IdeaStream™ Can Do That: #2 Concept testing

The next topic of discussion in our ‘how to’ blog series, “IdeaStream can do that” is focused on our concept testing tool, called MarkUp. We will be sharing some standard ways to use the tool along with more creative approaches.

First, however, let’s start with the basics about this tool. The MarkUp tool (part of the IdeaStream platforms toolkit) is used when you’d like to gauge participant’s opinions on ads, design concepts or product ideas (during the NPD process). MarkUp allows you to upload an image, ask an unlimited number of questions about it and capture emotional response via use of emoticons. Participants respond to each question by dropping a set number of pins onto the image and optionally giving a written response or adding an emotion showing their sentiment for each pin.

For example, a standard way you might use this tool is to upload a stimuli, (in our example below, a cereal packaging) and ask the participants to pin the first things they noticed, why they stood out and how they make them feel.



On the backend, the output from MarkUp can be viewed and downloaded as a heatmap, showing the most popular areas of the image. You can also filter participant pins for example just to show the ‘happy’ pins.


We’ve already seen our clients use MarkUp for packaging, magazine covers, posters, websites and apps; but here’s some other creative uses of MarkUp:


Perception, Positioning and Maping

These are great for getting participants to place a product or brand on a chart to gauge their perception of it.

perception map

Drop a pin where you see Brand X fitting


Scales and Timelines

In a similar way you could ask participants to place a pin on a scale or timeline to answer your question.


scale or timeline

What age were you when you bought your first car?


Image polls

Placing two or more images side by side can allow you to ask participants to vote on their favourite.


image poll

Which of these electric cars do you prefer?


Fine-tuning Ideas Generated by Participants

You can showcase ideas that participants have created using other tools in IdeaStream™ (like IdeaStorm), screen capture the idea, and give other participants the ability of marking up each of their colleagues concepts or ideas. Of course, participants won’t know who’s idea they are marking up unless you choose to share that with them.


Got an interesting idea or questions about using using MarkUp? We’d love to hear from you!