New Features for Zip-Zap Ideas® 2024

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Zip-Zap Ideas® is an agile online innovation tool that we launched in 2020.  It comes with advanced features designed to help cross-functional innovation teams to quickly build and identify a pipeline of winning insights, concepts or claims.

This blog highlights some neat new features that we have launched in 2024, plus a general reminder of the different ways that you can use online tools e.g. in co-creation workshops with creative-thinking consumers; running more effective ideation workshops with internal teams; or to quickly test the appeal of refined concepts or claims with target customers in key markets. 

Short on time? Click on the following link to see Zip-Zap Ideas® in action, showing how the tool is used to capture early insights and ideas (the ZIP), or to more formally evaluate leading concepts and claims with a wider target audience (the ZAP).

1. Viewing Early Ideas in Workshops

One of the key benefits of Zip-Zap Ideas®, is the ability for teams to quickly share and evaluate "early ideas" in face-to-face Ideation Hothouse™ workshops, or for virtual brainstorming sessions. This is when we normally use the "ZIP stage", with small teams posting early ideas or insights linked to an agreed innovation objective. To enhance the user experience, we recently refined the layout to maximise the viewing area of early ideas.  In addition, we have created a fun "full-screen view" that shows all ideas like virtual post-it notes (see image above).  We use this view in workshops especially when we want individuals to view and award love hearts to ideas they feel have greatest potential. 

2. Building New Ideas from Leading Insights

Great ideas are normally inspired by relevant trends and deeper insights, or when one idea inspires an even better idea.  We have added a new "Build Idea" feature to Zip-Zap which allows a user to easily build on an existing idea or "STAR INSIGHTS" that they "see on the wall".  The original idea or Star Insight is then posted to a new idea, and this can be edited and refined.  The "building history" is also captured so that the "inspiring insight" is always tagged to the idea, a feature that might help at a later date when developing fuller concepts.  On many projects, as well as developing new ideas, the platform is used to share, refine and evaluate insights.  The insights with most potential are then marked as "Star Insights" and are used in conjunction with the new Idea Build feature.

3. Capturing Early Comments from Target Consumers

The Zip-Zap platform provides innovation teams with a smart and agile way of co-creating new ideas with creative-thinking consumers.  In these workshops, we normally ask pairs of consumers to evaluate and build on early ideas that are developed before the workshop.  We find that this approach works better than simply giving the consumers a "blank piece of paper".  To enhance the way we run these sessions, we have added a new feature that allows you to capture comments to "early ideas" at a much earlier stage in the ideation process. All comments get captured against each specific idea within project reports.  In addition, the new feature has the ability to make all comments visible to other users or just visible to the person who posted the comment.   

4. Different Idea Views and Idea Groupings

One of the key features of Zip-Zap, is the ability to group and manage your ideas against different "innovation challenges" or grouped into "different innovation themes".  And once delegates have voted on ideas, users can also quickly view ideas by love hearts or by the number of "ZAP votes" from consumer screening. To make this experience even easier for users, we have added some simple "view buttons" that cover the most popular views that people like to use.  These viewing features are particularly useful at the "ZIP Stage" when delegates are using the platform in a workshop environment, or following the workshop prior to copy writing work using our new "link ideas" feature e.g. when 2 or three similar ideas are "linked" prior to wider evaluation. 

5. Screening Leading Ideas with Target Consumers

We have continued to update features to use Zip-Zap as a fast way to quickly evaluate leading ideas with target consumers in key markets, or a wider audience of internal or external stakeholders. This is when we use the "ZAP Stage" of the platform, to more formally evaluate ideas and to gain comments to ideas that people feel have greatest potential.  On most projects, we normally screen a randomised list of 12-24 refined concepts or claims.  Users ZAP ideas they like the most, add comments and post new ideas they feel are missing.  When reviewing results, we look for ideas that are "significantly more appealing" the agreed benchmark idea (at 90% confidence). For benchmarks, we normally like to include a leading competitive idea or a known idea that has tested strongly in previous research.  

6. More Security Updates and Other Geeky Stuff

Finally, we continue to add geeky features to the platform to enhance speed and security.  This includes new hosting arrangements on super-fast (and more secure) Azure servers.  And this has been combined with security updates to core java script code plus ongoing refinements to our two-factor authentication protocols.  In addition, facilitators who create a Zip-Zap project can also add an additional security feature where users can only access a project through a dedicated project URL link and their access to viewed ideas can also be controlled. To date, the platform has been used by leading companies such as Bayer Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Essity, Danone, Takeda, Tesco and Unilever. 

Get in touch if you want to know more - we'd love to hear from you.