Kids are from Earth, Adults are from Uranus
"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."
(and they laugh like heck at that headline)
When was the last time you played "kick the can?"
OK, when was the last time you sent a text message to your best friend (snt a txt msg 2 yr BFF), saying: "OMG! did U c hr? She wz :)~ aL ovr hM! DEGT! I wz ROFL TRDMF! IMHO TPS. Oops - POS GGOH TTYL" ?**
Kids aren't just little adults. Their ability to perceive things is different from ours. Their ability to articulate their thoughts and feelings is different as well. And the ways that they perceive and articulate are different on top of that. No research study designed for adults will work well with kids: not the things you ask about or the way you ask about them, not the wording of your questions or the way you interpret the responses.
They've developed a different language because they need to, both to keep the text messages flowing and to keep their parents in the dark about the topics of those IM sessions. But they also speak a different language because their world is different. Marbles? Atari? Gilligan's what? You might as well be speaking Greek to them. After all, in their world, "wii" is a verb.
Understanding "kid speak"; is one of our specialties at SofoS. We combine formal linguistic approaches with years of kid-marketing and kid-research experience to make sure that your youthful audience understands exactly what you're trying to get at, and that you understand just what your young respondents mean when they tell you something is "gorpy" or "jinky."
You're No Spring Chicken
It's not just that it's been a long time since you were a kid (especially long if you know what "kick the can" is). It's that being a kid today is so, SO much different than it was even five years ago (let alone ten or twenty). Kids have more varied interests, know more about the world, and have access to more products, media, entertainment and general stimuli than ever before. They do things you never dreamed of doing, and they've never dreamed (or even heard) of doing the things you did when you were a young.
To successfully market to and research with kids, it's essential to understand their world. Through constant interfacing and immersion, we do. But more importantly we'll help you understand their world. Come to us with your business problem or research goals in hand, and we'll not only design a study to get at what you need, but along the way we'll explain all of the why's and the what-for's. You'll come away with your questions answered and a more robust understanding of kids in general, making your future research and marketing initiatives to kids easier and more successful.
See our "Six Simple Rules of Kid Research"; for an introduction to this fun and fascinating area.