Research as Thought-Leadership Catalyst


FedEx Access, the brand’s premier thought leadership platform, celebrates the ideas and innovations that connect people and possibilities around the world — a notion core to the company’s mission. The challenge: How to build on that positioning with content that would connect and spark conversation with young innovators, the next generation of FedEx customers.

Desk with empty digital tablet
FedEx young innovator infographic


Hanley Wood Marketing proposed an original research initiative that would probe the attitudes of young business and social change agents, whose entrepreneurial ideas and energies are reshaping the future of commerce.

Few investments inject energy and ownership into a content program like original research. A recent study found that nine in 10 marketers who’ve conducted original research plan to do more, while only 3 percent say they were disappointed with the results derived from original research.


HWM coordinated an alliance with The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to field a FedEx-sponsored study of what drives young innovators.

EIU surveyed more than 500 young innovators in 40 countries about their motivations, ideals and priorities, then compared the results to those from 500 general-population respondents.

HWM brought the findings to life through a supplement in the Access print magazine, a downloadable report and an infographic, all shared via FedEx and EIU social channels.


  • Timely, relevant learning regarding young innovators’ perspectives on global trade, digital disruption and social responsibility.
  • Messages amplified in more than a dozen Access stories in the months following the survey; region-specific insights shared by multiple FedEx teams with key audiences worldwide.
  • Page views per visit on FedEx Access site up 25 percent compared with the same period the previous year, and time on page double the site’s average.
  • Average session duration for visits to content on EIU’s site nearly double benchmark average.

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