After the industry research, consumer research is the next step. Industry research, (as stated here Industry research resources) , provides an overall perspective of the industry, how it is positioned and how the future looks like. This is very useful to identify the right industries to put in our hard-earned money.
The next step is to understand the consumer trends. If the company is in B2C (business to consumer) model, then the business is directly impacted from the changes in consumer trends and behaviors. As a potential investor and a shareholder of the company, it is important for us to know what these consumer trends and changes are.
Even if the company is in the B2B model, it is indirectly impacted from consumer trends. For example, GE sells medical equipment to the hospitals. An increase in the patients (mainly due to lifestyle diseases), will lead to an increase in the hospitals and hence, a rise in demand for GE Medical products. As a human being, this is not a very encouraging situation, but as a potential investor of GE stock, this is a vital piece of information to consider.
To research the above, following are my go to resources which have a wealth of information and publications on the consumer markets:
- GfK (Growth for Knowledge) : I first got to know them while working in Singapore. It is a Germany based research group and has strong presence in the consumers market. I used to meet them regularly to discuss the laptop and tablet markets (due to my employer’s business at that time). They have build up relationships with all the major retailers across the world. This allows them to collect sales data for their research.
These are the links for their resources that you might find useful:
GfK Insights : An amazing collection of their insights on almost all the sectors that your can think of is available here: Note: though India specific filter is not available, it is still a wealth of information.
Gfk Blogs : Blog link for their global research and trends reports. You can filter by industry on the right side of the blog.
GfK India research : India specific articles to help you know and understand the domestic markets better.
An especially interesting article I found here: How India’s youth wants to shop? How Indian Youth shops
I guess this will help you to know which companies or businesses to focus on.
- Ipsos: This is a Paris based research and consulting firm. I have not worked with them as a partner, but their website is also a wealth of knowledge on the current trends in the consumer industry. I especially like using the following resources to supplement my consumer research:
Shopping behavior and trends : Articles on the shopping behaviour and trends of the customers worldwide.
Ipsos India research – India specific research articles which have are available on their website
- Nielsen: this is the largest of the market research firms, based out of UK. This is one of the companies which has an India dedicated website. Like the above stated sources, they also have tons of research on the consumer trends and lots of insights to understand where the consumers are and will be spending their money.
Nielsen India research : this is their India focused research that covers a variety of topics and more than enough information for you to learn about a particular industry and their customers.
Growth in affluent villages : I especially like their latest research focusing on how to identify affluent villages in India and plan a growth around them. Due to my affinity to invest in agri based businesses, especially of interest for me. OR
India’s grooming industry : how about an overview of the India’s grooming industry!! OR
Average Indian spend on dinners outside : how much do we Indians spend on average eating out. (Personally, I found 6,500 Rs annually way off the mark, but hey… that’s just my opinion!!)
- Hubspot : for a more technologically and marketing oriented crowd, this is the source that I use for my research. My current employer has been using their services (as CRM providers), and hence how I came to know about them. They have a very active blog, covering the socio-economic trends with a focus on online marketing.
Content trends to note : Interesting research on how millennials do not like to receive branded e-mails.
- Edited Blog : The company is a key provider of competitor data, with a lot of depth in the fashion industry, primarily clothing and shoes. These two alone are the most complex, but the most profitable categories for any e-commerce company. Edited captures a lot of data points and I came to know their work through one of the e-commerce company that I was working for.
Fashion industry trends : Trends in the fashion industry, having a direct impact on Indian trends. This in turn requires the manufacturers to adapt and cater to their highly demand and socially conscious customers.
Hope that all will find these resources useful and insightful.
I do not make any money from your visit to any of these links. Thank you for your visit and time!!
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