brand naming, taglines, and storytelling

River + Wolf is a New York City based naming and verbal identity firm that believes branding begins with words. Moreover, we think language is one of the most powerful means for building, organizing, and communicating a brand’s voice and vision.

Whether working with established brands or start-ups, our goal is always the same: to communicate your brand’s promise in language that informs, inspires, and activates.

 
Undisclosed
 
Undisclosed
 
2 - 9
 Founded
2014
River + Wolf
605 West 113 Suite 2
New York, NY 10025
United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

We work nationally and internationally with clients of every size--from start-ups to Fortune 500s. River + Wolf also provides brand naming and storytelling services to branding, design, advertising, and media studios.   

Discover More (Discover)

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.

GALvanize (Unilever)

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.

Senhance (TransEnterix)

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.

Dremel Trio (Dremel)

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.

Timbalos (Agro)

 

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.

Defy (Quaker State)

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.

Keypoint 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.

Journeywise

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.

Sleekmeet

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.

Sunhouse

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.

Quarterlane

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.

Planetarians

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’.

Joyst

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.

Joy Lab (Target)

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.

Ikaati

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.

Chromatics (Redken)

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.

Yolla (LANCK)

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.

Goodness Glows (Burt's Bees)

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.

Earth Vine Grape (Jacob’s Creek)

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.

Terrain (NEC)

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.

Outshine (Nestlé)

Nestlé needed a name for their delicious yoghurt and fruit bar. After developing many names that pointed to creaminess and tartness of these frozen treats, we decided to focus on the bars’ superior flavor—a flavor that really did beat out their competitors. Outshine felt just right. Not only did it suggest something that surpassed all the others but it evoked a sunny day.

Reviews

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Branding for University of California at Santa Cruz

“I’ve never seen this level of clarity or concern for my needs from any other vendor.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Sept. 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

River + Wolf supports a new initiative within a collegiate arts division. They create brochures and marketing documents, prepare visiting lecturers, assist with curriculum development, and co-teach the class.

The Reviewer
 
5,001-10,000 Employees
 
Santa Cruz, California
Susan Solt
Dean of the Arts, University of California, Santa Cruz
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Thanks to River + Wolf’s clear record keeping, the initiative is in a better position to receive important grant funding. They are trustworthy and thoughtful, and their flexibility, broad knowledge of the field, and global-mindedness are assets to the project.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the dean of the arts division at UC Santa Cruz. My division has comprehensive performing and visual arts programs for grads and undergrads that focus on theory and practice intersection.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

When I entered the school as a new dean, I came with an initiative to help artists become entrepreneurs after completing their course of study. I needed to integrate this idea, philosophy, and curriculum into the arts division, brand it, and market it as a major feature of my deanship.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They helped me define the initiative through a set of communication documents. We created a class with revolving guest artists who are exemplars in the field. As each guest lecturer arrived, they prepped them for the class. Margaret (Founder and Chief Creative, River + Wolf) co-taught the class with me and participated as a speaker.

We’re currently assembling a booklet that documents the work we did in the class, and we have a planning timeline for the next two years to set strategies and integrations with the rest of the department and other entities. They bring their graphic perspective and verbal facility to bear in compelling brochures and other materials for students, academics, and donors.

The whole project is coming together in phases. They create a blueprint of action items, documents, and other deliverables that are valuable assets for fundraising, development, and marketing. We always have the big picture in mind.

What is the team composition?

Since we are both principals, I work directly with Margaret. I work very closely with her and am very aware her design team/

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

I’ve known Margaret for many years as an artist and someone who works in the not-for-profit world as an educator. She helped me when I was trying to articulate a framework for a class I taught at another institution. Her ideas are provocative and challenging, and I trust her implicitly. We share aesthetic values and have the same standard of excellence. When I developed this initiative at UC Santa Cruz, I knew she was the natural choice. She was the only person I considered.

How much have you invested with them?

