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Consumer Research & Marketing

Tips and tools to understand consumer, customers, and marketing

MBA Class Exercises

Companies & Competitors 


Use Mergent Intellect to find companies who are in the same line of business as Shagbark.  This can help you understand the competition as well as give you an idea of what other companies are doing in the industry. 

  • Search for Indie-Peasant Enterprises (the actual name for Shagbark)  to find the company listing.  
  • Take note of the Primary SIC Code and the Primary NAICS code. 
  • Next use the advanced search to search for companies who make Tortillas (use the SIC or NAICS industry code) . The videos on this page may help
  •  How many companies did you find?
  • Use the Build Files button to build a custom spreadsheet of the companies.  


Marketing Case Studies



  • Use WARC to search competitor brands, or for topics such as organic foods or other search terms related to this product/project.  (tortillas, organic foods, chips, Tostidos, salsa, etc.)
  • Find 2-3 articles that might be useful to this project. 
  • What kind of information is found in WARC?  How might you apply it to this project?

Consumer Profiles & Demographics


Use Mintel

  • Search for reports related to your client's products in Mintel.  (tortilla, chips, snack foods, organic, grocery, etc.)
  • Name three reports that could be useful for your project.
  • Are there any reports that might give you additional information about specific demographic groups?
  • Check out the Interactive Databook for each report.  How can you use that information?


Use Passport

  • Use Passport to find the most relevant information for your industry.  
  • What was your search process?
  • Did you find anything useful?  What did you find?  How will it help with your project?
  • If you get stuck, the videos I have on using Passport might help.


Use Simmons Insights

  • Use Simmons to find a Demographic Profile (look under Essentials --> Quick Reports to start)  of people who buy organic foods. 
  • Next, find a Demographic Profile of a similar product to your client (chip brands, perhaps).    How do they compare?  How is this information useful?
  • Use the Simmons CrossTab Feature (Essentials -->Crosstab)  to create a table.  For the columns, use the same data variables that you used in the previous examples.  For the Rows, use different grocery stores information for Kroger, Walmart, and Trader Joes.  What does this data tell you about where people who buy these products shop?
  • If you get stuck, my guide on using Simmons might help


Local Market Analysis


Use SimplyAnalytics

  • Use SimplyAnalytics to create a map that can visually demonstrate where Shagbark might want to test products in new markets. (note that SimplyAnalytics contains Simmons Data as well, so you can use similar data variables as you did in Simmons Insights).
  • Next, create a chart comparing multiple locations with relevant data variables for your project.
  • Note that we have a 10-user limit for SimplyAnalytics
  • If you get stuck, my guide on using SImply Analytics might help.