What is International Research and Development?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 July 2019
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International research and development involves the collection and implementation of public opinion and consumer buying habits on a global scale. This can be done by individual companies who have a worldwide consumer base, or by research and development firms. Information can be gathered through various methods, and is generally used to develop new products and services.

Companies that operate on a global basis have the very large task of trying to figure out what consumers want and need in various locations. Instead of needing only to figure out the buying habits of men and women in one region, these businesses must find out what they are purchasing as a whole. This requires the work of a dedicated international research and development team.

Information may be collected by using methods like polls, surveys, and focus groups. These things may be done in various locations or countries, with the data being put together for a wider view. This allows companies to get inside information about what consumers do and not like about certain products, what products they would like to see, and what needs are not currently being met. Once this data is calculated into charts or statistics, businesses can better target new products.


For example, an international research and development study may discover that women in every country want more comfortable shoes. The business can see what aspects of the current options most women prefer, as well as which ones are not so appealing. This allows them to create a new product using the best aspects of existing items, combined with new features. The company will also know to omit the features that most women did not like.

Often, international research and development is conducted by specific global firms who gather information for businesses. These companies are highly trained in gathering and presenting data in clear and concise ways. Other times, a large company may have a separate department secured solely for research and development. With a global company, there may be a department in each geographic location.

Generally, a company will hold focus groups or conduct surveys shortly before the release of a new product or advertisement. This allows them to gain consumer insight on the presentation of an ad to find out what will encourage customers to buy. They also learn where they’ve fallen short before an ad is released, giving them time to make changes before it goes live. This helps ensure that all new products get off to a good start in the marketplace.



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