The importance of “storytelling” seems to be the buzzword lately when it comes to branding communications and decisions. For example, last August Branding Strategy Insider wrote that “Brands Must Master the Art of Storytelling,” and just last week it wrote twice on the subject, about “Shared Values in Brand Storytelling” and

Vice President Joe Biden recently revived popular use of the word “malarkey” or “malarky” — a word that essentially means “nonsense.”

Our DuetsBlog friend Nancy Friedman, author of the award-winning Fritinancy Blog, covered “Malarkey” as the “Word of the Week” earlier this month.

So, imagine my surprise to pass by a restaurant called Malarkys in

What’s the first thing you think about when you’re naming a company or a product? Securing a domain? Avoiding trademark conflict? Sounding different from your competitors?

All are important concerns. But I contend that the first thing you should think about is this:

A name is the title of your story.

Yes, you’re naming your company or your product. But what you’re really doing is putting a title on the story you’re telling investors, shareholders, customers, and employees.

If you’re smart and lucky, the name you choose will be the title of a great story. A best-seller. A legend. A tale told around the campfire for generations.

If you’re haphazard or confused or pretentious or timid, your name will end up on the equivalent of the remainders table at your local bookstore: piles of copies at 70 percent off.

You can have a great story that nobody wants to read because the title is pedestrian or perplexing or pompous.

Or you can create demand for your story by giving it a title that tells just enough without giving away the plot.

So before you do any internal namestorming or hire a name developer, spend some time thinking about the story your company or product needs to tell.


Continue Reading The Title of Your Story