Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Top 50 Innovative Companies in the World - Apple is #1 4th year in a row

HQ Country
HQ Continent
Revenue Growth
(in %)
Margin Growth
(in %)
Stock Returns
(in %)

Most Known for its
(% who think so)
1 APPLE USANorth America47 69 83

Products (52%)
2 GOOGLE USANorth America73 5 53

Customer Experience (26%)
3 TOYOTA MOTOR JapanAsia12 1 15

Processes (36%)
4 GENERAL ELECTRIC USANorth America9 1 3

Processes (43%)
5 MICROSOFT USANorth America16 8 12

Products (26%)
6 TATA GROUP IndiaAsiaPrivatePrivatePrivate

Products (58%)
7 NINTENDO JapanAsia37 4 77

Products (63%)
8 PROCTER & GAMBLE USANorth America16 4 12

Processes (30%)
9 SONY JapanAsia8 13 17

Products (56%)
10 NOKIA FinlandEurope20 2 35

Products (36%)
11 AMAZON.COM USANorth America29 -11 28

Customer Experience (33%)
12 IBM USANorth America1 11 4

Processes (31%)
13 RESEARCH IN MOTION CanadaNorth America56 -1 51

Products (37%)
14 BMW GermanyEurope6 -5 11

Customer Experience (40%)
15 HEWLETT-PACKARD USANorth America10 17 35

Processes, Business Models, and Customer Experience (27% each)
16 HONDA MOTOR JapanAsia12 6 14

Products (40%)
17 WALT DISNEY USANorth America6 14 7

Customer Experience (63%)
18 GENERAL MOTORS USANorth America-2 NA***-11

Products (55%)
19 RELIANCE INDUSTRIES IndiaAsia31 -7 94

Business Models (31%)
20 BOEING USANorth America9 32 21

Products (63%)
21 GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP USANorth America30 6 28

Processes and Business Models (33% each)
22 3M USANorth America7 5 3

Products (45%)
23 WAL-MART STORES USANorth America10 -2 -2

Processes (48%)
24 TARGET USANorth America11 3 0

Customer Experience (67%)
25 FACEBOOK USANorth AmericaPrivatePrivatePrivate

Customer Experience (51%)
26 SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS South KoreaAsia2 -14 8

Products (42%)
27 AT&T USANorth America43 6 23

Customer Experience (33%)
28 VIRGIN GROUP BritainEuropePrivatePrivatePrivate

Customer Experience (47%)
29 AUDI GermanyEurope11 11 41

Products (50%)
30 MCDONALD'S USANorth America7 -7 25

Customer Experience (42%)
31 DAIMLER GermanyEurope-11 37 28

Products (35%)
32 STARBUCKS USANorth America23 -2 -13

Customer Experience (60%)
33 EBAY USANorth America33 -37 -17

Business Models (28%)

Services (41%)
35 CISCO SYSTEMS USANorth America20 -5 12

Products (35%)
36 ING GROEP NetherlandsEurope7 4 11

Services (41%)
37 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SingaporeAsia9 5 20

Customer Experience (55%)
38 SIEMENS GermanyEurope1 21 22

Products (41%)
39 COSTCO WHOLESALE USANorth America11 -5 14

Customer Experience (46%)
40 HSBC BritainEurope12 -1 4

Services (39%)
41 BANK OF AMERICA USANorth America12 0 0

Customer Experience and Services (23% each)
42 EXXON MOBIL USANorth America11 7 25

Processes (50%)
43 NEWS CORP. USANorth America4 4 4

Business Models (47%)
44 BP BritainEurope14 -5 11

Processes (42%)
45 NIKE USANorth America8 -1 14

Customer Experience (43%)
46 DELL USANorth America7 -12 -17

Business Models (37%)
47 VODAFONE GROUP BritainEurope7 -21 15

Business Models (33%)
48 INTEL USANorth America4 -10 6

Products (53%)
49 SOUTHWEST AIRLINES USANorth America15 9 -9

Customer Experience (50%)
50 AMERICAN EXPRESS USANorth America3 1 3

Customer Experience (35%)

2008 Report

BusinessWeek/Boston Consulting Group (BCG) recently announced the world's top 50 innovative companies for 2008.

17 of the Top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index are included in the top 50 innovative companies of the world by BusinessWeek/BCG. This is a testament to the Innovation Index methodology and the process.

There are many new entrants in 2008. The top five innovators from last year have strengthened their positions further, and remain in the top five slots this year also. Apple is #1 for the fourth time in a row owing to another innovation milestone: Apple iPhone (check our sister blog: http://appleinnovation.blogspot.com ) Google is #2 again owing to the growth of the AdWords and AdSense businesses, and the phenomenal growth of YouTube videos post acquisition (although Google is still trying to find the appropriate business model towards making money from the millions of videos served daily). Toyota Motor remains at #3 in large part due to the dominance of hybrid cars - Toyota has expanded its position further by introducing hybrid cars in all the major car lines besides Prius, General Electric remains at #4 due to the emerging alternative energy innovations, and Microsoft rounds at #5, due to the growth of the XBox and new consumer innovations - can Microsoft retain its number 5 position in 2009?.