The last contract was around $77,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

Discussions for the project started around September 2017, and the contract was finalized in December 2017. They were tremendously generous with their time before the contract was finalized. We plan to continue our collaboration through the end of 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We are in the process of trying to meet requirements of a University of California Office of the President grant. There are a lot of metrics attached to that project, including the number of students we interact with, the curriculum we develop, and our marketing and public image. Without their help, we would not have the clear metrics we need to qualify for the grant. Thanks to their intervention, we’ve exceeded our goals.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

Margaret has the capacity to think on so many levels and is excellent with staff. She’s worked with several members of my team to assess individual talents and always looks for ways to maximize potential. Her methods are never heavy-handed; she’s an integrative, thoughtful listener who makes everyone feel like they’re participating and contributing.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I’m so grateful to them. They’re always careful and respectful of our deadlines, and they keep me on track. Their flexibility is a major asset, and the value they provide for the money we spend is tremendous. All the costs are clearly aligned with tasks they complete, and I’ve never seen this level of clarity or concern for my needs from any other vendor.

They’re extremely knowledgeable of current events and can communicate with anyone. No matter who their client is, they will do the research to complete any task at hand.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I get exactly what I need and can’t think of anything they should improve. Margaret is the hardest worker I’ve ever met, and her turnaround times are nearly immediate. I hope she has enough people on her team to allow her the bandwidth she needs.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

There are so many firms out there, and its hard to know who to trust, especially as a nonprofit organization. As a dean at a public university, I wholeheartedly recommend working with River + Wolf.

5.0
Overall Score They are a trustworthy, fiscally responsible thought leader in the arts.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    All our deadlines were met, and they help keep us on track. They never drop the ball.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    The value for the money spent is unbelievable. They’re conscientious of our budget and aware of our needs.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They meet a very high standard for the look and clarity of the materials.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They are adaptive, imaginative, and very experienced. Their knowledge is broad and they’re good critical thinkers.

Business Naming Workshop for Data Platform

"River + Wolf saved us a considerable amount of heartache."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Sept. 2018
Project summary: 

River + Wolf conducted an educational workshop to introduce the challenges and strategies of selecting a name that would project a strong brand and provide a solid foundation for a growing business.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
New York, New York
Head of Communications, IEX
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

River + Wolf’s practical knowledge of naming methodology was valuable so as to avoid pitfalls and continue a discourse of all potential options. The team impressed with its organized and detailed approach. Their workshop design and insight reduced the likelihood of future roadblocks.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the Head of Communications at IEX. We are a stock exchange on a mission to build fairer markets.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We engaged with River + Wolf to conduct a workshop that would educate us in the process of selecting a name that would serve as a strong foundation for growing a nascent business. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

River + Wolf was enlisted to help us understand the challenges associated with naming a new business. Their practical knowledge in that area was something that our team lacked. Our engagement was oriented toward the training of how to develop a name rather than picking the name itself.

What is the team composition?

We worked solely with Margaret (Founder/Creative Chief, River + Wolf).

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

My colleague interviewed between 5–10 different agencies, a process that considered what each could do for us, and we thought River + Wolf could best fit our specific needs.

What is the status of this engagement?

River + Wolf hosted the workshop in September.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our workshop included the training and practical realities around name selection and the strategy for finding a suitable one. We were introduced to many of the challenges we would encounter. For example, we had certain preferences for a single-word name and avoiding a coined word or a compound word. Margaret opened our eyes to the idea that two decades ago, that would be more viable, but it’s now rare and challenging to identify a name that we like that hasn’t been taken already. She led us through the realities of the current naming environment and saved us a considerable amount of time and effort.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

Margaret helped us structure the right conversations that both leveraged the ideas and inputs from across the organization while bringing in a great level of outside, expert perspective.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Margaret provided case studies from outside of finance which gave us the right level of inspiration.

Are there any areas they could improve?

We are quite pleased with Margaret’s work and guidance. I can’t pinpoint any specific area that needs improvement.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Naming for Nail Care & Spa Package Company

"The names were praised both internally and externally. We're very satisfied with the quality and speed of their work."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Mar. - July 2018
Project summary: 

River + Wolf created a presentation of name options for a beauty shop and their 27 nail polish colors. Following a discovery meeting, they came up with over 100 potential names that aligned with the brand.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New Jersey
Head of Product Development, TUTTI
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

River + Wolf’s proposed names were well received by internal employees and clients. With a professional and time-oriented work ethic, the team showed their dedication to the project. They leveraged their expertise to accurately mirror the brand in their suggested names.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the head of product development for a beauty and spa company. We privately own and operate 17 beauty styling stores on the east coast of the United States. Eleven of those stores are located inside luxury shopping malls.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We struggled to name our service and our nail polish, so we decided to look for a partner to help.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

In an initial discovery meeting, we spoke with River + Wolf to discuss ideas for the name. A few weeks later, they came back with a PowerPoint presentation that included multiple names for our 27 nail polish shades and over 100 options for our shade names. Each idea was accompanied by a short explanation. They accounted for legal issues in each of the name options.

