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National Geographic Explores Deeper Brand Insights with Canvs

Question: How does an iconic, 134-year-old brand navigate the modern, multi-media landscape? 

Answer: With great customer empathy and nuance.

National Geographic is both a storied brand and a modern media company. National Geographic Media, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the National Geographic Society, produces content across television networks in 172 countries and publications in 41 languages, including the iconic print periodical. Senior Director of Consumer Insights Jessica Bates explains, “the National Geographic brand is at once both nostalgic and future-facing, informative and entertaining, historic and innovative, so understanding what the brand means and how subscribers are engaging with it is extremely important to our success.”

To navigate these contrasts, the consumer insights group manages a 360-degree customer experience feedback loop, using input from numerous sources to capture the voice of the customer. But the team faced a challenge when it came to analyzing the responses to its subscriber surveys: the passionate National Geographic audience is prolific in its responses! In its subscriber churn survey, for example, over half the responses to the question “Why haven’t you renewed?” were “Other, ” followed by an open-ended text response, generating thousands of open ends. 

The National Geographic team needed a way to efficiently and consistently analyze the open-ended text from this and other questions and adopted Canvs, allowing them to efficiently capture a detailed perspective on how content and digital experiences are resonating with its passionate, cross-generational audience. For example, analysis of open-ended comments revealed the perception of content as “too political” topped the non-renewal reasons (just looking at the close-ended data pointed to “no time” as the leading factor).

National Geographic: Which of the following reasons best describe why you haven't renewed?

Canvs gives us insights about our subscribers and our brand that just wouldn’t otherwise be possible. It’s allowed us to very deftly navigate the brand through a complex media environment while being responsive to the market.

National Geographic also captured critical, nuanced feedback regarding the brand permission of their content. For example, readers value environmental issues but disengage if the coverage is too depressing and that readers prefer a historical context to current events.

National Geographic’s use of Canvs shows how important the “voice” of the customer is in Voice of Customer programs. Without the detail and nuance provided in the open ends (and a solution to efficiently analyze those comments), the organization would likely have missed core insights regarding its subscribers and brand. Using Canvs, the organization went from a time-consuming manual process that took days, to an efficient and consistent process that takes minutes.



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