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”)

Zinfo

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.

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.

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.

 

Greg Balla

President & Creative Director


In the waning daze of the dotcom boom, he segued into product design & brand strategy, unwittingly honing the lexicological creative chops necessary to embark upon his own venture. (And yes, we just said lexicological.) more →

 

Doug Powell

Managing Director, Client Services


If you contact Zenmark about your branding challenge, chances are Doug is the person you’ll get to know first and best. Doug serves as our new business point man and passionately committed client satisfaction department. more →

 

Jett Drolette

Director of Naming


Jett has been naming products and services at Zenmark for over 15 years. You’ll notice him in meetings — he’s the one with the wheels clearly turning even before the process begins. more →

 

Rob McD

Director of 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. more →

Core Criteria: The distilled essence of the Discovery Phase; a set of 3 to 5 words and/or short statements which represent the ideal impressions you’d like to elicit within the heats & minds of your target audience(s).