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Illinois Tech Library Guides

IPRO 397: Competitive Analysis

Finding business and marketing information to help develop your product.

Find Your Competitors

Example: designing a new nail clipper

Revlon is a company that creates nail clippers, along with cosmetics and other products. Their Wikipedia pages shows that they are a publicly-traded company.

Note the Industry terms that are listed. Which one is relevant to nail clippers?

Sally Hansen is a product line for nail care items.

There is no Wikipedia page for Sally Hansen, but their website shows the parent company's name at the bottom of the page.

Find company and industry information

Use the resources listed below to find out more information about a company or industry. Business Source Premier is highly recommended; it is our largest business resource and includes many trade journals, company profiles, and marketing reports. 

Search by a company name or industry keyword and limit your results to source types that are good for competitive analysis:

Product research databases

Here are some great resources to use when trying to find out information about a particular kind of product or industry. 

Business Source Premier is particularly helpful because most of contains thousands of industry and trade magazines. 

Search Smarter

Databases aren't people

Separate search keywords onto different lines. Say I want to know how Uber's business model is different than a taxi company's. If I structure my search in Business Source Premier like this:

The results that get returned aren't going to be very helpful. 

But if I separate my question into different topic areas like this:

I'll get much better results

Search the whole record

If you aren't getting enough results, take one of your topics and modify the search so that all the text of the article is searched, not just the basic information (title, author, abstract, etc.). 

Changing the search so that "business model" is searched in the entire article will give you additional results


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