Explore the world's #1 largest database of ideas and innovations, with over 500,000 inspiring examples.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Join 297,503 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Consumer Insights
Uncover major shifts and emerging opportunities with our exclusive PRO research.
Trend Reports
Discover why 900 brands rely on our AI-powered Trend Reports to get better, faster insights.
Join over 250,000 subscribers who rely on our weekly newsletter to keep up with need-to-know trends and insights.
Get special access to premium content, topic tracking and customizable tools through our AI-powered Dashboard.
AI + Human Methodology
Learn how Trend Hunter harnesses the power of artificial intelligence.
Enhance your innovation potential with a deeper understanding of your unique innovation archetype and how your organization benchmarks.
eLearning (NEW)
Prepare for the year's ahead with 100+ lessons, tactics, tools and frameworks with our full learning database.
Advisory & Services
Accelerate innovation and ignite disruptive thinking with our award-winning programs and research.
Trend Reports
Get fast, customized trend reports, presentations and deep dives 20x faster than traditional research.
Get started today with a free consultation, our self-serve tools, or a dedicated program.
Jeremy Gutsche
Ignite your event or virtual event with our CEO, a NY Times Bestselling Author and one of the top innovation keynote speakers.
Our Team of Speakers & Virtual Presenters
Inspire your group with our most popular speakers on innovation, trends, change and futurism.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Get in touch to learn more, ask a question or submit a tip.
About Us
Learn more about Trend Hunter and how we accelerate innovation.
Get answers to common questions about Trend Hunter.
Stay on the cutting-edge with the help of the Trend Hunter community.
Meet the team trusted by hundreds of leading businesses worldwide.
Find opportunities to accelerate your career with the #1 Trend Firm.
Catch up on noteworthy Trend Hunter news and media mentions.
Build a portfolio and put your trend-spotting abilities to the test.
Supercharge your marketing by partnering with Trend Hunter.
Visit your public portfolio and browse your past articles.
Add a Trend
Write up an article and showcase your trend-spotting skills.
My Trends
Edit your articles and see how they stack up on the leaderboards.
Edit your profile, connect your social media accounts, and more.
Add a trend, customize your dashboard, or track topics.
Future Festival
Innovation Events
Join the world's top innovators at our FREE Virtual events.
Free Webinars
During COVID-19, learn to innovate through chaos, navigate the new normal and maintain work culture from home.
Custom Training & Events
Bring the Future Festival experience directly to your team or co-hosted custom event.
Search our database of 395,451 cutting edge ideas.

Tapping Kids as Co-Designers (INTERVIEW)

Jane Gould, SVP, Consumer Insights, Nickelodeon
Jonathon Brown
November 6th, 2013
In many innovation circles today, millennials are the main target of research. Companies and organizations have invested a great deal of time and resources to figure out what they like. However, Nickelodeon has begun shifting its focus to post-millennials as their generational predecessors have started aging out of the network’s core demographic. According to Jane Gould, SVP, Global Brand and Consumer Insights, this “generational cycle” is what makes Nickelodeon’s creative work so unique.

When Nickelodeon first started broadcasting in the late 70’s, its audience and the world they lived in were very different from the children and environments they analyze today. By working frequently and closely with kids, picking their brains about the nuances of their interests, Nickelodeon gains valuable insight into the barriers and desires of their ever-evolving audience.

Three Questions with Jane Gould
1. How does your team generate new ideas?

Our work is not idea generation. Our goal is to provide our creative teams with distinctive research so they can develop the new, cutting-edge concepts. To do that, we have trained ourselves to listen and watch the particular way children interact with the world. That sounds simple, but as an adult, it’s hard not to bring your own experience and filter into the sessions. So, we try to walk in fresh with eyes and open ears that are ready to hear what’s actually being said. It’s important that we capture their thoughts and deliver them as authentically as possible.
We are able to stay in front of what’s current because we make ourselves available to listen in that way. For instance, in the case of the Nickelodeon app (which won an Emmy for User Experience and Visual Design), we approached working with our test group of kids as “co-designers”. We sat on the floor and created the app with them. The children worked directly with designers. It was a wonderful process to have kids design in this way. It led the Nick Digital team to think about and develop things they never would have thought of had we not used that research method. Case in point, in the sessions, we kept hearing the kids talk about things that they weren’t supposed to do, which led to the creation of the “do not touch” button for the app that the kids were actually allowed to touch and engage with the content. We heard that barrier of theirs and turned it on its head.

2. How do you handle the quick-changing tastes of kids as they grow up?

Analyzing changes in taste across generations is at the core of what we do. For Nickelodeon, it is paramount to our business that we understand our current audiences and our future audiences. Right now, we are at an interesting intersection of events where we are experiencing a generational shift as well as innovation at an accelerated speed. Because we have been doing this work for a long time, we have learned to be flexible in our thinking and foster an environment that does not discourage failure. Sometimes you can get it wrong, but failure forces you to think differently. Working with children has also taught us that just because something isn’t broken, that doesn’t mean you can’t break it. That kind of thinking gives us the dexterity to follow the trends as they happen.

3. How do you identify trends?

We are really fortunate because Nickelodeon truly believes in research, both traditional and non-traditional. Our team is in the field every day and that gives us a unique advantage. Because of that, we can absorb the little pieces of input that, on their own, may seem insignificant, but can indicate a larger trend among our audience if it comes up enough in our field research.

For instance, when Minecraft was just starting to pop, we started to hear kids talk about this game that we really didn’t know that much about. We brought in a group of kids who played it and showed us the worlds they had created in this game. Those informative sessions allowed us to uncover the motivation behind Minecraft and discover a gaming genre that had suddenly become popular among kids of a certain age. In the past, kids were delivered worlds that were complete. Every inch had been designed for them. They could visit the world, but it wasn’t their world. Minecraft was theirs and they were so proud of it. The gaming genre of kids as the maker-creator is a big deal.
References: linkedin