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How National Geographic Uses Canvs to Manage an Iconic Brand

Churn Survey • Cover Art Testing • Accelerating Time to Insights

National Geographic, an iconic brand known for its magazine and television channel, turned to Canvs AI to unlock critical insights from unstructured text. The National Geographic consumer insights team is now saving hours of time, and developing deeper consumer empathy and insights.

Check out the short video below to hear Jessica Bates from the National Geographic Media discuss the benefits of using Canvs AI, or check out the full video over on our resources page.

National Geographic Logo

Insights ROI

  • Welcoming Open-Ended Feedback: Canvs AI has helped National Geographic accurately and efficiently analyze their unstructured data, which has accelerated their feedback loop and deepened their consumer insights.
  • Time Savings: With Canvs’ help, National Geographic was able to move away from manually coding open ends, which saves their team days of work.
  • Consistent Analysis: Codes are consistently and accurately implemented across all datasets in Canvs AI, which eliminates any possibility of human error.

Nat Geo Fast Facts

  • National Geographic is a 135 year-old brand dedicated to inspiring the explorer in everyone.
  • This iconic brand offers a whole ecosystem of content, products, and experiences.
  • National Geographic Media is a joint venture between the original nonprofit National Geographic society and the Walt Disney Company. The consumer insights team focuses on digital, social media, audio, and magazine content.


The consumer insights team at National Geographic Media is tasked with setting the brand down the right path in terms of knowing who their target audience is and their preferences. They test market opportunities and white spaces, look at new concepts and content before they go to market, and manage a 360-degree customer feedback loop.

The team conducts many surveys and analyzing unstructured feedback has historically been a very time-consuming and manual task. National Geographic needed a text analysis tool to make this process more efficient and to derive deeper consumer insights from their unstructured feedback. 


National Geographic adopted Canvs AI for text analysis across its research, allowing them to capture more detailed and nuanced consumer feedback while reducing manual processing. Two projects exemplify their approach:

Churn Survey

The consumer insights team conducts a churn survey that goes out to National Geographic magazine subscribers when their subscription has lapsed or if they forgot to renew it or if they take steps to cancel it. This survey focuses on the following:

  • Type of Subscription
  • Reason for Canceling / Not Renewing
  • Potential Interest in Re-Subscribing

The team specifically asks “Which of the following reasons best describes why you haven’t renewed?” and the question has many different multiple choice answer options, but they also include an “Other” option where they collect many open-ended responses. In 2021, 50% of the feedback on this question was “Other” and they received responses that went beyond the multiple choice answer options. 

The team uploaded the churn survey feedback into Canvs AI and discovered specific topics and themes. They found that readers were not renewing due to content preferences and subscription costs. Additionally, the analysis revealed that readers dislike depressing content, prefer a historic context to current events, and seek an escape when reading the magazine. These insights from Canvs AI have helped informed the team’s content strategy and tonal adjustments.

Cover Art Test for National Geographic Magazine

The consumer insights team conducted a cover art test and uploaded the feedback to Canvs AI to determine which cover resonated more with respondents.

National Geographic Case Study Image

The cover on the right was the favorite because it expressed hope and survival, as opposed to the cover on the left which was more pessimistic. Based on the churn survey analysis, the team found that National Geographic readers are interested in current events but prefer a positive angle in the stories.


Consistent Analysis

The National Geographic consumer insights team used to be concerned about potential reliability issues arising from different staff members working on the codes in their datasets. However, on the Canvs AI platform, codes are consistently and accurately implemented across all datasets, eliminating the possibility of human error.

Less Time Spent on Manual Work

With Canvs AI’s help, National Geographic was able to move away from manually coding open ends, which saves their team days of work. 

Welcoming Open-Ended Feedback

The National Geographic consumer insights team used to not include additional fields in their surveys because they did not have the ability to analyze the feedback. By now utilizing Canvs AI, they can efficiently analyze the unstructured data, accelerate their feedback loop, and discover deeper insights that they wouldn’t have found otherwise.

"Once we brought in Canvs, which was a godsend, we were able to do the work that had taken us days in minutes."

Jessica Bates, Chief of Staff at National Geographic Media

Canvs works with elite insights teams to make consumer empathy a superpower through the magic of AI, and we’d love to work with you. Reach out to learn more and schedule a demo.


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