Half way through a traditional face to face qualitative project with mums and kids, and it’s got me thinking about kids and their role in market research.
As we move forward to new technologies and channels for accessing adults are we going to be missing out on insights from kids, and what does this mean for our clients and their products?
At the moment we can conduct direct research with kids with their parents consent, be it in focus groups, accompanied shops, in home sessions etc. But contacting kids online and through mobile devices is a bit more of a grey area.
Does this mean more heavy reliance on mum for an interpretation of her kid’s thoughts, desires and relationships with brands and products?
Kids researchers know the value of hearing it ‘from the horse’s mouth’ so to speak, and clients certainly respond well to watching and listening to kids, who are often instrumental in driving mums purchase behaviour. Many a time we have seen kids in the next room choosing a totally different ‘favourite idea’ to the one their mums are picking for them across the hallway.
Sitting down to talk about a particular brand and what it means to kids can unearth insights far more powerful than we may first think. Kids are so used to being asked for the ‘right’ answers in school. But given the chance to explore their inner thoughts and feelings through drawings, projective techniques and other mechanisms, can be empowering for them. They enjoy harnessing their imagination and creativity, which can lead to fabulous food for thought for brand managers, advertising creative and design teams.
Often mums tell us they buy stuff for kids ‘because they want it’ – but how often do they know why?
I for one am interested to ‘watch this space’ and see how we connect with kids as ethical debates, technology and research evolve. After all, kids are often the most switched on when in it comes to new technology. In a recent focus group, the first question from the 9 year olds boys was “woah is that an ipad 4?”. I have to admit I didn’t know the answer……