Bring yourself up to speed by starting with a market or industry report. These secondary research tools define catagories (sometimes not precisely as you would wish), estimate market size and growth potential, describe the competitive forces impacting the industry and identify key players.
Don't forget to take advantage of the links to trade news and associations to learn about the most recent developments.
Relevant categories for this project might include mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), financial planning, annuities or financial services or Fintech (short for financial technology).
Search the recommended databases by keywords and drilling down through categories.
Don't forget to use the Bloomberg Terminals in the Finance Lab and Falvey LibraryIBISWorld
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff.
Authorized users (on and off campus) limited to current Villanova students, faculty and staff. Subscription courtesy of Villanova UNIT.
NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's, Capital IQ)
Licensed for academic uses only. May not be used for commercial uses.
The first step in the competitor analysis is to choose relevant competitors. The industry reports and news you've accessed in the category analysis should provide insight into firms competing in your defined market. You may want to focus on the competitors identified in the Vanguard case including Fidelity, Schwab and Blackrock.
You can also use company screeners but they tend to focus only on publicly traded companies and may not offer the granularity you need about products and services as they typically focus on financial firm attributes.
Once you have identified potential competitors reading company profiles and reports (see this of databases below) will be helpful. Don't neglect looking over 10K's or annual reports for public companies.
Just as you updated industry reports with news, do so for the competitor analysis.MarketLine Company Profiles (EBSCO)
D&B Global Business Browser
Morningstar Investment Research Center
Access limited to 4 simultaneous users.
Much of the qualitative assessment of the brand will come from searching the trade news sources. Of course the brand's web site social media presence and advertising are rich sources for inferring brand positioning.
You may also want to look at how the brands stack up against each other in terms of advertising spending, consumer surveys and web metrics.
AlexaRankViz Web site visits in context.
AppAnnie Register for download counts, reviews, ranks, ratings on apps
Social Bakers Get Facebook and Twitter statistics
Quantcast Web site traffic reports
Similar Web Web site and mobile app traffic
AdForum See creative content for advertising across multiple media
Ads of the World See creative content for advertising across multiple media
America's Greatest Brands Profiles of iconic brands
Interbrand Best brand reportsABI/INFORM Complete (ProQuest)
Business Source Premier (EBSCO)
Market research reports are rich sources for understanding consumer behavior around product categories. Mintel and Marketresearch.com are particularly useful for understanding target customers such as millennials.
MRI+ National Consumer Survey is not strong on psychographic data but it does provide reliable demographic and media consumption attributes for consumers.
Scholarly research (discoverable through ABI Inform, Business Source Premier & PsycInfo) on "consumer behavior" "consumer attitudes" purchasing or "decision making" may not always be timely but it is typically reliable.
If you use market research found on the free web, do due diligence to make sure the research is high quality. You can use some well recognized social science research organizations such as Pew as a model.
ESRI (contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access) offers demographic data and a proprietary market segmentation scheme called Tapestry.
Here are some relevant surveys:Pew Research Center
MRI University Internet Reporter
ESRI Business Analyst Online
For username & password contact email@example.com. Look for an email from ArcGIS Notification to confirm the invitation (check your junk folder). Account administration may take up to 3 days.
Access courtesy of the Department of Geography & the Environment.
Creates custom reports on advertising expenditures across twelve media channels including TV, cable, magazines, newspapers, radio, outdoor and internet display on the level of industries, categories, brands, products and advertisers going back to 2007.
Advertising Age Datacenter (AdAge)
Features news, reports and statistics about the advertising industry. For off campus access follow these instructions.
Catalog at Falvey
Keyword and subject searches in the Library's catalog are good starting points when first exploring a topic. Search results can be narrowed with facets such as topic, era, language or region. Facets are located on the right hand side of the results screen.
Encyclopedia of Global Brands
Model articles that provide comprehensive brand analyses covering brand origin, elements, identity, strategy, equity & outlook.
Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns
Offers information on global advertising and marketing trends including case studies, articles, reports, opinion pieces, and expenditure data. (Previous title: World Advertising Research Center)
Offers data and reports related to digital marketing. Topics include advertising spending, digital marketing, social media, media usage, e-commerce, e-mail marketing, and device usage. Coverage is global.