What is the team composition?

We worked with the founder of River + Wolf.

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

We contacted several companies on Clutch. River + Wolf was kind, sincere, and enthusiastic, so we chose to partner with them.

How much have you invested with them?

In total, we spent $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from March 2018–July 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The names were praised both internally and externally. We’re very satisfied with the quality and speed of their work.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

The founder managed the project extremely well. She was responsible, knowledgeable, and timely. Her guidance was valuable to our company. Additionally, River + Wolf was very responsive throughout the engagement.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They worked as part of our internal team. We really appreciated their patience and their willingness to share their own ideas.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    It’s very easy to reach them and they always deliver on time.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They worked a lot more than what we paid for.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    All of our employees are satisfied.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’d work with them and I’s recommend them to friends and coworkers.

Renaming for Medical Component Manufacturer

We've been pleased with what we received. It was a great value.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
May - July 2018
Project summary: 

Helping an organization find a new name, River+Wolf took full charge of the renaming process, presenting the in-house team with the name that is now being trademarked.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Roanoke, Virginia
Lydia Brantingham-Payne
Marketing Communications Manager, Plastics One
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The internal team and the leadership are impressed with the results. Great listeners, River+Wolf delivered the name that meets all requirements, while their responsiveness and flawless project management contributed to the positive experience.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the marketing and communications manager at Plastics One. We're a medical component manufacturer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We've been around for 80 years, but our name didn't really describe us. We were looking for a vendor to help us rename our organization.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We didn't know how to go about renaming. They had a few phone calls with us to discuss the direction we wanted to go in and then, they guided us through the entire process. We found the name we liked after one round, so we're currently working with a trademark lawyer to get it trademarked. They also recommended someone who is helping us with the logo.

What is the team composition?

We worked directly with Margaret (Owner, River+Wolf).

How did you come to work with them?

We found them through a Google search. We were impressed with their website, the reviews they had, and their responsiveness, so we chose them.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent between $15,000–$25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked with them from May–July 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our CEO, our graphic designer, and myself were impressed with their accuracy and their response times. Margaret listened to us and found the name that we wanted.

How did they perform from a project management standpoint?

They were very thorough with their processes and documentation. Also, they worked very quickly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a fantastic team.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can't think of anything.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We've been pleased with what we received. It was a great value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    She always made sure we were comfortable with the deadlines and the schedule.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They do a great job.

Naming Services for Travel Sleep System Product

"I had trouble picking a final name because they came up with so many creative options."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
June - Aug. 2016
Project summary: 

River + Wolf led a naming process for a new product, providing multiple rounds of brainstorming as well as research on trademark conflicts.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Los Angeles, California
Michelle DuPre
CEO, Tandem Goods
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal and external feedback to the name has been overwhelmingly positive. Expertise and responsiveness were hallmarks of their work. River + Wolf brought creative ideas to the table at an affordable cost, which made them a valuable partner.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO and founder of Tandem Goods, we make a 3-in-1 sleep system that allows you to take the best parts of your personal pillow with you when you travel.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

I needed help in coming up with a name for the pillow.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I met with Margaret (founder, River + Wolf) and showed her the product. I talked about how we were hoping to market and brand it, and who I thought was the main audience. She took all that information and within a week or so came back to me with the first round of names. We whittled down the list until we landed on Tandem. Part of the process was making sure that the names weren't trademarked yet. She referred me to an attorney to apply for a trademark, which I've since gotten registered.

What is the team composition?

I primarily worked with Margaret.

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

I searched online for naming or branding companies in New York City. I reached out to a few different companies and they were the first to get back to me. They were also the nicest. I spoke to Margaret on the phone and I really liked the things that she had to say.

How much have you invested with them?

It was very affordable. I spent several thousand dollars on the naming process and a few thousand more for the trademark.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from June–August 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We recently launched our campaign on Kickstarter. Everybody that I've pitched the product to loves the name. I had trouble picking a final name because they came up with so many creative options.  

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

The whole process was super easy. They’re extremely organized, which helps them work very quickly. Margaret was already starting to throw out some possible names in my initial meeting with her. Everything went really smoothly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They have a real intimate feel as a company. It felt very supportive. Margaret has checked in with me over the years to see how we’re doing. She's even supported our Kickstarter campaign. She's been a real champion for my company, and I don't think bigger agencies would do that. The communication I had with other agencies felt really impersonal.

5.0
Overall Score They went above and beyond, providing more than I asked for.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They came in early on the deadline.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    They were more affordable than other companies I considered.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    They were incredibly creative in coming up with names.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would definitely recommend them.

Product Naming for Smart Phone Carrier Company

"We were made to feel comfortable during the collaboration, and we felt we could trust River + Wolf."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Apr. - June 2018
Project summary: 

River + Wolf developed a branding name and assisted with trademark registration for a product nearing introduction to the market. They researched and presented almost a thousand names before one was selected.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
California
Linda Yin
Marketing Director, Foxx Development Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The chosen product name has drawn praise for its creativity and usefulness. River + Wolf exhibited tremendous patience during the complex and tedious process. Their research was thorough, taking into consideration a name’s history and its potential for future success.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Foxx Development is focused on mobile phones, data cards, internet of things (IoT) solutions, and smart devices. Our business is based in the U.S., and our customers include major cell phone service providers. I am the marketing director of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We have a smartphone product that will launch in the American market soon. We have built our branding for the product launch to market and we needed a product name. We also hoped to develop our branding for the U.S. market in the near future and be welcomed by consumers.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

I am new to brand name development and didn't have rich experience in terms of creating a very special brand name and image. River + Wolf did a lot of background work focusing on the new name. Together, we went through almost a thousand names and shortlisted 70–100. River + Wolf presented us with a PowerPoint slide with the logic, background, and meaning for each name. Through several rounds of deliberation, we cut the list to 50, 10, and eventually three names. It was a complex process that required patience and strong communication.

Once we made a decision, we started the trademark registration. This is a complex process involving lawyer participation. It was especially difficult for me as a non-native speaker. The lawyers needed to use precise and abstract language in their emails, but River + Wolf translated those into simple terms for me.

What is the team composition?

I interfaced with the founder, who also serves as the creative chief.

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

We reviewed several firms—one from New York, one from Washington D.C. Our product needed to launch to the market soon, and we needed a branding name and marketing collateral. The firm from Washington told us that they wouldn’t have enough time to meet our requirements, but they recommended River + Wolf to us. I got in touch with them and vetted them. I was in contact with another company from New York at the time, but the River + Wolf founder was easygoing and willing to introduce and share with me a lot. Price was also a consideration and River + Wolf gave us a good offer.

How much have you invested with them?

The total cost of their work has been more than $20,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with River + Wolf at the beginning of April 2018. The project was completed in mid-June.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our company has liked the logo and brand name produced by them, and we have started to use them. My colleagues are quite pleased with me, and I owe this to River + Wolf’s willingness to educate me. They’ve also given us a lot of reference ideas for other company brands.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

They were friendly and helpful throughout the entire process, which was quite lengthy and detailed. In addition to the naming suggestions, they were able to offer suggestions for how to develop our branding as well.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I was able to assign the full project to their founder and not worry about it. I trusted her and her team to deliver perfectly. She shared her ideas with us and guided us toward the correct approach. We were made to feel comfortable during the collaboration, and we felt we could trust River + Wolf. I’ve gotten a lot of praise from colleagues for the logo and brand name, but I know that it wasn’t actually my work. I simply had a good collaboration partner.

