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Trade Associations

Most industries and professions have a trade association - a group that represents businesses in a certain sector. Trade associations often conduct market research (or hire others to do research) and publish the results, either in trade journals, magazines, blogs, newsletters, or special reports. Some associations make their research reports freely available, like these examples from the Tea Association of the USA or these excellent examples from NHRA (a hardware retailer association). Even when the report is not available for free, sometimes market tidbits are released in the report description, like this example from the Sports and Fitness Industry Association.

US Census Business Builder (CBB)

The Census Business Builder tool allows you to dive deep into market research for the geographic region you are interested in.

Let’s say you want to open a garden center either in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, or Portland, Maine. You can explore the population, consumer spending, and competition by running a report on each location. The tool is pretty easy to use, with a little practice. You can find flyers with step-by-step instructions here.


Google Trends

Explore what people search for, and how, on Google Trends. This is a glimpse into how consumers might perceive a product or service, and what search terms they use. You can explore by topic or region or search term.

US Census Data Quick Facts

Quickly look up demographic data by state, county, or city here. Find out age, education, and income levels as well as average retail spending per capita, housing expenses, and more.

Consumer Price Index

The Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.