Playground Perspectives: The World of Kids through Qualitative Exploration with Liam O’Reilly-Gevert

27 March 2024

Insights One Picture

Honest and open discussions with kids is an art form that aids businesses who listen to their small but mighty target audience

Liam O’Reilly-Gevert is an experienced Insights Consultant at One Picture who has worked on numerous projects involving parents and their children. He sat down to speak on his experiences and the valuable insights provided to clients.

Keeping kids entertained, engaged, and sharing their thoughts and opinions for an entire group session had me using all my creative tactics but the outcomes were fantastic, and the client was impressed with the valuable insight provided” he noted.

Qualitative research with children is an exploration of their perspectives, experiences, and thoughts about their world using flexible and creative prompts and methods. This type of research recognises the unique ways in which children communicate and engage with their surroundings. 

One Picture Group operate using the Research Association of New Zealand code of conduct when working with children and young people and informed consent by the parent of anyone under the age of 15 years is mandatory and for sensitive information consent is required for anyone under 18 years. In addition, we have found going a step further and allowing children to bring a friend along with them for any play-based research to ensure an authentic response in a safe and friendly environment.  

Liam O’Reilly-Gevert shared that there are many benefits for everyone involved in research with kids.  

Empowering the Voice of Kids and Parents 

With parents on hand and children in a safe environment our team can assess the thoughts and opinions through play, drawing and talking to kids. Liam and his team know it is vital to be “one of the kids” and are frequently found sitting cross legged on the floor drawing and playing while interviewing kids. With kids and parents sharing ideas together as well as giving their opinions separately, clients get quality insights while kids gain confidence from speaking up and feel their opinion is valued. 

“We undertook a project from a client with the objective of exploring new technology product lines. The idea was to understand a child’s needs vs their wants and how these aligned with what their parents needed from the product.” Liam said when asked about the type of projects this can benefit.

Getting the Space Right is Vital!  

Liam told us “Using creative spaces, visual cues and exercises with kids and parents ensures a comfortable fun environment that brings the best out in everyone including our team of researchers”. Whether we are looking at food, technology, play areas or toys, our team have learned that a safe space is vital and we repurpose our state-of-the-art facilities to become “kid-friendly” as well as having a quieter space nearby for parents to observe the research without the noise that often comes from robust discussions and play!  

Liam, Insights Consultant at One Picture NZ
Click here to learn more about Liam on our Instagram account

When asked about what challenges he faced when conducting this form of research, Liam told us “Strategic challenges arose when the inconsistencies came out between what the kids want vs what the parents want. Interestingly though, while they all shared different views there was one key thing both kids and parents needed, safety. They wanted to ensure that being safe online was at the forefront of this concept. Whereas the biggest focus group challenge was kid’s attention spans and we overcame that through ensuring our research rooms were kid friendly, creative and fun while the parents were on hand as well to foster the collaborative experience.”

Despite the challenges of working with younger children, Liam discovered giving a voice to our younger generations to be an extremely rewarding aspect to his role. He learned a lot about creating an environment that enabled both parents and kids to be heard and was able to gain valuable insights for the client.  

At the end of the day if you don’t talk to your consumers, no matter their age, how do you really know you’ve got it right?  

The One Picture Group is a strategy company, consumer insights and brand planning specialists who are 100% Kiwi owned and have been helping brands meet consumers for over 22 years. If you want to do a deep dive into your customer experience or brand strategy, contact our teams in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Key Contacts:

Jo Muller (NZ)

Richard Bourke (Australia)

Jennifer Calvey (UK)