5.0
Overall Score It's been an amazing experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    We had a very tight deadline and asked them to expedite their work. They delivered early.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We chose River + Wolf because of their reasonable pricing and communication.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Naming for Education Mentorship Nonprofit

"Naming a company is something most people think they can do themselves, but River + Wolf proved why they’re experts."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
n/a
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
 
Mar. - Apr. 2018
Project summary: 

River + Wolf developed an original name that would stand out in a crowded industry. They conducted research on the offered services and educational trends to find a unique and proper branding.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New York, New York
Joie Jager-Hyman
Co-Founder, College Prep 360
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

River + Wolf compiled nearly 50 options before helping narrow down the choices until one truly creative and original name remained. The moniker is representative of company goals and stands decidedly apart from others in the industry. River + Wolf was organized, dedicated, and thoughtful.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the co-founder of a startup that matches students with mentors at universities and academic nonprofits.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We needed a firm to help us find a proper name for our startup.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We were presented with several questionnaires about the brand, our products, and our services. After they studied our answers, they compiled a list of 40 or 50 different names and we whittled those down until we found one that we loved.

What is the team composition?

We worked with the founder, who also serves as the creative chief.

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

My co-founder had worked with River + Wolf in the past and had a pleasant experience.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from March 2018 to April 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

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 elusive. We feel it is representative of who we are.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

They were well organized and on time. The process did not take long at all, but they were efficient, creative, and original.

What did you find most impressive about them?

I had no idea how much work went into deciding a name, but they approached it from different angles and found something original.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They were easy to work with and had no issues meeting deadlines.
  • N/A Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The name was fantastic and creative.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Brand Name Development for Handbag Manufacturer

"They are reliable, organized, trustworthy, and capable."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Oct. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

After a comprehensive brand review, River + Wolf presented several potential names for a product line.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
Taiwan
Wendy Shen
Owner, Synthesis Direct LLC
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

River + Wolf offered creative ideas and outstanding industry advice, connecting the in-house team with additional marketing partners. The agency's organized, innovative approach minimized delays while ensuring excellent results. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the owner of Synthesis Direct LLC, a handbag manufacturer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We needed help with brand name development to sell our products in the U.S.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They asked me several questions about the character of our products. They were trying to figure out what kind of product we have and identify our audience and target market. They came up with names for us to choose from.

What is the team composition?

I work with their chief creative.

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

We shared our requirements with several different companies. We wanted River + Wolf because their website was very attractive.

How much have you invested with them?

We have spent $10,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from October 2017 until January 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

After we developed our brand name, they introduced me to other marketing teams and design companies. They helped support us while we launched the brand name and business.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

They are reliable, organized, trustworthy, and capable of completing any project.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re very creative, and they have never delayed a project. We’re very happy to have found them.

Are there any areas they could improve?

They’re a small company. If they expanded a little and offered more comprehensive services, it would be good for their company and clients.

5.0
Overall Score They provided what we wante, gave suggestions and advice, and never failed to deliver our requests. Their service is always very comprehensive.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was fair.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    They’re reliable and trustworthy.

Naming for Healthcare Contract Supplier

"The naming exercise was extremely successful and we’re very happy with the outcome."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Sept. - Dec. 2017
Project summary: 

River + Wolf led a naming exercise for a new healthcare company's product. They provided multiple rounds of naming and guided the company through the trademark registration process.

The Reviewer
 
1-10 Employees
 
New Jersey
Marketing Director, RingmasterTech
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new name, lauded internally and externally, will play a key role in bringing the product to market. River + Wolf's responsiveness and professionalism not only enhanced the project creatively, but also set them up for a potential future engagement.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm in charge of marketing for a new company creating a quote-to-contract site for the healthcare industry. We haven't brought it to market yet, but the site will give clients the ability to shop for insurance, get a quote, sign contracts online, and have everything stored virtually. It makes for a quick and efficient process.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We used River + Wolf to help us figure out a perfect name for the product. We needed a name that would tell the market what we do in just one word, and be attractive to our target audience.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

River + Wolf led three rounds of naming. They not only brought out the psychological aspects of the process but also opened our minds to what we were really trying to accomplish and the demographics of who we were trying to target. This helped us focus on who is going to be using our product. We don't want it to be disruptive; we want people that work on this every day to feel that the product is helpful and makes their job easier.

As the only woman working with a bunch of men, River + Wolf really helped me get them to embrace an "outside of the box” mentality. They did a great job honing in on exactly what we wanted our company to look like, not just on paper as a name but in the industry as well.

