Global Brand Names that Maximize Your Impact

Zenmark is a global brand naming agency founded in 1999 in San Francisco by a Silicon Valley Electrical Engineer and a Hollywood Screenwriter.

Our clientele ranges from millennial fueled startups to household name giants such as GM, HP, and GSK.

We have proven expertise in Technology, Life Sciences, and Consumer branding.

Our core services are Naming, Brand Architecture, and Trademark Research. Zenmark also has a highly specialized practice in Pharmaceutical Naming & Branding.

 
$10,000+
 
Undisclosed
 
2 - 9
 Founded
1999
Show all +
San Francisco, CA
headquarters
  • 25 Maiden Lane, Suite 302
    San Francisco, CA 94108
    United States
other locations
  • 620 Wilson Avenue, #17
    Brooklyn, NY 11207
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 

Abbott, Amgen, Anheuser Busch, AstraZeneca, AT&T, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Del Monte, Dell, Dolby, Eli Lilly, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Google Ventures, Guthy-Renker, Heinz, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, LG Electronics, McAfee, Merck, Microsoft, Novartis, Pfizer, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sabre, Samsung, Sanofi-Aventis, Shire, Sprint, Takeda, VeriSign

Reviews

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Naming Partner for Technology Enterprise

“They’re able to think strategically, but do so in a collaborative and open way.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Mar. - June 2018
Project summary: 

ZENMARK helped identify a brand strategy and assisted with naming a number of products. They also did preliminary trademark research.

The Reviewer
 
10,001+ Employees
 
New York, New York
Ladd Martin
Director of Global Marketing Home Printing Solutions, HP
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The in-house team is happy with a clear strategy and expects the new names to be successful in the marketplace. ZENMARK went above and beyond to meet all needs, while their expertise, flexibility, and professionalism earned them trust.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the director of global marketing at Home Printing Solutions, HP. We're one of the world's largest manufacturers of printers, computers, and technology.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ZENMARK?

We were thinking about how we could move our portfolio of printing products into the future, and we wanted to reinvent the way in which we name our products and our brands. We were looking for a company to help us with various naming assignments.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

First, we discussed our goals, the future of the portfolio, and the types of names we were interested in. Then, we identified the strategy and ZENMARK presented us with a list of names that had gone through the initial round of trademark viability. (We did most of the trademark work ourselves, but their preliminary research gave us some confidence about the originality of the names.)

In total, we worked with them on naming 3–4 product categories, one of which will go to market in spring of next year.

What is the team composition?

We worked with their principal, who is also their creative lead, and an account manager.

How did you come to work with ZENMARK?

They were the agency of record for our company.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project started in March 2018 and it was completed in June 2018.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The name of the product that will go to market in spring is very powerful. It'll also help us in the marketplace since it'll allow consumers to choose the product that fits their needs. We didn't know what kind of naming we were doing when we were going into the project, but now we have a better understanding of our brand strategy.

How did ZENMARK perform from a project management standpoint?

We worked with senior people, so I didn't feel that I was picking through the layers of management within the organization. It was a complicated process with a lot of stakeholders, but they were very nimble and did a phenomenal job.

What did you find most impressive about them?

They’re able to think strategically, but do so in a collaborative and open way.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No. I was very happy with their work.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

The output is only as good as the input, so be as clear as possible about what you're looking for. Also, engage them in the process–it's better than doing multiple rounds of reviews and you'll see the results faster.

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

Product Naming for Data Security Startup

"The name that ZENMARK came up with is very friendly and approachable."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
 
Jan. - Mar. 2016
Project summary: 

ZENMARK led a naming process for a new product, soliciting opinions from executives and providing several rounds of name iteration.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Palo Alto, California
Jeff Harrell
Former VP of Marketing, AeroFS
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Internal and external feedback was overwhelmingly positive. ZENMARK's expert team inspired confidence throughout the project by communicating clearly from the start. Their responsiveness and ability to turn constructive feedback into high quality, on-time deliverables were hallmarks of their work.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the former VP of marketing at AeroFS. We had a private cloud behind a firewall so people could own their data.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with ZENMARK?

During a major pivot of the company, we launched a new collaboration tool where people can add documents and work on them together. We needed to come up with a name that would fit the product and reflect its focus on creative teams.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

ZENMARK sent us a naming questionnaire for all of our executives to fill out. Once each executive responded, they came back to us with the core criteria for the product name. They used our answers to identify five things that the name should represent. We massaged it a bit and then came to an agreement on the final core criteria. They went off and developed several names around that criteria.

They presented us a naming tree with different branches representing our various thoughts and ideas. As we went through the process, they "pruned" that tree to reflect our narrowing down the potential names. There were 3–4 rounds before we got to the final set of names. ZENMARK put the final names on index cards and laid them out on a table as a visual framework. We eventually came to agreement on a single name.  

What is the team composition?

I worked with both the managing director and the creative director.

How did you come to work with ZENMARK?

We liked that they were local so we could meet in person on occasion. We also liked the whole process that they go through to determine a name. It’s really interesting.

How much have you invested with them?

We spent $25,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We worked together from January–March 2016.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

The name that ZENMARK came up with is very friendly and approachable. Our executives had strong opinions but they helped us come to agreement on a final name. They came up with a name that we would not have thought of on our own. We got a lot of feedback at trade shows where people told us that they like the name.

How did ZENMARK perform from a project management standpoint?

Their whole team is great. They have a number of people behind the scenes that keep projects on track. While they projected it would take eight weeks, they actually completed it early. We were impressed because they often had to wait for us to turn things around or make decisions. They did a good job of giving us the time we needed while also moving quickly.

What did you find most impressive about them?

ZENMARK is the antithesis of the stuffy image of naming companies. They’re very cool and easy to talk to. It wasn't a stodgy process at all. We really liked their creativity. They made us feel like we had room to move and experiment.

Are there any areas they could improve?

No, we were very happy.

5.0
Overall Score The process was clear and creative.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They beat their timeline, which was only eight weeks.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was a lot of money for us, but they delivered good core value.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The process was good and the outcome was great.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I've already recommended them to several people.

Naming for Pharmaceuticals Company

“Zenmark followed an established, robust process to develop a brand name for our new product.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
2014 - 2015
Project summary: 

Zenmark developed a list of preferred and alternative names for a new vaccine candidate. Working with the legal team, they made sure each option complied with international regulations for approval.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
Zurich, Switzerland
Global Marketing Lead, Pharmaceuticals Company
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Zenmark fulfilled the entire scope of requirements perfectly. They delivered a fully developed list of name options for the executive leadership to choose from. Differences in opinion have preempted a final choice yet. The team had clearly defined responsibilities and communicated effectively. 

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the global marketing lead at a pharmaceuticals company. My responsibilities are market access and preparedness.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Zenmark?

We contracted Zenmark to develop a brand name for our dengue vaccine candidate. 

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

Zenmark followed an established, robust process to develop a brand name for our new product. They took a creative approach while still following the standard methodology and had all the critical steps in place. We were running a project with another company that used a similar process. At the time, I wasn’t familiar with naming and appreciated their expertise. 

Zenmark has worked with our legal team on multiple projects for other departments in our company. My role is within the vaccines area, which is slightly different from conventional pharmaceuticals. Our new asset was quite challenging to name. The title had to adhere to regulations published by authorities and governments from different countries. It was reassuring that Zenmark could still be innovative while confined to a highly limited environment. From this perspective, it was probably much harder than projects in other industries would be. 

What is the team composition? 

We worked with three people from Zenmark. Greg (President and Creative Director, Zenmark) was the creative face of the company and liaised with our company. He worked closely with us and was very flexible and accessible. We also worked directly with Doug (Managing Director of Account Services, Zenmark) on the contracting, billing, and invoicing. A third person handled all the legal assessments and revisions, computations, and analysis. 

Zenmark maintains distinct roles with clearly established responsibilities. Everyone has close business relationships, but there is no overlap between their positions. It was helpful to know exactly which person was the subject matter expert to contact for each type of question throughout the process. 

