What is Marketing?
Public Sector Projects
Did you Know?
Start-ups and Expansions
MRA evaluates products and does the analysis of
markets, however, it is the entrepreneurs, investors and risk-takers who
really deserve credit for success. MRA mentions the following projects
our personnel played some part in. Projects where specific information
is supplied are a matter of public record.
Canadian produced plastic lumber (now Cascades
Plastics, formerly Shaw Plastics and Delta Plastics) is now shipped
worldwide. Since it doesn't rot, it is especially efficient in
exterior and water environments (some Halifax park benches are a
result of this project, as well as salmon cages in New Brunswick, and
earth retaining walls in Florida). MRA joined the project in its grass
roots and followed it through until the company was taken over by Shaw
Plastics. ACOA provided the initial seed money for MRA's Market and
Bigfoot Systems concrete footers
were invented by a Nova Scotian (Kirk Swinimer) and patented by F&S
Manufacturing in Chester. The footers, produced in Nova Scotia, now
sell worldwide. ACOA provided the initial seed money for MRA's Market
and Feasibility Study and subsequent loans to F&S for capital
MRA personnel walked the
Springs Golf Course, outside of Halifax, before a tree
was cut. MRA's market plan and survey results were appendixed to a
public prospectus that generated the initial monies to start
The Skye Motel, the
Belmont Resort and Golf Course and the
Gap Inn and Resort are examples of existing
hotel/motel/resorts that were able to achieve public funding
assistance for renovations and/or expansion based on MRA reports.
In-house initiated projects played a major role in
opening the Grand Banks of Newfoundland to new Iceland scallop and
surf clam fisheries and to the export of scallop roe to Europe.
(Reference: Technical and Economic Feasibility Study of Exporting
Scallop Roe to Europe - Project Report 33, Scotia Fundy Region
and the 1982 Grand Banks Exploratory Scallop Survey, Canadian
Industry Report of the Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences).
When the Dallas Stars won the Stanley Cup, their
Captain stated that it was the oxygenated water they drank that kept
the team going. MRA did the initial market study that created
investment interest in the
Oxyleau brand (patented process).
Urban Pouch Pack's Ltd.
fruit drinks received significant public funding
assistance after the client retained MRA to conduct a marketing and
feasibility study on its products and packaging (patents pending).
Many other companies from toys, games, water
disinfecting equipment, lift tows, new hotels, film companies,
software developers and general manufacturers have been able to use
MRA reports to raise needed capital for their projects.
MRA's production of the Canadian Fisheries and
Ocean Industries Directory was chosen to represent Canada by the
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in the
1989 World Fisheries and Oceans Exhibition in Copenhagen. The book was
also purchased as a reference source for 100 Canadian Trade Offices
worldwide. (The publication was produced under license from Maritime
Ocean Resources Ltd. of Halifax.)
MRA also produced 3 editions of the Canadian
Fish and and Shellfish Exporters Directory - representing
Canadian fish products worldwide. MRA's production of the World
Fisheries Map for ICOD was major feat of world statistical
information acquisition and analysis followed by a master graphics
achievement in portraying the information in a user friendly fashion,
in both French and English. The map had a 50,000-wide distribution to
embassies and consulate offices in countries worldwide.
Not Everything Works
Some MRA studies also result in recommendations to the
contrary, saving our clients significant investments in money and time.
MRA was retained by one client to study the
feasibility of building a new motel in a major Nova Scotia centre. The
study determined that the projected occupancy rate would be
significantly lower than the client expected. Although the client was
somewhat distressed with this news, the results were later borne out
when several hotels/motels in the immediate area closed their doors or
went bankrupt. MRA was again retained by the same client to study the
potential for a new hotel in Dartmouth. This time the study projected
significant demand and that hotel was built and has subsequently
operated successfully for many years.
Other independently proposed hotel/resort
operations in Amherst and Springhill were also found to be lacking
markets by MRA and the client subsequently abandoned plans for them.
MRA was retained by the client to evaluate the
demand for rebuilt automobile engines in Atlantic Canada. The study
substantiated that the client would be investing in a shrinking
market. Sure enough - within a year, the only other producer in
Atlantic Canada closed its doors.
Proposed air cargo services between points in Nova
Scotia and Maine were investigated and found to be lacking markets and
the project was abandoned.
If you are traveling throughout North
America, it is a good bet many of the buildings you see will have
interior walls made from Nova Scotia gyprock. Nova Scotia exports most
of its gypsum to the US, where it is made into gyprock wallboard, and
then shipped over the continent, including back to Nova Scotia. An
enterprising Nova Scotia organization had an option on gypsum rights in
the province. MRA investigated the mining and manufacturing of gyprock
wallboard in Nova Scotia and, under the conditions stated, determined
that the project was indeed, feasible. Unfortunately, because of other
commitments, the client could not proceed at that time.
Market studies show that frozen "baby"
food, made mostly from Nova Scotia fruits and vegetables, has a market
with both babies and grownups. Although the processing is not
patentable, there are secrets in the manufacturing and marketing of the
products (as determined by MRA research with our client) that make the
opportunity very attractive. The initial capital cost of production is
also very low.
Some clients such as Peter Visser
Farms (alfalfa dehy) and Atlantic Concrete Roof Tiles had good ideas,
and even received offers of funding assistance based on MRA reports, but
were unable to proceed with their projects for one reason or another.
Another study indicated that Nova Scotia could utilize mineral waters
comparable to the best in Europe to develop spas and this is still a
great opportunity. Another study showed how a new type of mobile
sawmill could benefit Atlantic Canada - this study still deserves
further attention. Opportunities do exist!