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30 Fabulous Companies of the Year 2021

An Interview with Margaret Wolfson, River + Wolf LLC Founder and Chief Creative: ‘We’re laser-focused on name development and all the things that go with it, from trademark screening to linguistic issues’

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“We work in all industries and with clients of every size, from solopreneurs to Fortune 500s.”

Choosing a name for their new business can give founders more sleepless nights than anything else. Getting it right is crucial but also very tricky, as a brand name can mean a lot to one person and absolutely nothing to another. Besides, the wrong name can do worse than fail to connect with customers; it can also result in insurmountable business and legal hurdles.

In light of the preceding, we’re pleased to present River + Wolf LLC — a naming agency with clients worldwide. It develops an extraordinary company, product, and service names. The agency works across industries, including healthcare innovation, personal care, food and beverage, apparel, education, and technology, to name a few.

Margaret Wolfson, River + Wolf LLC Founder and Chief Creative, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Explain your brand naming services in brief.

River + Wolf is a top-rated brand naming agency that creates product names, company names, and service names. Though our naming firm is headquartered in New York City, we work across the globe with clients in North and Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. We cover all industries and serve clients of every size, from solopreneurs to Fortune 500s. We create names for businesses, products, and services and also handle trademark, design, and linguistic checks. Whether you need a name for an artificial intelligence platform or lipstick shade, a financial firm or line of fitness wear, a new city district or medical robot, nothing is beyond our creative reach. 

Q. What motivated you to come up with a dedicated platform for brand naming? How different is River+Wolf compared to a typical marketing and advertising agency?

Marketing and advertising agencies often say they do brand naming when, in fact, what they usually do is provide a list of possible names. When done correctly, naming requires a lot of time and specialized expertise in multiple areas, which general marketing and advertising agencies seldom have. Naming agencies, such as River + Wolf, are laser-focused on name development and all the things that go with it, from trademark screening to linguistic issues. Yes, at times, such agencies (or founders) are lucky enough to catch lightning in a bottle and land on the right name almost effortlessly, but that’s the exception, not the rule. For this reason, I established River + Wolf to provide clients with high quality, but affordable service that gets around some of the challenges of naming.

Customers Speak | Testimonials

“They were able to deliver something that I wouldn’t have thought possible given the timeframe. I am personally happy with the outcome, and my team is as well. Margaret moved mountains to make sure that things got done on time and to my satisfaction.” Kashif Naqshbandi, Chief Marketing Officer, Tenth Revolution, Cloud Talent Solutions

“I’ve worked with Fortune 500 companies in the past, and we talked to a vendor who was in the same category. What I found is that we got top experience and expertise from River + Wolf at a reasonable cost which you don’t always get from other agencies. River + Wolf hit the nail on the head, and they developed a thoughtful brand name and logo that will revolutionize our higher education platform”. Susan Scholes, CMO, Anthology Higher Ed Company

“River + Wolf, by far, had the most soul of any naming agency we interviewed. Throughout the process, we felt empowered and heard. Not only did the process help us come to a name, but it also deepened our understanding of what it is that we are trying to build. I couldn’t be more impressed or satisfied with the process. It was flawless.” Brophy Tyree, Co-Founder, Earthtones, Regenerative Travel Platform

“We’re looking forward to launching our system in Europe with a name we can all be proud of. The workflow was very easy. Margaret was a joy to work. River + Wolf was able to quickly understand what we were looking for. We had an exceptional experience.” 

— Jamie Milas, VP Marketing, MMI, Symani, Surgical Robot

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The Leader at the Helm of River + Wolf LLC

Prior to founding River + Wolf in 2014, Margaret Wolfson served as a professional naming consultant and creative director for 13 years. As River + Wolf’s Chief Creative, she names for companies throughout the world, from start-ups and mid-sized businesses to global Fortune 500s such as Unilever, Yum China Holdings Inc., Coca Cola, Auberge Resorts, Sephora, Samsung, Unilever, Target, and Bangkok Bank, to mention a few. Margaret has been quoted in and written for a range of publishing categories such as The New York Times, AdAge, NBC News, Crain’s, Forbes, Huffington Post, TNW, and Fast Company. In 2018, she was selected as a ‘Top Female Entrepreneur’ by the Huffington Post. Margaret also lectures widely on brand naming, most recently at the Wharton School, Columbia University, Harvard Business Club, and the Institute Français de la Mode and Cinquième Sens in Paris. As a naming specialist, Margaret’s work is deeply informed by a distinguished career as an artist-entrepreneur and award-winning author. This work has provided her with unparalleled management skills, in-depth language ability, and a unique global perspective. She received her M.A. from New York University in literature and communications.

“Though our naming firm is headquartered in New York City, we work across the globe, having worked with clients in North and Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.”