Case Study

Measuring and Improving Brand Performance in Financial Services

One of the largest credit card companies in the United States needed to discover how its financial product was performing online. The company required fresh market intelligence to develop a plan for increasing the acceptance of its product among merchants and to strengthen the overall value of its merchant network.

A critical success factor for this merchant development program centered around the creation of a comprehensive data warehouse containing information about its current merchants and potential merchant prospects. The desired solution required combining existing merchant information with new research data in order to highlight product usage at online points of sale.

The Challenge

Consumers will buy online when they trust the merchant and feel comfortable with the merchant’s web site. Trusted third-party credit card brands, like that of our client, directly impact successful purchases and repeat visits by customers because they provide an environment of security and trustworthiness. To increase the product’s purchasing power for its current merchants, and to add new merchants to the network, our client had to determine which existing merchants were selling online and how on- line transactions transpired. Because our client’s product is found on many sites, developing this type of market knowledge required a large, well-coordinated research effort.

Developing Online Brand Intelligence

PeopleForce was retained to develop and conduct the brand and merchant research and to qualify prospective new merchants. People Force’s patented approach to research and analysis allowed it to collaborate fully with the client and to quickly identify the targeted merchant base.

With over 5,000 sites quickly identified, People Force’s research teams reviewed and classified each online point of sale and documented the purchasing process. PeopleForce then rated the effectiveness of the merchants’ overall online sales experience and compared that rating to competitive products. The final research step was to develop new leads by repeating the process with online merchants that were not a part of the existing merchant network.

The client created a strategic merchant database and a series of marketing programs that successfully improved and expanded the merchant network. In fact, the campaigns were so successful that they drove quarterly transaction volumes up by 23% and increased the number of merchants by over 138,000. The strategy resulted in the largest quarterly growth of the client’s merchant network in the history of the firm.!

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