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AEM 4160 - Strategic Pricing: Industry Research

What is an Industry?

     How are industries defined?

Industries are typically defined by NAICS codes.   NAICS codes are 6 digit numbers, where each digit indicates a slightly more specific industry.  

For example:

33 = Manufacturing
327 = Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
3272 = Glass and Glass Product Manufacturing
327211 = Flat Glass Manufacturing

These codes help you to identify competitors, and they can help you find resources that will tell you more about your company's industry.

These codes are used throughout many of the databases that you will be using for this assignment.

Discovering NAICS Codes

There are a few ways you can go about discovering an Industry NAICS code.  

The easiest way to do so is to visit the Census' NAICS page.  You can then either do a keyword search for your industry on the left hand side of the screen, or you can browse the Classification system by clicking on the reference files (also on the left).  

A second effective way to identify a NAICS code is to search in Hoover's.  Here you can either do a keyword search for an industry (be sure to click on the "All Categories" dropdown at the top and select "Industries", or you can identify a company in your industry, search for that company, and look at the company's profile to see what industry is listed.  

Please be aware that newer industries may not have a NAICS code.  Social Networking sites, for example, were only recently added to the 2017 NAICS, and were not previously a recognized industry.

Also be aware that determining the right scope of an industry can be tricky.  "Entertainment" for example, is too broad, and is really a market sector rather than an industry.  "Ice Skating Rinks" on the other hand is a bit too specific and will be grouped with other "Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers".  Be aware that you may have to adjust your industry accordingly based on how that industry is defined.

Identify the Industry

Analyze the Industry

Industry Report Databases

Article Databases (including Trade & News publications)

  • Trade publications are essentially news resources for a specific field.  For example, “Computerworld” is an example of a trade publication for Computer Hardware and Software related industries.  Trade publications are usually good for keeping up-to-date in the industries covered by that publication.

Market Research Report Databases

  • Market Research Reports tend to focus a bit more on consumers for a product or service type more than the general nature of an industry or its’ competitive landscape, but some information about the industry can almost always be gleaned from the reports.  

Company analysis tools (with an industry analysis component).  

  • Company analyst reports are typically only available for public companies.  When they are available, good company analyst reports will place some focus on the industry and the company’s position in that industry. 

Other tools - These tools offer data and statistics in more visual ways.

Please be aware that tools like Bloomberg and CapitalIQ can also be used for basic industry analysis.  These tools are available in Mann Library at dedicated terminals.  Please visit the Mann Library Information desk, or contact Tom Ottaviano at tjo65@cornell.edu if you would like to use one of them.

Identify Competitors in the Industry

Please be aware that tools like Bloomberg and CapitalIQ can also be used for identifying competitors.  These tools are available in Mann Library at dedicated terminals.  Please visit the Mann Library Information desk, or contact Tom Ottaviano at tjo65@cornell.edu if you would like to use one of them.