Friday, November 05, 2004

Class Assignment Using NAICS

Professor Gloria Thomas’ Marketing 3780 class is working on an assignment to develop marketing plans for what they call “imaginary products” but what really turn out to be a selection of recently patented products not yet in production. What a great project! An assignment that asks students to do research that any entrepreneur or venture capital firm would have to do to launch a new product.

I was working with a team Friday that was researching an infant room alarm and trying to determine the industry sector by finding a NAICS code. We used the online version of the NAICS manual found at (the link is right in the center of the page). I had a difficult time getting the students to brainstorm about possible industries after “child safety” did not produce any NAICS code. I asked if they could guess what type of manufacturer would produce the product and we looked at “electrical products,” an industry defined in NAICS very broadly as “electrical equipment manufacturing.” I suggested thinking about the product as a medical device and then tried another tactic and asked about companies that produce similar products. My thoughts were that companies like Johnson & Johnson or a home security firm like Honeywell would fit. In the end we did find NAICS for both medical equipment and alarm systems.

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