8 steps to surviving
market research with kids!

Marilia Spindler
Marilia Spindler

A Happy Account Manager


o you want to find out the truth and nothing but the truth about your product or service? Then ask the kids! Of course, you should only ask them if they are a suitable audience for your offer. Be prepared, they’re 100% honest and they don’t mince their words. They’ll conjure up things that you may not ever have thought about. Expect to be amazed by their vocabulary – when did you last hear an 8-year-old using the word ‘exquisite’?

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Here are our 8 top tips on how to manage a kids focus group:


1. Let them show interest

You don’t want to force kids to take part in your market research. In fact, you don’t want to force anyone to take part in your market research, but especially kids, or you’ll face the rest of the session in silence whilst they sit there in a mood, not willing to contribute. Invite them in and let them choose to be a part of it, then your half way there already. A good incentive usually works well too.


2. Create the right environment

Kids get distracted easily, so the environment in which you conduct your focus group is quite important. Think plain and boring, so that their attention is focused on what you’ll show them and on what is being said, and not on something amazing that is happening close by or on any distracting images/people/noise around you.


3. Limit your numbers

When it comes to focus groups, less is always more. It’s much more beneficial to increase the number of focus groups you do than to cram the number of people that you’d like to speak to in one big group. Kids talk a lot and get very excited so be prepared for them to talk over each other. The more kids you have in the group, the harder it is to manage the exercise. Also, if you have too many, there’ll always be that one that will feel shy and not contribute much because the others are taking over.


4. Time is of the essence

We’d recommend sessions not to run for over an hour with kids, or they will just be distracted and not contribute. They need constant motivation and it’s important that you deliver your questions and answer options in a varied way, which brings me nicely to the next point.


5. Show enthusiasm

This is not just specific to kids as everyone responds more easily if they’re spoken to with a bit of enthusiasm. If you deliver your questions in a flat tone, expect the same response back, or worse, just astonished confusion amongst your group. Try to engage with them and always praise them when they answer (‘ah, that’s amazing! Wow, thank you, it’s great to know what you think’) and they will feel encouraged to say more, which is exactly what you want. The more you give, the more you get.


6. Control the little ‘star’ of the show

There’s always going to be one child that is more excited than the rest and will want to answer all the questions first, a bit like a teacher’s pet. Your job when conducting the focus group is to make sure everyone gets a turn to speak and always in a random order, so the first people to answer are different for each question. This will make sure everyone gets a say and that the opinions are delivered in a fair and democratic manner, making your market research results balanced and varied, and therefore more meaningful.


7. Make it fun

If you have to cover quite a bit of ground, make it fun for the kids. Use emojis for customer satisfaction questions, make them move around the room to stand by their favourite option, change the order in which you ask everyone to answer your questions and use lots and lots of visuals. If it feels boring, they will most likely disengage with you and you’ll lose them completely.


8. Say thank you with an incentive

This goes hand in hand with number one. If you offer an incentive to your customers for taking part in your market research, the kids are much more likely to engage. So be sure to make it a good one, and attractive to your specific target audience.

It’s also very important to say thank you to them for taking the time to be there to answer your questions. If your participants feel appreciated, this will also help with creating brand loyalty.


Kids will give you valuable insights into whatever you ask them about and they will always be very sincere. Take what they say seriously, but during the process, don’t forget to have fun!

Inspired by what you’ve just read? Why not follow us @happy_creative or you can always contact us on 01253 446933.

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8 steps to surviving market research with kids!
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