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Topic: Branding

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Time To Create New Company Name

Posted by bbarrick on 250 Points
I recently provided a client with a list of 64 relevant names with exact .com and .us top-level domain names with confirmed availability. The effort took 19.50 hours over several days. Now the client claims it took too much time.

Does anyone have any examples of how long this naming and top-level domain process should take?

The closest information quote I could find online was: "Cost for naming a company can range from $7,500 to $75,000+ and require anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete. Phil Davis, Branding & Naming Expert President of Tungsten.

Many thanks,

Bill Barrick
bbarrick@barrickworld.com

  • Posted by dubois on Accepted
    Value based pricing is the way to go for creative concepts like names and logos, for future reference. The higher values would include legal research and consumer testing. Did you and the client establish a budget? In writing? With all due respect, if the client thinks of you as a contractor, or if they think they hired you to do domain name research, that is billed hourly. In the end, will your client change their name to one of your ideas? Considering what a good name is worth, the client shouldn't bicker about your bill.
  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    Your client is an idiot.

    For future reference, NEVER, give a client ANYTHING up front without a signed contract and without payment in hand.

    By all means offer a scope of work: that this result will cost this amount, and get the client to sign off on things and pay you before you do the work.

    The best way to move forward here might be for your to buy the domain names in question and to then mark up the price of whichever one the client wants in order to recoup your outlay.

  • Posted by Gary Bloomer on Accepted
    One other thought: on your LinkedIn profile, and anywhere where you might include it on your website, change "Marketing Contractor" to "Marketing Specialist" or to "Marketing Strategist".

    By calling yourself a contractor you might lead clients to think of you as they would an electrician or a plumber.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    It's too late to set expectations for the work you performed. In the future, rather than focus on the number of hours, focus on the deliverables instead. For example, promise 5 well-researched names for $X. The value of your work is is in the eyes of your client. If they have clear expectations, and have detailed them in a creative brief, with a plan for switch over (and a budget to do so), then it's much easier to set a mutually agreed upon fair price. If someone just wants a couple of names based on vague criteria, then they are unlikely to appreciate the amount of effort it takes.
  • Posted by timo kruskopf on Accepted
    Look at this from positive angle: you still have not given customer the IPR's. Basically you can half the price but keep IPR't to yourself you can sell them later on real value, not on hourly invoicing.
    For the next deal you make I agree with the above comments.
  • Posted by bbarrick on Author
    Thanks to Dubois, Gary Bloomer, Jay Hamilton-Roth and Timo Kruskopf for your prompt and valuable insights. Regards, Bill Barrick.
  • Posted by digitalbluooseo on Member
    No you take less time for that task. By all means offer a scope of work: that this result will cost this amount, and get the client to sign off on things and pay you before you do the work.
  • Posted by bbarrick on Author
    Thank you for your advice. I was hired on a retainer basis (40 hrs. per month at $120/hr.) and was paid upfront for the first month. Created new brand identity and positioning (vision,m mission, values, brand essence, brand positioning.) Generated estimate for logo creation. Researched and created target profile (providing insights client did not have or provide.) Completed a market sizing exercise (correcting the client's flawed efforts.) And, created 64 new brand names, researched their domain availability and plotted 31 of the most relevant and promising brand names on an emotional/rational scale. Client is suing me in small claims because he claims I was deceitful and misrepresented myself because it took me 19.50 hours to create 64+ new brand names, research their domain availability and plot them on the emotional/rational scale. That's why I wanted the communities opinion and experience regarding the amount of time it generally takes to create new brand names. Thank you.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    Hourly billing is nothing but a big problem. Learn from this lesson. It's not fair to you, and it's not fair to the client. (Next time contract for the result, not for your time.)

    If you promised 40 hours of work but only delivered 19.5 hours, then you probably owe the client another 20.5 hours. How long it "usually" takes to do whatever you did is irrelevant. If you actually spent more time doing other things that benefited the client, perhaps you can bill for them too. Depends on what you and the client agreed would be the scope of work.
  • Posted by mgoodman on Moderator
    Hourly billing is nothing but a big problem. Learn from this lesson. It's not fair to you, and it's not fair to the client. (Next time contract for the result, not for your time.)

    If you promised 40 hours of work but only delivered 19.5 hours, then you probably owe the client another 20.5 hours. How long it "usually" takes to do whatever you did is irrelevant. If you actually spent more time doing other things that benefited the client, perhaps you can bill for them too. Depends on what you and the client agreed would be the scope of work.
  • Posted by Chris Blackman on Member
    Bill, read Alan Weiss's book "Value Based Billing". Charging for time is always problematical.
    https://www.amazon.com.au/Value-based-Fees-Charge-Second-Consultants/dp/047...

    And check out my web page on Ethical Fees.
    https://melbournebcg.com.au/our-ethical-fee-model

    Chris Blackman

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