If you have ever tried naming a company, you probably know first hand how something that seems so easy, can be so difficult. And if you are the owner of the company, you probably know your time would be better invested running the company vs. flipping through a thesaurus. So just what does it cost to name a company?
Much of that answer depends on the following criteria…
How big is the project? (sole proprietor? regional company? international firm?)
How many decision makers will there be? (one person, or the entire management and marketing teams)
Do you need just the name, or the entire brand identity (e.g. name development, tag line creation, corporate logo, etc.)
Do you need the exact matching .com domain name?
How much trademark clearance do you need (none, just the U.S., or the entire globe)
Do you need name development, or strategic branding (one is purely a linguistic assignment, the latter involves “positioning” or creating the overall message of the brand)
Let’s start at the most basic level. If you are a one person start up, operating in a local market with no plans of franchising or expansion, and don’t require an exact matching .com domain name, then you could reasonably expect to pay $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 for a branding firm to create a list of pre-screened names. This would involve little to no “brand positioning” to help determine the underlying brand message. An example of someone in this situation might be a company or start up, looking for a business name that is easy to spell and pronounce. They have no real desire to create a platform or deeper meaning for the company, just a nice, neat handle for their business.
From there we have business consultants, entrepreneurs and small business owners who recognize the value of a solid brand name, (but don’t have the funds to hire a multi-national branding firm.) At this point, they need not only a name, but also a process, that helps highlight the core value proposition of their enterprise. This requires aligning the brand name and the brand message so they compliment and reinforce each other. This level of company naming requires more discovery and exploration about the company’s goals and actual end benefits to the consumer. It’s also more comprehensive in terms of crafting the entire look and feel of the brand name, from name development and tag line, to logo design and supportive marketing language. These types of company naming assignments generally range from $ 10,000 to $ 25,000 in price, depending on the length of the assignment, the number of decision makers, the amount of trademark clearance and the necessity of an exact matching .com domain name.
More advanced corporate naming projects require additional time, consensus building and trademark clearance. It may be necessary to first identify the overall brand message and strategy before beginning the naming process. There may be several sets of stakeholders, such as upper management, an advisory committee, board members, investors, staff and employees to take into consideration. The process itself may take six months to a year to complete, in order to satisfy all the needs and objectives of the organization. And it may be both wise and necessary to perform brand name validation research, linguistic evaluations and other forms of research to arrive at a final name. For all of these reasons, the cost of naming, or rebranding a corporation, can run anywhere from $ 25,000 to $ 75,000 or more.
The cost to name a company depends a great deal on the size and scope of the business, the number of decision makers involved, and the degree of additional services needed. From simple business naming, to more complex corporate brand name development, the fees can range from $ 5,000 to $ 75,000 or more, and require anywhere from a few weeks to several months. By predetermining the level of your company naming needs, you can gain a better understanding of the amount of funds you can reasonably expect to commit to the project. The right budget amount can assure that your company naming and branding needs receive the appropriate amount of time and attention they deserve. An investment in a quality company brand name can increase recognition and recall, while building customer loyalty that pays dividends for years to come.
Phillip Davis is president and founder of Tungsten Branding, company naming consultants located near Asheville, NC. Phil and his team have assisted over 200 regional, national and international corporations with business and product branding strategies. To view his company naming portfolio, visit http://www.PureTungsten.com