SMARI celebrates 40 years, new offices

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Market research company SMARI marked its 40th anniversary Nov. 16 with a grand opening celebration of its new office space at 8701 E. 116th St., Suite 240, in Fishers.

The grand opening started with a ribbon cutting, followed by remarks from company executives and office tours.

Jim Ittenbach said he founded the company in Southport in 1983. SMARI has had a presence in Hamilton County since 2003.

The company specializes in primary market research. It works with clients to understand their customers, products and market and develop business strategies and consumer insights.

Katie Ittenbach, president of SMARI, said the company personalizes research for clients based on findings specific to each company instead of using a one-size-fits-all algorithmic approach.

“Clients typically think of us as part of their company and an extension of their team,” Katie Ittenbach said.

She noted SMARI’s work to help a salad retail chain optimize their menu as an example of its services.

“So, what’s the best menu to offer that’s going to be enticing and reach the largest number of customers?” Ittenbach said. “We tested different menu options to see which one would be the best.”

The company also has helped local organizations, such as Conner Prairie and Indy Hunger Network.

SMARI is about to have a change in leadership. Founder Jim Ittenbach plans to retire at the end of the year and will turn the operation over to Katie Ittenbach, his daughter.

“It’s kind of like the next season of life,” Jim Ittenbach said. “I think there’s seasons in business. This is the start of the next season.”


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