By Todd Bolin  /  Chief Executive Officer

When does 25 really equal 2,500?


It’s a fair question, the answer to which isn’t necessarily intuitive or obvious. But when our client, Thomson Reuters, a $10+ billion information provider to legal and financial industries worldwide came to Bolin wanting to develop a new global brand for its legal software offering, we knew we needed to scale beyond our staff of 25 located in Minneapolis.  We tapped into the power of Tribe Global, our network of 40 independent agencies with 2,500+ employees speaking 34 languages from around the world. A relatively straightforward brief included an ambitious timeline along with the following: the new name must be in English and rolled out with trademark protection in all current operating markets (US, Canada, UK, EU and Australia) with eventual worldwide distribution. This meant that name comprehension and cultural sensitivity would be required in English (US and UK), Spanish, Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil) and French (France and Canada) along with screening checks in 17 other languages. Successful naming requires a rigorous, disciplined, and iterative process. It also relies on specialized creative talent, essentially ‘linguistic’ copywriters who love words, word parts and what they communicate. Add to that multiple languages and cultures and the challenge in this case is clear.


Bolin assembled an international, multi-cultural creative team which included our own internal creative group along with teams from three Tribe agencies: Cundari (Toronto/Montreal, English + French), YOU Agency (London, British English) and Creative on Demand (Miami, Spanish + Portuguese). Teams worked both individually and collaboratively to develop a shortlist of contender names as measured against such criteria as meaning, legibility, pronounceability, and trademark-ability. Finalists names were then circulated to the wider Tribe membership to provide screening and cultural sensitivity checks against the 17 other required languages which ultimately led the team to a final recommendation which was readily approved and embraced by the client. This type of complex, creative branding challenge would ordinarily require the scale and resources of a global holding company or traditional “Madison Avenue” branding firm. However, by scaling up an ‘on demand’ global creative team through Tribe Global, Bolin was able to deliver successfully on the project, on time, for a fraction of what the client was accustomed to paying global branding firms for similar projects in the past. Being a part of Tribe gives us permission to have a truly global perspective with our clients and scale up with resources whenever and wherever in the world we need them.