Kids these days Download report

In the wake of COVID-19, every strategy, segmentation and approach needs a rethink. But for brands shaping products and content to meet the needs of younger audiences, that’s no easy feat. 

For a long time, gathering reliable insight into how kids act, think, and see themselves and the world around them hasn’t been easy. There are plenty of reasons for this, but a core reason is we simply haven’t been able to give them a platform to tell us – in a safe, ethical, and transparent way.

It’s time to change that.

GWI Kids is the new, fully opt-in data set that explores the attitudes and behaviors of kids aged 8-15 across 14 markets.

This unique study is carried out by interviewing both kids and their parents/guardians with 100% transparency, giving you a reliable view of the world – through their eyes.

Some pitfalls of existing research on kids

Good quality research on how today’s youths think and behave does exist.  But finding a source that has the scale you need to be truly representative – one that paints an in-depth picture of their views and opinions – hasn’t been easy to find. Here’s why.

1. Knowing what to trust isn’t easy. 

For us at GWI, everything we do is about ensuring consumer privacy and gathering insights in a fully opt-in, ethical and respectful way. When we’re talking about kids, this becomes even more crucial. 

  • What’s the approach to data collection? 
  • Which set of regulations did they adhere to?
  •  What’s the role of the parent in the process? 
  • Was the process carried out safely and ethically?

These are questions every brand needs answers to when leveraging insights into younger audiences, but they’re often missing.

2. It doesn’t showcase their point of view.

Up to now, anyone speaking to younger consumers has had to rely largely on insight that uniquely doesn’t stem from the minds of their actual audience. Instead, the data has mostly been behavioral – or harnessed from parents. 

  • What’s their influence in the household? 
  • How do they feel about important issues today? 
  • How do they prefer to use their devices? 

These are just some of the questions that have gone unanswered, simply because studies haven’t been designed to help people make more child-centric decisions.

How GWI Kids is changing the game

Consumers are expecting more from brands – and that includes our younger cohorts. But meeting these expectations takes understanding their needs, their views, and their worries a lot better than we do right now. 

GWI Kids helps you do that with a study that’s unique in a number of ways.

It asks the questions others don’t.

Kids aren’t always given the chance to voice their opinions.

For that reason, we’re lacking a reliable view of how kids really see themselves and the world around them. This study was built to help bridge that gap – showing the attitudes, priorities, concerns and lifestyles of young people. 

  • Do they feel they know how to stay safe online?
  • Is caring for the planet important to them?
  • What are their main reasons for using social media?
  • In the wake of COVID-19, are they worried about the future?

These are some of the questions we set out to answer; and it’s this kind of knowledge that will make all the difference for brands of every shape and size.

Our approach is 100% transparent.

Transparency, safety, and respect is core to everything we do at GWI – but in crafting this study, it took on even more importance.  

GWI Kids was baked in safety and reliability from day one – always obtaining parental consent, including them in each survey, and remaining completely anonymous by collecting no personally identifiable information during the entire process.

While various panel providers around the world have their own identity verification systems for panelists (like double opt-in via email), their personal information never came anywhere near us. 

We’ve collected data via an online survey distributed to parents/guardians that yielded 16K interviews and 3.5+K data points on 300+ brands – and we did it all with safety in mind.

We believe there are no shortcuts to earning trust. That’s why GWI Kids is the product of a rigorous methodology and endless attention to detail.

It’s built for kids to get better quality answers.

As every researcher knows, getting good quality insights from active data depends hugely on how you shape your surveys. 

We wanted this study to speak to kids, so we needed it to speak their language. We made that possible in a few ways:

  • We invested a lot of time and effort developing a child-friendly approach that uses age-appropriate language to get the best quality responses.
  • We designed our surveys to be as engaging as possible, with a tailored experience for every respondent that’s chat-like, mobile-friendly, and easy to understand. 
  • We conducted extensive research into the online population of each country to ensure our target universe figures are accurate.
  • We set strict quotas on – and weighted the data by – age and gender, to make sure it’s truly representative.
  • We shaped different questions to reflect different age groups, and made sure everything was written in terms they’d understand.
  • We underwent stringent quality checks to make sure every single answer was submitted with complete confidence and accuracy – making use of techniques such as logic traps where appropriate to avoid false or incomplete answers (all the more important when including both guardians and kids in a single survey). 

But this isn’t just about capturing the views of kids – it’s also about parents and guardians. That’s why, along with the vital matter of giving consent, we also ask parents/guardians to complete a number of questions at the start of every survey.

The future of kids research should be built by kids

All this together has resulted in a uniquely detailed and trustworthy picture of young people’s actions and opinions – as well as the context in which they live.

It’s now possible to see the world through the eyes of kids, and right now that’s an important thing to capture. 

It’s time for kids to have their say, and I for one am excited to see how this data is put to good use.

Kid-proof your ideas Learn more

Written by

Jason is Chief Research Officer at GWI. He's the main man who leads our global team of analysts, delivering world-renowned research. He's an in-demand data junkie who you might see popping up on your telly screens every so often to show you what's actually happening in the lives of consumers.

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