Research Outline

Market Research with Kids: Best Practices


To determine the best practices for conducting market research with kids, such as participant consent, engaging the kids, and recruiting, among others.

Early Findings

Best Practices


  • Consent is considered one of the most important factors to consider when conducting qualitative market research with kids and young people. In this case, and according to Market Research Society (MRS) guidelines, children are defined as people less than 16 years old.
  • Young people, on the other hand, are those aged 16 or 17 years. In both cases, before conducting market research with a kid, consent must be given from a responsible adult and the child involved. Responsible adults could include a parent, teacher, grandparent, guardian, or nanny.
  • The child must also be confident about their decision to partake and be fully aware that they can withdraw from the study whenever they want. The research must consider the child's age and level of understanding. The study cannot begin until consent from a responsible adult and their relationship to the child has been recorded.
  • Consent is even more critical for certain types of research. For example, sensitive topics such as child-specific support services or charities. A child should not be asked to participate in a research study if the process distresses them.
  • It is becoming increasingly common for market research concerning kids to be conducted in schools. In such cases, the headteacher could act as loco parentis and grant permission to participate in the study. Regardless, it is still important to seek consent from the child's parents, and the best scenario would involve informing all parents at the school that research is ongoing, especially if it would be cinematized.

Providing Incentives

  • As with typical market research conducted among adults, providing child participant incentives is considered effective and useful. Examples of such incentives could include age-appropriate vouchers or products relevant to the child but easy to spend.
  • For young people, such incentives could consist of non-monetary gifts. iTunes vouchers are a popular incentive. However, bearing in mind that the child might not have an account, it would be better to send them to their parents.
  • The incentive provided must be safe, legal, and acceptable by both parents and children. However, the product of the sponsoring company should not be offered as an incentive.
  • It is also a best practice to provide specific incentives for the parents since they would be involved significantly in the research process from "recruitment, pre-task stage, and the research." Parents would most likely act as supervisors for their kids, ensuring that they are present when required and participating actively.


  • The initial research revealed tons of information regarding the best practices for conducting market research studies with kids. Other available information includes but is not limited to creating the right environment, establishing clear rules, and using the proper methods.
  • Consent from both the child and a responsible adult is critical to conducting market research studies with kids. Parents also tend to act as supervisors during each stage of the research process, from recruitment to research.
  • Provided below are the relevant next steps to give more information regarding the topic.