The top market research firms often publish reports that predict what consumers will want. Your team could use these predictions to think about how to put a new spin on an existing product or to meet an emerging need.
Companies highlight new products regularly in trade journals like Progressive Grocer, Furniture Today, or Automotive News. You can browse these articles in JMU databases like Business Source Complete and Factiva.
You need to prove that there is a market for your idea. One of the key steps to validating your concept is evaluating your market size - units sold per year, competitors in the industry, etc. These resources can help you validate your concept.
Need tips for using a database properly? JMU Libraries has created slidedecks to show you how the steps for using and citing JMU's key business databases, like IBISWorld & Statista.
Google is a great place to start.Try using Google's "related" search operator, i.e., related:rei.com, which gives you a list of websites that are competitors to outdoor apparel company REI.
Remember that competitors can be direct or indirect. Direct competitors sell the same product as your firm. Indirect competitors may sell a different product, but are targeting the same customer. HubSpot explains these terms.
JMU Libraries database Data Axle Reference Solutions returns a list of competitors operating in a geographic area (U.S. only: City, State, Zip code). It's most effective if you search by industry using a NAICS code.
An industry is a group of businesses that produce and/or sell the same, or similar, goods or services (Ruediger & Olsen, 2013).
The U.S. government uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to collect data about economic activity in different industries.
NAICS codes are critical for finding financial benchmarks to forecast your new business' sales, revenue, expenditures, etc.