What was the scope of their involvement?
Tanj was involved in many of our naming projects for clients like Toyota, Walmart and other large companies. I would develop a brief myself or work on it with the client, then engage Tanj for lists of names.
A naming process involves going through a number of rounds and names, which are pre-screened legally and presented to the client, who will opt for a certain direction. We then refine the direction, go back to Tanj to develop more names, or we will develop some names internally at the agency as well. This was one broad project type Tanj was involved with.
With at least one other client, there was a shallow brand voice made of uplifting or evocative communication. They had a challenging set of adjectives which described the brand, and they had a hard time articulating or expressing the brand. I developed a system to help the client and engaged Tanj to write small snippets of copy which showed what worked for the brand voice, and what didn’t. The purpose was to show this client how to direct their writing.
What is the team dynamic?
At the time, I was only working with Scott Milano [Founder, Tanj]. I don’t know who else he had on the project, but I did know that there were other people involved.
How did you come to work with Tanj?
I found them through a referral from a colleague. We had a small, trial engagement in order to see how we’d work together. It went well, so we kept doing more projects together. I felt it would be a good collaboration because the Tanj team is both creative and organized. In the world of naming especially, it can be a cumbersome process, and it’s based on volume—we have to generate a lot of names in order to satisfy legal and domain-name criteria. Tanj was good at organizing it all, as well as developing creative solutions. Usually, we get one or the other: creative agencies which don’t know how to organize things, or agencies which are organized, but don’t have a lot of creativity. Tanj does both very well.
How much have you invested with them?
Over the 2-3-year collaboration, $100,000 to $200,000 sounds about right. As a creative director, I didn’t always see what the contracts were. The managers or producers would take care of that.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Tanj in 2010 or 2011, and continued for 2-3 years, until around 2013. I am no longer with that agency.