How did you come to work with Zenmark?

We selected Zenmark through the typical pitching process run by procurement. We considered a few other candidates but knew they had experience within the pharma industry. They were already one of our company's preferred suppliers and had a successful track record. The team presented analogs from similar projects they'd done for vaccines. All the examples showed a high quality of work. 

How much have you invested with them?

One project cost around $700,000. 

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working together in January 2014. It took quite a while to finalize our prolonged process with several market researchers. They were also responsible for another one of our assets from a different vaccine candidate. We finished our project on time in 2015, but the other project got slightly delayed and wrapped up in 2016. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

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

Zenmark presented an expansive knowledge of those limitations and peculiarities that exist within the pharma space. We haven't chosen one of the names they developed yet, but they delivered on our requirements successfully. They provided us with a list of preferred and alternative names which were thoroughly checked via legal assessment, linguistic assessment, and market research. 

The entire process was finalized properly and correctly, and the list is still there. We're still in the process of developing our vaccine and are looking into alternatives before we submit a name for registration by a European agency. Having a bigger pool will make it easier to decide. Most importantly, Zenmark finished the entire scope within the timeframe we agreed upon and conducted all the steps accordingly. 

How did Zenmark perform from a project management standpoint?

We held face-to-face meetings and video conferences, during which Zenmark conducted presentations about their proposed names. We discussed the options, and they captured verbal feedback from our team. 

What did you find most impressive about them?

The team was very skilled, engaged, and customer oriented. The owner was exceptionally talented and always tried to be present. Our engagement went precisely the way I would expect an external vendor to engage with a client. 

Zenmark did everything correctly throughout the entire process. All the names they thought of were appropriately checked. The only reason we are still looking is the difference in opinion among our top management level. Many of our executives think the options are great. The fact that some people don't like them is arbitrary and doesn't relate to Zenmark's work. 

Brand name projects are very complicated. At the end of the day, a company’s top management needs to endorse the names for important assets. Personal preference is the deciding factor. If you show every single person within the team a list of names, they will all prefer a different one.

Are there any areas they could improve?

Zenmark could consider a digital approach to capturing feedback if they aren't doing so already. Since we worked together three years ago, I don’t know if they’re still using the same tools. Another agency we’re working with sends us links to a feedback form online, which works better than verbal discussions. 

Recommendations from their projects for other clients could have been helpful. Perhaps they could provide solutions for how to approach management successfully to get the final product approved without any questions. They could also involve critical customers at the very beginning. Taking into consideration the approval process’s complexity and analyzing who should be included at each stage would help the overall process go smoothly. 

4.5
Overall Score This was my first project, and it was extremely complex.
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    The project was very expensive. They had quite a complicated approach.
  • 4.5 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I already do.

Naming for Audio Product

"The efficiency and effectiveness of their process stand out."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Less than $10,000
 
Sept. - Oct. 2018
Project summary: 

ZENMARK created a name for an audio product line. The solution remains in development.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Newark, New Jersey
Brilon
Sr Brand Manager, Logitech Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The naming process ensured that the solution properly reflected brand attributes. Team strengths include expertise, quality of deliverables, and a friendly style of work.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the senior brand manager for one of our consumer product business units.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire ZENMARK?

We needed help naming an audio product line.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted a name that would sit within an existing product grouping and also fit the style of our company.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

I worked with ZENMARK at my previous company and was impressed by their performance and knowledge. They are really nice people to work with.

Describe the scope of their work in detail.

We had been through three internal naming rounds and failed to come up with a name for our audio product line that would clear legal, so they helped us come up with one.

What was the team composition?

I worked directly with the account manager and president of the company.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?

I can’t share the creative we developed to support the name until our launch in April.

How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?

They followed a very specific process for the project. It pushed us away from simply choosing a name from a list; rather, we chose our name because it fits the brand attributes they identified.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

The efficiency and effectiveness of their process stand out.

Are there any areas for improvement?

No, we’re completely satisfied.

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