Thinking about research and development

When exporting, you can’t rely on replicating exactly what works at home. Often, you will be required to develop your existing products and services or even invent new ones, to suit a new market’s needs.

Why is R&D important?

Research and Development (R&D) helps businesses discover, identify and apply ideas or technology to develop new or improved products and processes.

Market-led R&D is the key to positioning your product ahead of your competitors. It allows you to maintain and grow market share and offer pricing based on strong value propositions.

Modifying products for new markets


You’ll need to undertake market research or analysis to identify what your target market needs and wants.

Compare your findings to your existing product and / or service offering.

If a modification is required, determine whether it is ‘cosmetic’ (changes to branding, marketing, packaging etc.) or ‘profound’ (changes to the product itself – eg you’re aiming your food product at a new market that wants different flavours).

Callaghan Innovation provides advice to businesses on all aspects of R&D and commercialising ideas faster. See for more information.

How can R&D help you deliver your USP?

A strong unique selling proposition (USP) starts with identifying a niche in the market that is not yet being met. R&D can provide you with the way to meet this need and deliver your USP. A good R&D project will include a detailed plan of how you might either create or modify a product or service, or acquire / develop a new product to meet that market need.

How can R&D lead to future business growth?

Strong R&D gives you the opportunity to grow your business in a way your competitors can’t. Sometimes, it even allows you to offer an entirely new product that no-one else can.


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