Umbria Listens, Accepts J.D. Power Bid

    April 3, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

J.D. Power and Associates acquired Boulder-based reputation tracker Umbria to get a better handle on what people say about quality and satisfaction with products and services.

Modern times call for modern efforts at gathering effective assessments of products like the famed awards J.D. Power issues to car manufacturers and firms in other industries. Their studies should receive an infusion of new information with news of their Umbria acquisition. Terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

With the deal, J.D. Power will be able to tap commentary on blogs, message boards, and social networking sites about the categories of products and services they cover. People who haven’t ever been in a J.D. Power survey, but post online about the issues they experience, may be fueling the next set of quality awards the firm bestows on the best of what they find.

In 2005, Umbria founder Howard Kaushansky called blogs “a very rich source [of market intelligence], because people don’t just go to talk about a recent movie, they go to talk about their lives.”

That insight, and the ability to cull such details from the thousands of sources online, apparently put Umbria in a position to be acquired. J.D. Power’s move probably made a few companies slap their heads and realize the opportunity they missed.