By Jon Horsley

Across the world, just as cultures, politics and people seem almost too different to connect, so can marketplaces. So why bother to work out if there are comparisons to be made? Why do the successful startups, as well as the biggest brands and corporations commission international PR research?

  1. International research helps you forecast 

One of the most important lessons traders and analysts at big financial institutions are told is to read the foreign press. What happens to our neighbours can and will affect us. For a glaringly obvious example, if you were reading about events in Bergamo, Italy in February 2020, you would have been aware that we were in for a troubling year. 

But events can be more subtle, you can learn that India’s foreign secretary has taken a diplomatic mission to Nepal, suggesting a de-escalation of problems with China. You might thus be more certain in buying Indian stocks.

Getting even more granular, knowing what is happening in other countries can be helpful for sales. There’s a trend in France for more outdoor pursuits? Maybe your brand can learn what drove it? Maybe you can think about a potential launch. International research can quickly and efficiently help you work out what could happen here. 

2. International research gives you good comparisons

A recent Perspectus Global international survey for Zepp e-watches discovered that 19 percent of Brits are kept awake by a snoring partner, compared to just 10 percent of Spaniards and 13 percent of Americans. 

Imagine you are in the billion-dollar sleep sector, the questions and opportunities that this simple tidbit brings up: Do Brits sleep less well? (No, as a matter of fact, they get the similar number of hours as all the other countries). Why do they snore? Is there a way of reaching the snorers to sell them solutions? Do the angry partners want comfortable noise-cancelling headphones? Do Americans have snoring solutions that are unavailable in the UK? Does a larger bed room or twin bed strategy help? All this can be dug into through more international research. 

3. International research gives you opportunities

Following on from the above, you can discover where exactly the need for nose tapes is or who in the world is most anxious about noise at night. And whether there’s a need for your product that countries around the globe are simply unaware of. All that can come out, relatively cheaply from a few well-aimed questions. 

4. International research gives you good stories

There’s fun to be had for your brand through global comparisons. And it’s not just snoring. 

Brits having sexiest accents got coverage across the world in November 2020.

The potential for stories that land is enormous. You can literally straddle the world with press for your brand, if you get it right.

A recent Perspectus Global project for Sushi Daily about lunch habits made headlines around Europe, discovering that Brits still enjoy a boozy lunch, while French people were surprisingly fond of lunch at their desk. Each country had a story tailored for it, as well as having an overarching European theme. 

5. International research helps you assess goals and targets

The most basic of ideas: Can you launch your brand in Asia? It seems they have a market for your product – but do they already have something similar that you’re not aware of? Uber has failed to take hold in Spain as it has in other European countries for example because of Spanish drivers launching Cabify – and a general suspicion about ride-hailing apps. International research would have foreseen this problem – and set more realistic targets for the company. 

If you’ve any questions about conducting international research for your brand, get in touch