What is the team composition?

I only worked with Margaret (founder, River + Wolf).

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

My husband owned a healthcare company so he’d been through this process many times with companies in the metropolitan area. As a new company, we wanted to find someone that offered a personal touch. We interviewed a few companies by phone and it was Margaret's personality and intelligence that made me want to work with her.

How much have you invested with them?

I believe we’ve spent about $15,000. We're still going through the legal process of trademarking the name, so that number may go up.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started in September 2017 and I got an email around Thanksgiving of 2017 that the name that we’d chosen was available.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

The naming exercise was extremely successful and we’re very happy with the outcome. They helped us identify our main demographic which is people that actually sit at their desk every day and work on multiple files to search for revenue savings. The product’s name is something that makes them feel good about what they’re doing every day, and is also something that can actually help get their job done with speed and efficiency. So far, the name has been working very well attracting not only these people but also their bosses. We've gotten very good feedback across the board. In fact, we’re thinking of starting a new company and I've already reached out to Margaret to use River + Wolf again.

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

Margaret is extremely organized and she kept us on track. She managed not only the project but all of the people involved as well. The project started slowly for us because we were going in different directions, and she was able to get us to hone in on the key issues. By focusing on who we want to be and what we want to sell, she helped us get a name that really worked. She’s phenomenal and she made it a really smooth, effortless process. She also worked at lightning speed; it only took a few months to complete the project from start to finish.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Their eagerness to help and their creativity are very impressive. They’re able to work with multiple personalities and really make them understand the importance of the naming process. Their professionalism, psychological viewpoints, and knowledge of the business made them an excellent partner for us. For example, they know how important a trademark is so they made sure that we submitted our name as soon as possible.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The only thing I can say is that they need more staff because they're so busy. I'm probably going to put my next project on hold in order to fit their timeline and availability.

5.0
Overall Score A very effortless and pleasurable experience.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They kept us on target and got the job done.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    Their cost was right on target and fit to our budget.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The service was exquisite.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve already recommended them.

Naming for Independent Marketing Agency

"They go above and beyond to make sure they conform to our expectations."
Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Nov. 2017 - Jan. 2018
Project summary: 

River + Wolf conceptualized a unique name for a media agency that represented its growing client diversity.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Westport, Connecticut
EVP of Marketing & Insights, Media Services Agency
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal feedback on the new name has been very positive. 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.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the EVP of marketing and insights at an independent marketing and media agency.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with River + Wolf?

We were looking to rebrand our company’s name to reflect that while our company is women-centric, we also manage brands that focus on men and a dual audience. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We had an initial phone call to discuss our plan for the rebranding. River + Wolf then did some preliminary work before Margaret Wolfson [Founder and Chief Creative, River + Wolf] came to our offices where she and our CEO had a two-hour discussion about the project’s process and timeline. Margaret and her team then came up with a really great categorization process to develop different names we’d be interested in for our company. We went through several rounds of that. 

Since settling on a name, River + Wolf continue to guide us through the rebranding process.

What is the team composition? 

We’ve only worked with Margaret, though there are others on her team who are working on our project.

How did you come to work with River + Wolf?

I found them while searching online. I really liked their site, so I decided to reach out to them. We had great chemistry with Margaret, which is especially important if we expected to work well together creatively. We also admired their past work, so we decided to move forward with them.

How much have you invested with them?

We’ve spent about $15,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in November 2017 and although we haven’t re-launched yet, we completed the rebranding work in January 2018. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Because we haven’t officially re-launched yet, we don’t have any data on external feedback, but internally, my management team is really excited about the new name. They feel it perfectly encompasses our company’s mission. 

How did River + Wolf perform from a project management standpoint?

They go above and beyond to make sure they conform to our expectations. They worked so hard to ensure they found the perfect name for our company. They worked over the holiday to get everything done in a timely manner.

What did you find most impressive about them?

When you’re changing the name of an agency, you need to think about how you’re going to message it out. Margaret and her team gave such great rationales for the names they suggested, and it makes messaging so much easier.

Are there any areas they could improve?

I can’t think of anything — we’re very satisfied. 

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer