Choosing a naming agency has become quite difficult with the increasing number of companies and freelancers specialized in that area. What should you look for in the provider to make the best choice? Here are some suggestions for criteria on this crossroad:
The website of the providers can seem professional and fancy but the first thing you should evaluate is their work. Don't be fooled by beautiful site content and promises, just check out the names that they have come up with so far. It's important to verify whether the namer's style coincides with yours. Think for a moment: when you walk into a shoe store, you expect to see the shoes and you usually try them out. Why should it be different when choosing a naming service? Oh, and if there is no portfolio section on the provider's website... well, that means that they only have one sample for you - their own company name.
If you still haven't searched for the portfolio on the website, we suggest you do it now.
Did we mention that portfolio is crucial?
4. Clear pricing
The lack of a pricing page usually means high prices. If an agency charges $75,000 for naming services, they probably won't highlight it on their website. Contrariwise, if a freelancer charges as much as $100 for a batch of names, he/she would definitely prefer to let you know they do. Some companies charge per hour, so that's another reason to be unclear about the final amount the client will pay eventually. If you can't find the prices, don't start the project before you get a clear and final quote.
5. Specialization in naming
The best services are the specialized ones. If you had a heart condition, you wouldn't go to a General Practitioner - you would visit a cardiologist. Same with naming, you would want to work with a provider specialized in brand identity development. Contacting a 360° marketing agency, for example, may bring you headaches unless you really need the whole 360°.
Take a quick look for any kind of attestation of competence by third party, such as testimonials by actual clients, media coverage, freelancer site ratings and other organizations' endorsements. Third party means objectivity. Refer to websites you trust, like Wikipedia, where content is never random. Read the Naming firms article and check this list of 30+ naming companies shared by Wikipedia in the References section of the article. Yes, we are there, yoo-hoo!
It may seem less important that other criteria but a blog is a smart way to see if the company is a good match as you can read and see what they are fighting for and what their philosophy on brand naming is all about. In this regard, we wish we had the time to post more often.