Case Study

A Kids Micro Community Provides Insights For Product Innovation


Keeping a pulse on today’s kids can be a real challenge. But that’s exactly what our client, a food and beverage manufacturer with several kid-focused sub-brands wanted to do. Specifically, they needed ongoing access to a representative group of kids to learn more about their everyday lives, trends, and brands that excite them and, more importantly, to have ready access to feedback for product innovation and marketing initiatives. 

Partnering with our client, C+R created a multi-year qualitative micro community to meet their objectives. Using both in-person and online focus groups, our client was able to deeply understand what resonates with kids and what it’s like to “walk in their shoes.” This kid-centric, empathic approach guided them in future product innovation and marketing efforts. 


Our client, a large manufacturer of foods and beverages that includes several sub-brands of kid-specific products sought C+R’s help in building a micro community of kids. This would allow our client to connect with these kids to learn about their lives and act as a sounding board for our client’s new product innovations and marketing initiatives. 

The objectives of the kids’ micro community include: 

  • Informing brand decisions focusing on new product innovations, packaging, and preferences for flavors/ingredients.
  • Obtain kids’ reactions to various marketing initiatives.
  • Generate insights into the everyday lives of kids.
  • Provide opportunities for senior leadership to build empathy for their target audience.


C+R created an ongoing qualitative micro community to give our client continued access to a pre-profiled set of kids. The panel comprised an equal number of boys and girls in the third and fourth grades. Between five and eight monthly activities were conducted each year.

The micro community began pre-COVID, so initially, all activities took place within in-person focus groups. As the pandemic took hold, the group pivoted to monthly online focus groups. Some months C+R also had participants (and occasionally, their parents) complete pre-group “homework” assignments such as collages and worksheets to prime them for the discussion and to gain deeper insights into their feelings on the topic at hand.

The panel provided the ability for the client’s team to build empathy and deep dive into key areas of importance to key stakeholders responsible for their sub-brands. 

The result

As a result of this multi-year micro community, our client received critical insights on several new initiatives, including a taste test for new flavored water, back-to-school partnership ideas, better-for-you meal concepts, and a redesign of a popular lunchtime product. 

Our client also learned more about the topics and trends that got kids most excited, which helped them build empathy for what it’s like to be a kid today. With this knowledge, our client was also able to identify white space opportunities for product innovation and marketing messaging for future campaigns. 

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