Business Categories

Financial Service Research


Financial Services Research

HRI has acquired a significant body of knowledge and experience in financial services over the years, having conducted over 400 studies for banks, life insurance companies, brokers, discount brokers and mutual fund companies. These studies range from large brand tracking systems and brand equity work to smaller tactical studies in Canada and the U.S.

We offer a number of syndicated products in financial services (see Syndicated Products) including our Canadian Financial Services Switching and Retention Study generally acknowledged to be the definitive study of switching in the Canadian marketplace.

We are experienced in conducting interviews both in person and on-line with senior executives, CEOs, brokers, the investing public, investment analysts, institutional investors and pension fund managers. We are regularly called upon to conduct sensitive interviews with clients in which the name of the sponsoring company is identified.

Hay Research International is on top of the issues emerging in a rapidly changing financial services marketplace. In this regard, the company has conducted work on new technology products, new chip-based features and new channels both in Canada and in Europe and the Caribbean.

We are particularly well-versed in positioning and brand equity work, customer service studies and studies of switching and defection as these apply to financial services.
Our recent financial services clients include:

  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • RBC Capital Markets
  • TD Canada Trust
  • CIBC
  • Scotiabank
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Great-West Life

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Retail Research

Retail is a fast-moving business, and as a retailer you need researchers who can hit the ground running. HRI has worked with some of Canada’s largest retailers to answer challenging questions on time and on budget, and our new Switching Dynamics syndicated study offers valuable insights into retail switching available only from Hay Research International.

Though specifics vary from category to category, regardless of what a retailer stocks – sporting goods, clothing, electronics, even groceries – the challenges are fundamentally the same. How do you build a brand that consumers will love and trust, and make them want to keep coming back for more? With our extensive experience in customer satisfaction, brand positioning, loyalty and switching, we can help you understand how consumers relate to your brand, why your current clients stay with you, and how to attract more.

In the world of general merchandising, this can be a particular challenge – hundreds of product lines can mean clients with a dizzying array of needs. How do you meet those needs, and maintain a coherent and marketable brand image? We can help you find out.

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Not-for-Profit Research

Fundraisers today are faced with many challenges. Typically budgets are strained, donors have less to share with you and your dollar needs to be stretched farther. Down the road, Canada’s aging boomer population will increasingly place strains on the system as the donation burden falls more and more on younger shoulders.

But there are solutions. One answer is to design appeals which are more precisely and effectively targeted. This entails 1) tailoring your message by finding better ways to match the type of appeal to the donor himself or herself (that is, segmenting your market) and 2) maximizing the appeal’s resonance with the donor. By this we mean creating a message that immediately evokes the very personal and individual reasons each donor has for giving to you.

Over the course of 15 years of working with the NFP sector, Hay Research International has developed techniques that can truly help you do this. Often this involves a segmented approach to donor communications. Sometimes it involves testing messages in advance by employing affordable on-line techniques.

If, as a not-for-profit, you are concerned about renewal rates, securing new donors, understanding issues related to donor recognition and donor relationship management, or developing a truly distinctive and memorable brand in the minds of Canadians, Hay Research International can help. If you are seeking to acquire new donors, to bring back those who have lapsed or to move donors up in the donor hierarchy, we have the research experience that can work for you. Just as importantly, we also have a keen desire to help.

As well, our 15-year alliance with Peter Blakely of Blakely & Associates will help ensure that nothing is ‘lost in translation’ – that is, that the research insight offered is fully realized in the fundraising initiatives that are eventually undertaken.

Here are some of the organizations we’ve assisted over the years:

  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • Toronto Hospital
  • Hospital for Sick Children
  • Sunnybrook Hospital
  • British Columbia’s
    Children’s Hospital
  • The Red Cross
  • American Indian College Fund
  • Ontario March of Dimes
  • Canadian Diabetes Association
  • Ontario Shores
    Centre for Mental Health Sciences
  • Greenpeace
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • Nature Canada
  • CHATS
  • CIBC’s Run for the Cure
  • Canadian Bible Society

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Other Categories

Our expertise is not limited to the Financial Services, Retail and Not-For-Profit sectors. We’ve worked in a variety of other sectors, and we’re always willing to try something new. Here are just a few examples of research solutions we’ve provided in other sectors:

Working for a multinational liquor marketing company, we’ve helped a major Australian wine label understand its market position, why the launch of their value label didn’t go quite as planned, and how to correct the situation. Later, when a popular vodka cooler brand wanted to save some money by using ads developed for other markets to promote their product in Canada, we helped them choose the best ads for their target audience and provided guidance for tweaking those ads to help Canadians connect with their brand.

When a major Canadian news provider needed to unify its branding across multiple media (television, newspaper, online), we helped them understand how their various brands worked together and how best to operationalize this understanding. Later, when the time had come for their newspaper unit to rationalize a long-running promotional program, we helped them find how to trim the fat without compromising the integrity of the program.

A leading Canadian pizza chain found that sales were dipping in their expansion stores. We helped them understand how some mismatched brand imagery was contributing to the problem, and more importantly how to correct it.

Do you have a challenging or unique research problem? Contact us – we’ll help you find the solution.

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