You want a trademarkable name that appeals to your target customer and sets you apart from the competition?
And you want it yesterday? We can almost do that.
We are a small crew of former big agency branding professionals. Our bios look like many you’ve seen – we’ve worked at lots of cool branding, consulting and design firms and our client list covers much of the Fortune 500. And being small, we have no room for a “B-team”. We like to describe ourselves as the team you thought you were getting the last time you hired that big New York City firm, for half the price.
We work with all kinds: non-profits to Fortune 500s.
We hit the sweet spot between expensive agencies and less-experienced talent. Our naming services start with brand strategy work, because a brand must be built on an intelligent foundation – creativity is not enough. Then we generate hundreds and hundreds of names, and choose the best to present. Every name we share has been pre-screened for potential trademark and common law conflicts, so you save time and money in legal.We name products and companies of all shapes and sizes. The entire process, from kickoff to completion, takes three weeks. We also take on more extensive brand architecture and strategy projects – those can take a little longer. It all starts with a conversation – we’ll listen to your challenge, and if you don’t need us, we’ll tell you!
Names we created:
We often joke that we're one-trick ponies, but that's not entirely true. 90% of our business is naming, but we can also swim up- and down- stream to assist with brand strategy and verbal brand identity work.
(We don't mess with design - we know our limits! - but we're happy to make resource recommendations.)
We create names that are both great and ownable.
Naming can be very difficult, and we believe that most often challenges stem from the lack of a clear target. By developing a clearly defined goal and creative guardrails for the naming project, the exercise becomes one that is more efficient – and ultimately, more successful. We will lead you through this process to ensure alignment every step of the way, delivering a short list of great names which have been pre-screened for trademark clearance.
We build powerful brands based on solid strategy.
Brand Platform & Positioning
Before a name can be created, there must be a clear articulation of, and commitment to, the brand positioning and overall strategy. Too often, companies attempt to leapfrog straight to brainstorming names. Set yourself up for success: the strategy is the foundation upon which the name is built. It’s important – not just for this name, but for all names which might come after it.
We can help you say the right thing, the right way.
Brand Tone & Voice
Messaging & Taglines
Content Audits & Adjustments
Very often, in the process of creating a name, we get to know your brand pretty well. We get to where we can speak your language. If you’d like us to capture and articulate this verbal identity for future reference, we’re more than happy to help. We are not copywriters, so our offerings here are limited; we specialize in what we do best.
*A typical naming project takes about 3 weeks; more complex brand strategy and architecture projects take longer.
Mark’s expertise in brand strategy, brand architecture, naming, and name systems has been leveraged by some of the world’s best-known branding firms. Mark directed the verbal branding practices at FutureBrand and Landor New York, as well as corporate branding for Sterling Brands, before striking out on his own – first heading 800 Degrees, an Atlanta-based brand consultancy, and later founding StokeSignals.
Historically, Mark has managed large-scale programs ranging from naming and renaming assignments to global repositioning and brand architecture development for clients such as Boston Scientific, Coca-Cola, General Motors, J&J, Microsoft, Proctor & Gamble, Turner Broadcasting, and Visa.
Liz began her career on the client side, working for companies ranging from small independent businesses to Hamilton Beach. She served as the Marketing Director for Marpac, where she built the brand from the ground up, and in the process, discovered a passion for verbal identity – and naming, in particular. Liz then discovered the world of tech startups, an interest that she continues to nurture.
Liz holds degrees from Yale University and the VCU Brandcenter and brings a strong background in brand management and marketing strategy to the table, as well as an empathetic appreciation for the business goals associated with creative projects.
StokeSignals is a combined, associative name.
We know “stoke” to mean “to stir or shake up, to excite.” And a “signal” is anything that “serves to indicate, warn, direct, or command – such as a sound, a light, a gesture, an act, or a word.”
Any manifestation of the brand, such as a name or logo, is a signal – an outward sign or statement of the brand’s purpose. These signals boil down to one simple thing: a promise.
StokeSignals: we’re helping our clients build powerful brands that promise to excite, stir and inspire customers to action.
“Mark is the most strategic thinker I know. He’s good with words and can brand the sh*t out of just about anything.”
- Mike Paolillo, COO Zeteky, Inc.
Want to let us name your baby, or at least talk about it?
If you’ve made it this far, we’d love to chat. No high pressure sales conversations, we promise – in fact, we sometimes talk people OUT of working with us.
Our goal is to do what’s best for your brand, so we’ll listen to your situation and provide honest feedback.
We think you’ll find it was time well spent.