UMGC Library

MBA 640: Innovation Through Marketing and Technology: Project 2 Tips

A Library Research Guide

Project 2

For this project, you are being asked to create a brand analysis report/brand audit for Samsung and Apple with regard to their smartphone offerings.

The tips below give suggestions for finding useful information for some of the components of project 2.

Branding

To find documents that specifically discuss the eight branding elements mentioned in your class, you can use databases such as ABI/INFORM Collection and Business Source Complete.

You can use one search box in the database to enter the name of one of the companies that you're researching (e.g., Samsung) and then use the drop-down box next to the search box to change the field selection option. In ABI/INFORM Collection, use the field selection menu to select Company/organization - ORG, and in Business Source Complete, use the field selection menu to select CO Company Entity.

Leave the Boolean operator AND selected between search boxes and use the next search box in the database to search for:

brand* AND (personalit* OR image* OR identit* OR differentiat* OR position* OR communicat* OR loyal* OR equity) AND (smartphone* OR "smart phone*" OR "mobile phone*" OR "cell* phone*" OR galaxy)


In ABI/INFORM Collection, use the field selection menu next to the search boxes to select Anywhere, and in Business Source Complete, use the field selection menu to select TX All Text.

Replace galaxy with iphone when changing the company name to Apple.

Keep in mind that you may need to adjust your search statement depending on your results. For example, since Samsung and Apple both make other types of products besides smartphones, you could remove AND (smartphone* OR "smart phone*" OR "mobile phone*" OR "cell phone*" OR [name of smartphone brand]) from your search statements in order to find documents that discuss the brand personality/ image/ identity/ differentiation/ positioning/ communication/ loyalty/ equity of the companies with regard to any of their products, as you may be able to use that information as part of an informed discussion of how the companies are viewed.

It may also help to look for documents that discuss how Samsung and Apple are marketing their smartphones, so you might want to consider replacing the branding element portion of your search statements with:

(market* OR adverti*) AND (smartphone* OR "smart phone*" OR "mobile phone*" OR "cell phone*" OR [name of smartphone brand])

Competitor Research

The instructions for Project 2 note that you should take a look at the websites of the two companies that you were asked to evaluate. The Project 2 instructions also list several recommended marketing-related websites that you can review for relevant material for your assignment.

For additional company information, including the company's major products/services, annual revenue, competitors, etc., the following UMGC Library databases will be useful:

Business Insights: Global

To find company information in Business Insights: Global, select Companies from the menu bar across the top of the database's home page.

  • Selecting Company Histories from the resulting sub-menu will give you information from the International Directory of Company Histories about a company's history. Note that, while some entries were last updated this year, others haven't been updated for more than 10 years. So if you're looking for information about a company whose entry hasn't been updated for a while, you may need to look in another database and/or on the company's own website to find more current information.
  • The SWOT Reports link can be used to find information about companies' strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, taken from Global Markets Direct. Reports are no more than 3 years old.
  • The Investment Reports link provides access to stock valuation reports, forecasts, risk assessments, financial snapshots, and company and earnings updates from Thomson Reuters for publicly traded U.S. companies. 
  • The Financial Reports link can be used to find balance sheets, cash flow, SEC filings, company press releases, and more, for U.S. companies only.

Business Source Complete

To find company information in Business Source Complete, click on the More link from the blue menu bar toward the top left-hand side of the search page and then select Company Profiles from the resulting drop-down menu. You can then search for a company by name to find a detailed Medtrack or MarketLine report for the company, which may include an overview, key facts, a company history, key employees and their biographies, major products and services, a SWOT analysis, top competitors, locations and subsidiaries, and more.

Hoovers

To find company information in Hoovers, enter a company's name into the "Search for a Company" box at the top of the page. Company information is quite detailed; it includes a company description (with information about the company's operations, geographic reach, sales and marketing, financial performance, and business strategy), key products and services, a SWOT report, links to news articles about the company, competitors, analyst reports, annual reports, SEC filings, geographic and business segment information, business ratios, income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and more. Use the links on the left-hand side of a company's information page to jump to particular information.

Mergent Online

To find company information in Mergent Online, enter a company's name into the Company Search box. Note that the search results page contains tabs that you can click on to learn more about the company, including its executives, financials, news, competitors, and more. Note, too, that many of the tabs contain sub-tabs that provide access to additional company information.

Nexis Uni

To find company information in Nexis Uni, click on the Menu link in the upper left-hand corner of the database's home page and then on the Company Dossier link. Then, on the resulting page, enter a company's name into the Company name search box. The company snapshot available from Nexis Uni includes brands, competitors, financial information, SEC filings, company reports, industry news, a SWOT analysis, mergers and acquisitions, legal cases involving the company, etc. Use the links on the left-hand side of the company snapshot page to jump to particular information.

Additional Resources

For information that will be helpful for answering other questions that you've been asked to answer for Project 2, see:

So, for example, to find information about how a particular product is faring, you could run searches in OneSearch and ABI/INFORM Collection along the lines of:

iphone AND "market share"


You can also use Business Insights: Global to find market share information by clicking on the Industries link and then on the Market Share Reports link and then entering smartphone in the search box.

To find documents that discuss companies' strengths and weaknesses, click on the links for Business Insights: Global, Business Source Complete, Hoovers, and Nexis Uni in the "Competitor Research" section on this page, as you'll find information there about how to find SWOT analyses in each of those databases.

To find documents that discuss how customers perceive a particular product made by a particular company, you can run searches in OneSearch and ABI/INFORM Collection such as:

samsung AND galaxy AND (customer* OR consumer* OR purchaser* OR buyer* OR shopper*) AND (attitude* OR perception* OR belief* OR opinion* OR prefer*)


You might also want to take a look at reviews/ratings of each company's smartphones. To find these, you can run searches such as:

samsung AND galaxy AND (review* OR rating*)

Additional Recommended UMGC Library Resources

There are also a handful of publications that are available through the UMGC Library that may be useful for this assignment and that have been recommended by MBA faculty, namely:

Click on the links above in order to access each of the publications listed.

Recommended Non-UMGC Library Resources

The following non-UMGC Library resources have also been recommended by MBA faculty:

Note that portions of some of the resources listed above may be restricted to subscribers. Because UMGC does not have a subscription to these resources, you will only be able to access material on these sites that's freely available.

A General Note

Whether you're searching in UMGC Library databases or on the free Web, your search results may sometimes include mentions of market reports or data compilations from market research firms such as Forrester Research, Frost & Sullivan, the Gartner Group, etc. Such reports are generally quite expensive; many cost anywhere from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars apiece.

That being the case, the full text of such reports are not generally available in any library research database, and the UMGC Library may not be able to obtain the full-text reports for you via our DocumentExpress interlibrary loan service.

But press releases and other documents that discuss these reports -- documents that are often available from UMGC Library databases and/or posted on the free Web -- may be useful for your research since such documents often summarize key findings from the reports.

Questions?

If you need further assistance with finding information for project 2, please Ask a Librarian.

If you have questions about the requirements for project 2, please contact your instructor.

Ask a Librarian