Young generations are radically different to the ones that came before them. They are reshaping the world of research, and any brand or organisation that involves them in their strategy is going to be future-proof.
We’re still trying to understand this coveted generation – the tastemakers, the trendsetters, the ones dictating the social and cultural agenda, and most importantly – the demographic with the fastest increasing spending power.
Let us talks you through some methods of youth research that we’re championing, exploring, and innovating with.
1. A nod to the (unlikely) masters
If only there was a perfect example of a website that has thousands of consumers around the world filling out quantitative surveys for free… Oh hey there BuzzFeed, I didn’t see you behind this really boring yes and no tickbox website that looks like it’s from 1990. Awkward…
All we need to add to our surveys are 90’s GIFs and a definitive ‘the Internet just gets me’ answer and we’ll have panelists lining up to give us their opinions.
But seriously, we can learn a lot from the web’s most viral sites.
Let’s try and make people want to do research…
2. A trip to the App Store
We can try to organise and maintain carefully guided conversations online – but this demographic are already saying what they think all of the time in the setting they’re most comfortable: social media.
As well as listening in on Facebook and Twitter (using advanced tools, which makes that less creepy than it sounds) we’re always finding new apps and networks to serve our research needs.
Whether it’s holding focus groups on WhatsApp or seeing how new app French Girls delivers on the information-gathering front.
We find that natural environments give more authentic responses.
3. A trip to the pub
Do you know where people like giving their opinion, aside from in skilfully crafted communities in response to a series of questions from qualified researchers? Pubs.
We are using a ‘pint for your point’ methodology that exchanges rounds of drinks for a slice of the conversation groups of friends are already having at the pub. That’s a double truth bomb on the rocks.
Drinking establishments aside, this can be replicated to any other natural environments that fit our briefs – from shopping centres, to educational institutions to concerts – with an incentive that matches each experience.
4. A bit of common sense
When we’re devising new ways to engage Generation Y and Z in research – we don’t have to fumble blindly in the dark.
By looking at their natural leanings in online conversation – including the language they use, the memes they share and their social channels – we can adapt our methodology to suit the behaviours we are witnessing.
For example, some of our qualitative fieldwork is based on sharing content in real time from mobile devices, with a focus on photos, videos and gamified interactive experiences – a clear mirror of current communication trends within this audience.
5. A sense of purpose
If the inability to commit to labour or a dismal job market has spurred one thing amongst Millennials, it is their creativity and initiative like never before. They love creating content!
We shouldn’t be restricting these minds that so freely roam with tick boxes and closed conversations.
Imagination exercises, innovation centres and immersion workshops, either online or IRL (in real life) are a perfect match for this demographics’ natural behaviour.
We often find that our most engaged participants are those giving their opinion because they feel like they’ll make a real difference. Nothing says ‘your opinion matters’ like recreating important operational environments with your consumer.