should also fill out a naming questionnaire. This can vary between companies but should include questions about general brand information, preferred tone and construction, the main ideas the name should embody, and more. This helps firms narrow down the selection and create the most effective solution. During this research stage, agencies should also perform competitor analysis for the most successful results. 

 

Naming Strategy

The product naming service is more than just a creative process. As easy as it sounds, it is not just about sitting around and trying to come up with a name that sounds the best. The best in the business will approach the naming process strategically, and we check for this. We present ourselves as potential customers to inquire about their naming strategies. Not only must they have creative namers on board, but they must use multiple brand naming tools to put together a blueprint to help build a viable brand name. Typically, a company naming service should develop a naming brief that helps them identify themes, or pathways, to design the best naming process in the desired direction.

 

Trademark Screening

Once a wide variety of naming ideas are generated by the agency, they all must be screened for legal availability in the global trademark database. They should also be put through a Google due diligence search to identify any common law usage. We find out whether brand naming companies present screened or unscreened names, and those that have an IP attorney screen make it to the top of our list. You don’t want to pick a name that is similar in sound, spelling, appearance or meaning to one that already exists, is already registered or pending in the same trademark class at the patent and trademark offices. Even if it's a great name, you can only use it if it is legal.

 

Naming Presentation

On the flip side of this, sharing too narrow of a list may not give the client enough choice. Even if the list is pre-screened, the naming company must give you a reasonable number of choices. Ideally, the list of names should be presented in a Powerpoint presentation, with each name getting its own slide along with a brief explanation with its story and context to help the client make the best decision. Regardless of the approach, firms should present at least two naming rounds before leaving you to make the final decision.

 

Creativity

As we mentioned before, creativity is an important part of the process. We make sure the naming agency is creative but has also followed the guidelines in terms of a naming strategy. The top namers will study the copy of relevant industries in magazines, media, and search venture firm portfolios, among others, to get interesting ideas. The best agencies will start with hundreds and sometimes thousands of ideas before presenting a shortlist to the client and whittling it down to the best option. This is a sign that the agency is creative, instead of just coming up with a handful of ideas and hoping the client finds a good fit. We look for naming firms that provide outstanding creativity.

 

Project Management & Reporting

In addition to monitoring the research process, we look at the following:

  • How the work is handled
  • How the plans are executed
  • Are they agile?

The agency’s approach to naming is crucial to receive a rank on our list. Are they a friendly and welcoming bunch who are happy to work with you and meet your demands? Are they experienced and professional? Are they collaborative, and do they consider your opinion during the name development process? The way the brand naming company approaches your project can help you decide if they are the right fit for your business. 

How do we get this information? We interview multiple agencies we think are leaders in the game to find out more about their approach. If we’re happy with what we hear, we consider them a strong candidate. If they don’t meet our standards, they do not have a place on our list.

If an agency has well-organized project management and reporting processes, it will take between three and six weeks to complete a standard project. That said, larger corporate or global naming projects could take much longer. 

 

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, the cost of name development at a company naming agency will depend on several factors. Firstly, the type of project or size of the company will be considered. The more research is needed, the more money you will end up paying. The pricing will also change depending on whether you simply need a name or other branding services as well, like logo design, etc. That said, during our research, we look for companies that fall within the industry standard and offer good value for money. 

 

Tips for Hiring The Best Naming Agency For Your Business

Now that you know what we look for, it’s time to focus on your specific requirements. To help you with that, we’ve listed some helpful tips that will ultimately take you to the perfect candidate for your naming project. 

 

Define Your Naming Goals

What are your naming goals? It is your job to present this to the agency, as well as your company’s values and mission. Before approaching a naming outfit, think about your goals, target audience, challenges, and more. You should be as articulate as possible when interviewing potential candidates.

 

Consider Industry Expertise

Even if the business name consultant has experience in your industry, remember, they can never be as knowledgeable in the field as you are. Essentially, they must be experts in what they do with some experience in your industry to analyze the competition and help you stand out in an overly saturated market. 

 

Think Beyond Personal Preferences

Just because you like/don’t like a particular name, that doesn’t mean your customers will agree. Keep an open mind and allow the ideas to marinate before making a decision. You should put yourself in your customers’ shoes and not base your decision on your emotional reaction. That said, you should let the brand naming agency know if you are unhappy with the concept, tone, or construction and give them more direction. Be specific, but trust your naming partner as well — they are the experts after all.

 

Consider the Culture

Just because a company fits a particular mold, it doesn’t mean it’s right for your business.  Consider the agency’s size and services, but also remember that this should be a collaborative process and what you get is based on your relationship with the team. A cultural fit is as important as anything to develop a good and trusting work relationship.

 

Define Your Budget

While it is important to have a set budget, make sure you understand the costs involved in branding or rebranding beforehand. Choose a naming agency that meets the industry standards — this will help you establish a sufficient budget and eliminate the firms that are too expensive or suspiciously cheap. Ask several outfits for a proposal, and as you analyze their offers, you can match or tweak your budget.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose a business name?

You need to take a lot of factors into consideration when naming a new company — find a name that simple, yet scalable, creative and original, while making sure it is not in any way inappropriate or offensive and not copyrighted. You also need a name that lends itself to a strong domain, and that is visually appealing. If that seems like too difficult a task, you can opt for a professional service to take care of all that and more for you. 

How much does it cost to name a company?

There are a lot of variables that determine the price of naming a company, including the industry and research needed. Also, you have to consider whether you want your brand name to match your domain name, which would also cost extra. With all these factors and more, it is near impossible to come up with an accurate cost, although a wide ballpark figure could be between $2,000 and $75,000 for name brand development if you go with a specialized company.

How long does it take to name a company?

Again, a lot of factors can influence the timeframe so it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. One thing you can control in this regard though is having clear ideas and goals in mind — this will shorten the period of research of your naming partner. In any case, make sure you ask the naming agency for a timeline while keeping in mind that a shorter deadline might come with a heftier price tag.