Actions Speak Louder Than Words…Why Kids Research Should Focus On Observation As Much As Conversation
Have you ever had a long conversation with a child of around 5-6 years of age? Not very likely that you have.
The developmental progress of a child at that age does not give them the wherewithal to have a long conversation easily.
Therefore we tend to raise an eyebrow when encountering research which focuses on conversation alone with children to find out what they think/prefer and why.
Our experience has proven that the most powerful tools when researching with children include observation (seeing what a consumer does versus what they say often gets closer to the truth) and comparisons with other similar things (as children find it easier to explain in comparative terms i.e. it’s better than that because…
So our focus groups with kids are most often structured to facilitate a). ‘doing’ so that we can observe and b). comparative exercises. We still talk to children as well, but we don’t rely on that alone.
Children don’t have as many layers of social niceties and norming to un-peal, but they do still role play/posture as the social situation demands. Some of the most revealing projects we’ve worked on have shown a massive mismatch between the social position children have taken versus their actual level of affinity with a brand.
By combining both conversation and these other more observational techniques we find a much deeper understanding which helps clients to develop and position their brands for optimal results.