Case Studies

Canadian Tire: What Do Males Want?

What would you do if you had two extra hours a week?

One of the findings of this award-winning study was that the one thing Canadian males wanted more than anything else was “more sleep”!  (This answer topped the list when respondents were directly asked.) Clearly, this was not going to be the breakthrough message this retail giant was looking for! However, we were able to identify those aspects of men’s lives that mattered most to them. These insights subsequently guided much of the client’s consumer messaging and communications going forward.

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Segmentation: The Typical Dilemma for the CPG Marketer

A Novel Approach to a Classic Marketing Challenge

The marketing problem was a familiar one.  The marketplace for this brand was far from homogeneous and the brand team knew this.  But how to proceed?  Could the market actually be segmented successfully? The client’s main goal was to ensure that the whole brand team was comfortable with this new segmentation approach so that it became the default way of thinking about their brand.

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CFOs Test Advertising

A new media solution to a traditional media challenge

Are CFOs in mid-cap companies different from the rest of us? As it turns out, they most certainly are …. when it comes to advertising that is.

A major investment bank was about to embark on an initiative designed to dramatically increase its profile among North American and European CFOs.  But how could the bank get the attention of this exclusive club – CFOs in mid-cap companies listed on major exchanges.  How could they get readers of the Economist and the Wall Street Journal to pay attention?  What would be the magic bullet that would grab their interest?

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Repositioning a Stock Exchange

What’s in a name?

Your favourite fast food chain, soft drink brand or grocery retailer each possesses brand equity, right?  But a stock exchange?

Absolutely.  The usual concepts apply but perhaps just in more complicated ways.  Like any other brand, it’s about creating long-term loyalty and discovering what drives that loyalty. This, in turn, requires determining how one is performing versus the competition on the dimensions that matter, then reinforcing one’s strengths and shoring up one’s weaknesses.  The result is a competitive advantage that leads to success.

In this case, however, there was a hitch – the unusually large range of stakeholders.  These stakeholders included investors, fund managers, investment officers in the companies listed on the exchange, the CEOs and CFOs of those companies, small cap entrepreneurial companies and so on. Did the old rules apply in these very complicated circumstances?

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A Big U.S. Magazine Segments Its Readership

Getting a solid read on their readers

Hay Research International, working as a partner with another North American research organization, was handed an unusual assignment.  Were the three million subscribers to this highly popular magazine all reading the magazine for the same reasons? Or, as many suspected, had the magazine attracted substantially different target groups over the years?

At stake was the ability of the magazine to continue to attract and hold new readers in an increasingly online world.  The magazine’s costly direct mail campaigns would have to be rethought.  The challenge? – identifying advertising messages that would optimize the magazine’s appeal among each of these separate segments of readers.

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Brand Equity Research for Two Merging Giants

What do two corporate giants call themselves when they merge?

How do they combine their strengths? How do they merge their cultures? Should one company absorb the other?

These were just a few of the issues that this international mutual fund giant faced in merging with another large mutual fund company. The key issue was: How to detect  differences in perceptions across stakeholder groups while at the same time uncovering the common perceptions that might offer the potential for a unified and integrated corporate approach going forward.    

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Not-For-Profit Research

Helping to Take Mental Health Out of the Dark Ages

Blame the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and a host of other Hollywood films.  Mental health has always carried a lot of baggage – such as the all-too-familiar imagery of straightjackets and electric shock therapy.

Our client – a mental health sciences centre – was determined to try to distance themselves from all this, beginning with its own image.  Two issues needed to be addressed.  First, what were Ontarians’ broad attitudes towards mental health? Second, what could the organization say about themselves and their programs that would leverage their existing strengths while fostering this much-needed, more progressive view of mental health?

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