The final phase of our three part study with Narrative Research is here! If you’ve been keeping up with our joint study, you’ll know that we’ve teamed up with Narrative Research to take a look into the personality traits of Americans and Canadians, and their life satisfaction.

For our last instalment we take a look at how the results from our previous studies compared, and find out if Canadians are more friendly, or if Americans are more reliable…

Check out the video below featuring RFG’s CRO and co-founder Baillie Buchanan and Narrative Research’s COO and partner Margaret Chapman as the two talk through what they found most interesting, and what’s the good news for one country in particular!


[0:03] Baillie Buchanan: Hi everyone, thank you for joining us. I’m Baillie Buchanan, co-founder of Research For Good and I am joined today by Margaret Chapman, COO and partner of Narrative Research. Thanks for being here Margaret!

 [0:19] Margaret Chapman: No problem!

[0:20] Baillie Buchanan: So, recently Research For Good and Narrative Research partnered to take a look at traits and life satisfaction in the U.S. and Canada and a comparison of the two. So together we ran a short 5 question survey among similar audiences in both Canada and the U.S. in order to better understand life satisfaction. Turn on the news today and you’ll be told all the ways the sky is falling, the apocalypse is near and society is devolving however at the same time for many, there’s much to be thankful for and much to appreciate about the world we live in today. Some even say that historically there’s really never been a better time to be alive! So, for researchers trying to understand consumers today it’s a challenge to navigate these different viewpoints and understand how or whether they influence consumers’ perceptions of brands. So Research For Good and Narrative Research partnered to take a quick pulse on similarities and differences in Canadian and American life satisfaction. We’ll be sharing the report that we put together along with this video so if you’re interested in more in depth details definitely check that out! Our goal today is to do a quick highlight on a couple of key findings and interesting points that we thought would be worth discussing a little bit further!

 So, before we jump into that just a quick note on the methodology – so we used Research For Good sample management platform and questions designed by Narrative Research to ask 1,000 respondents balanced on age and gender in each country what traits are important to them, how they perceive themselves and how satisfied they are with their lives. Narrative Research analysed the data and extracted some key insights that we’ll be sharing in that file I mentioned. So for the purposes of today’s discussion we’re going to dive into, kind of, what interested us most, or what stood out most in the findings. So Margaret, was there something that stood out to you as most surprising or interesting?

 [2:28] Margaret Chapman: Yeah, there’s a few things! As you say there’s some good news and that people are pretty satisfied with their lives which is great and I think for anybody who’s aging which is all of us the great news is that as we get older the more satisfied with our lives we tend to be. So there’s some silver lining of the cloud, there’s light at the end of the tunnel, however you want to put it. So I think that’s the good news! It’s also really interesting to me, just, to see what people value and how that correlates to their life satisfaction and also what they don’t think they value but actually correlates to life satisfaction. So the three kind of really interesting ones to me is that people really love to be reliable, they like to be perceived that way and if they are, they tend to be more satisfied with their lives. Same with being friendly but the one that maybe people don’t want to admit is being popular. And it was really interesting to see that people don’t want to say that they value being popular but in fact, it’s something that aligns really closely with life satisfaction.

[3:44] Baillie Buchanan: Yeah, that was very interesting. I also found the point about especially Canadians holding in higher regard being friendly, more so than the Americans who participated and I thought that that was really interesting because as Americans I would say that we stereotype Canadians as being very friendly.

 [4:05] Margaret Chapman: Right!

[4:06] Baillie Buchanan: And so it was interesting to see that play out as something you guys also embody and actually really take to heart and really care about.

[4:17] Margaret Chapman: Yeah, but on that point about friendliness it was kind of interesting to see that men and women were really different in Canada, that women valued being friendly much more than men. Although half on men still value it, it’s really more prominent among women.

[4:34] Baillie Buchanan: No that’s great, that is interesting! I was just wondering if you had any insight as to whether that translates to brands, and if brands do better if they’re perceived as more friendly. Has that come up if any of the research that you’ve done? 

[4:49] Margaret Chapman: So, you know, some research we can talk about because it’s public and like this! And a lot of research that we do is proprietary to our clients so I don’t actually have anything I can talk about today related specifically to that. But I think the application that’s really interesting is that if Canadians brands, and Americans too actually, one of the interesting findings was that we’re more alike than we are different. 

[5:17] Baillie Buchanan: Yeah.

[5:17] Margaret Chapman: But if Canadian brands or Americans for that matter want to align themselves with where people are at, they’ll do better if they’re promoting how friendly and reliable they are and how popular they are but being down to earth was one that we thought would probably rise up but actually is not something that resonates with life satisfaction as much even though people like the idea of it. So I would say the happier people who feel more closely aligned to their values and the ones that are aspirational for people are probably the ones that brands will want to emphasise if it’s part of their core values as well.

[6:03] Baillie Buchanan: Yeah, those are some interesting implications for brands to be considering because I think… Those aren’t necessarily the traits that you see a lot of brands promoting about themselves you know, there’s a lot of emphasis on new different unique, some of those things and so some of these traits could actually be interesting for them to take another look at.

[6:31] Margaret Chapman: But you think about some of the brands out there that are reliable, and friendly, I don’t know. Ben & Jerry’s comes to mind for me. Tim Horton’s here in Canada is a really friendly coffee shop – those ones do really well! And you can see that maybe it’s the time of day that we’re talking and I need a coffee, but those kind of things are things that really resonate with people, and if you’re resonating with people they’re probably going to want to do more business with you. So be friendly, be reliable!

[7:05] Baillie Buchanan: Yes! I think we could all do with a little extra dose of friendliness! Any time so that’s great. And then the other thing that I wanted to ask you was we did this in a methodology that was very quick, obviously some very high level, just a few questions to a key audience. What is the value of quick turnaround research like this for Narrative Research and also for your clients?

[7:33] Margaret Chapman: Well I think everybody’s seeing things move at a really fast pace, and often people when I talk to clients they say, I say “when do you need this by” and they say “well, yesterday so we’re really in a rush”. And so the great news I think is that often people think of research being a really big comperson process that takes a long time and that’s really expensive and it doesn’t have to be. You can get really meaningful insights that tell a really great story from just a few questions and you can find those things out really really quickly. So, with a great sample provider like Research For Good where you have access to thousands of people who are going to give you meaningful insights they’re going to really tell you what they think. You can get results that you can take action on with just in a matter of days. And I think that’s so powerful in today’s environment where people need feedback on new ideas really quickly, or they’re trying to decide between two different approaches and you can test those out with an audience really really quickly.

[8:34] Baillie Buchanan: Yes, that is so valuable and things are changing so quickly and the ability to be responsive is so so important. So, that’s great! So thank you Margaret, thank you for joining me. There’s a lot of interesting information in the report so I hope that everyone watching will download that! If you have questions please reach out to Margaret or myself and we will be happy to discuss it further with you. So thanks for joining us!

[9:03] Margaret Chapman: Thanks Baillie!

Are you interested in a similar co-branded partnership? Have an interesting topic that you would like to learn more about? We’d love to hear from you!  Say Hi to speak with one of our team.

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