Making of a Web App: Choose a Name, Part 2 – Update

Making of a Web App follows the design, development and deployment of a web application. This is the seventh article in the series. In this entry we pick a name for Synap Software’s new sales team collaboration application. Here’s the steps we followed:

  • Wrote down the categories, benefits, and differences that describe the app.
  • Used to find words relating to these categories, benefits, and differences.
  • Found word combinations that made sense, sounded right, and met all our name search criteria.
  • Picked a few favorites and experimented (i.e. played around) with them.
  • Picked a name, slept on it. Woke up and still liked it.
  • Now we are sharing it for feedback.

Final Two Candidates

It came down to zPlaybook or PlaybookIQ. This blog entry shows how we arrived at those names. I’ll write more details on the in-progress logo development, but for now here is a sneak-peek.

Thanks to Michael McDerment

How to Name Your Company was the basis for our thorough product name selection method. We used different selection criteria, but similar methodology to that presented by Michael.

1. Reviewed the Criteria

In the previous Synap Software Blog article we outlined our criteria for choosing product name. That turned out to be the easy part.

2. Reviewed the Application

Next, we wrote down basic information and selling points about our sales team process application.

3. Discovered Applicable Words

Then, using, we searched for appealing words related to the application’s concepts. Now we had a list of candidate words for the product name.

Our finished worksheet shows what this looked like.

Yes, some of these words are descriptive even though one of our criteria is to avoid a purely functionally descriptive name. In combining words we hope to create a name that is more than simply functionaly descriptive.

4. Combined Words

Next, we simply started combining words from the word lists, looking for combinations that made sense and matched all of our criteria. Not surprisingly, I quickly found that most of the word combinations we liked did not have .com available. So, we decided to move forward to choose a two syllable name regardless of .com availability. Then, the strategy was, we would use a third syllable to make the name unique and the .com available.

5. Picked a Favorite Combination Anyway

This is where the rigorous process started to fade and the creative, free association activities kicked in. After going through several rounds of combining words, we picked a favorite pair that individually worked well and happened to also combine into a meaningful word.

With the .com taken and in very active use, we looked at adding to the front or back of the name. We considered adding “iq” to the end or “sales” to the front of the name. I considered adding “e” or “i” to the front of the name, but the resulting .com was taken and in active use (no chance they would sell to us). In the end, I added “z” to the front of our original choosen name and here it is:

6. Added Flair to Make Unique and .com-able

Introducing “zPlaybook”. I like the name because:

  • It meets all name selection criteria.
  • “Play” gives a hint of a positive user experience.
  • “Book” demonstrates roots in building your (book of) business.
  • A “playbook” shows team members the big picture of each play as well as each individual’s responsiblities.
  • Extensible: e.g. A playbook is situational. Our reports could be called “scorecards”. Common use of “team”.
  • I like the shape “z” makes in reference to a starting point, a path, and an ending point. Fits nicely with our sales process software.
  • “z” makes it unique. Before today there are zero Google results on “zPlaybook” (and 2.4 million on “playbook”).


Upon further review, we have another favorite. The likely name is now: The “IQ” suffix seems a bit more professional than the “z” prefix. Also, the “intelligence” component of “IQ” ties nicely into our company name, Synap Software – Smart Software Fast.

And finally, the “IQ” after Playbook indicates something follows the playbook. There is a result – specifically “intelligence” – that derives from using the playbook. Specifically – sales managers will be able to gather “intelligence” about their sales information from PlaybookIQ.

What do you think?

A Sidebar of Spontaneous Publicity

The new phone book’s here! The new phone book’s here!

Boy, I wish I could get that excited about nothing.

Nothing? Are you kidding? Page 73 – Johnson, Navin R.! I’m somebody now! Millions of people look at this book everyday! This is the kind of spontaneous publicity – your name in print – that makes people. Things are going to start happening to me now. source

Now that we have our name in print and ready for public scrutiny, let us know what you think of it by sharing a comment below.

4 thoughts on “Making of a Web App: Choose a Name, Part 2 – Update

  1. The ‘z’ in front also gives your product a classy French accent!

    “Oui, mon frere. We shall look up our next move in ze playbook.”

  2. @Evan – so I guess our globalization/internationalization efforts have started already 🙂

  3. Thanks Alex. It will be interesting to see how many sports fans, coaches, players, and bettors come to and quickly find nothing useful for them – unless maybe at least one of them will have a need for sales team collaboration software.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: