What is Verbal Design?

Verbal Design is the business art of potently using words to maximize your marketing impact across all media channels.

If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.

— Confucius (“Master Kong”)


Zenmark is a global naming and branding 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 speciality is ZENMARx End-to-End Pharmaceutical Name Development.

click here for team bios


Origin Story

In the latter days of the dotcom boom, a Silicon Valley engineer and a Hollywood screenwriter discovered they possessed a distinctive knack for naming.

After several freelance successes, a client threw down a challenge: “I love your work, but I can’t sell the Two No-Name Naming Guys to my Board. Go off and use your naming powers to come up with a name, then go to Kinko’s and get some business cards made...before Monday’s board meeting.”

We challenged ourselves to come up with the best name in the naming industry with an available dotcom URL. In just one night. Oh, and no www.acme-naming-agency-inc.com, please.

The scent of Sharpie & Tully’s Coffee filled the air.

Right before our midnight deadline, a San Francisco branding agency was born. And Zenmark.com was safely in our hands. In a single word, we blended a philosophy that seeks liberating balance (Zen) and a discipline built upon respecting boundaries —trade (mark) law

This dynamic combination has led Zenmark into boardrooms and war rooms around the world.

Our client list has grown beyond Silicon Valley start-ups to include leaders in automotive, technology, consumer electronics, energy, gaming and life sciences.

Early on we got mixed up in drug naming and now have over 20 globally approved pharma brands in our Portfolio.

Our services have expanded beyond naming to include brand architecture and trademark research.

Zenmark is now a proven leader in Naming & Branding. Coast-to-coast and around the world, consider all your verbal bases covered.

Meet Z Leads

Greg Balla

CEO & Creative Director

Greg began his career in search of mind-expanding training that would unleash his creativity & weaponize his problem solving. So, naturally, he became an electrical… more →

Rob McD

Vice President, Verbal Design

Rob McD, The Wordbreeder, co-founded Zenmark in 1999, where his spirited team created and defined the exciting new field of Verbal Design.   He served as… more →