Tata Group - India vaults into the Top Ten innovative company list for the first time at #6. Tata was not in the top 50 innovative company list last year. Tata recently boldly acquired Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford. Although the big reason Tata is in the top ten is owing to the introduction of Tata Nano, a $2,500 new car that will revolutionize the car industry. Nintendo, at #7, is the top innovator out of Japan, thanks to the runaway success of Wii. Proctor & Gamble fell one notch to #8, but stayed in the Top Ten innovators list. P&G is a perennial innovator, and figures to be in Top Ten for the foreseeable future owing to hits such as Febreze and Mr. Clean. Another Top Ten innovator went up a notch to #9 - Sony. Sony's Blu-Ray and new product mix is causing a turnaround. Rounding out the Top Ten is Nokia out of Finland. Nokia went up 3 places and surged back in the Top Ten list. Nokia is the heavyweight in wireless, and the new Nokia models are doing rather well.

General Motors is on a comeback with exciting new electric concept cars, and remarkable new vehicles in the Buick, Hummer, Cadillac and Saturn lines. GM is on a rebound, and could have a solid 2008-2009 if it embraces the alternative energy engine technologies for the new cars. BMW, Honda Motor, Audi and Daimler are also in the top 50 innovator list on the strengths of new innovative cars that are customer friendly and in tune with the present environment. Reliance Industries, another Indian innovator, vaults into the Top Twenty list of innovators. Reliance is a household name in India - from wireless to telecommunications, technology to infrastructure - Reliance can be found in virtually every industry in India. There are key companies shining in this year's list out of England including Vodafone, BP, HSBC, and Virgin Group. Overall, 2008 list of innovators is very well-represented globally.

#25 on the list is Facebook - a new innovator who has the sixth highest trafficked website on social networking - who can one day challenge Google and MySpace.com. Although Facebook still has a long way to go.

According to BusinessWeek, "2008 list of the World's Most Innovative Companies adds three financial measures to the mix to determine the rankings. For this year's list, votes cast in the proprietary BusinessWeek-BCG survey received 80% of the overall weighting, stock returns were weighted 10%, while three-year revenue and margin growth each got 5%. While these changes -- only votes from our survey counted in the past -- marked the biggest shift yet in our rankings of the World's Most Innovative Companies, there are some similarities to previous years."

2007 Report

BusinessWeek announced (external link) the top 50 innovative companies of the world, an annual ranking compiled along with Boston Consulting Group. Click here to view the Top 50 rankings. Listed below is the 2007 Top 50 Innovative companies in the world, along with their 2006 ranking comparison.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is #1 again, 3rd year in a row. Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is #2 again. And climbing up one notch is Toyota at #3. General Electric (NYSE: GE) is #4, up 2 places; Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) held steady at #5, Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG) went up 1 spot to #6, 3M (NYSE: MMM) went down 4 notches to #7, Walt Disney Co (NYSE: DIS) zoomed up a whopping 35 places to #8, IBM (NYSE: IBM) went up 1 place to #9, and Sony climbed 3 places to #10.

There are many new innovators in the BusinessWeek top 50. AT&T (NYSE: T), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), Nintendo (Japan), Volkswagen (Germany), Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), Merck (NYSE: MRK) and News Corporation (NYSE: NWS) are your new companies. Besides, Royal Philips Electronics (Netherlands), Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST), Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD), and LG Electronics (South Korea) have vaulted into the top 50 rankings (in 2006, these companies were ranked in the top 100, outside the top 50). This means, a few innovators dropped out of the top 50.

Last year (December 2006), I started The Innovation Index of the top 20 innovators based on 2006 BusinessWeek rankings of North American companies and my own research. I had only included the top 25 publicly traded North American companies in The Innovation Index based on the BusinessWeek rankings so as to evaluate their innovation activity and stock performance on a weekly basis. I am now planning to revise The Innovation Index for 2008 based on this new ranking from BusinessWeek, and am considering including the global publicly traded Innovators - the likes of Toyota, Sony, Nokia, BMW, Samsung, Philips, Infosys (although Infosys was not included in the Top 50 this year), top innovator from China, and more - besides the North American Innovators. This would create the first global Innovation Index for 2008.

How did BusinessWeek come up with the Top 50 Innovative Companies ranking?

According to the BusinessWeek article:
"The BusinessWeek-Boston Consulting Group 2007 list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies is based on a senior management survey about innovation and was distributed electronically to executives worldwide in late 2006. In October, surveys were sent to the 1,500 largest global corporations, determined by market capitalization in U.S. dollars, with instructions to send the survey to their top 10 executives in charge of innovation. The survey was also distributed to senior management members of the BusinessWeek Market Advisory Board, an online panel consisting of BusinessWeek readers, and via the Knowledge@Wharton e-mail newsletter. Survey participation was voluntary and anonymous, and the survey closed in March, 2007. The survey consisted of 20 general questions on innovation and an optional 12 questions focused on innovation metrics.

A total of 2,468 executives answered the survey. Of those indicating their location, 77% were from North America, 12% were from Europe, and 9% were from Asia or the Pacific region. A larger share of North American voters this year may explain some movement in the rankings of some companies on our list."

Compare this to 2006 BusinessWeek rankings, wherein only 1,070 executives answered the survey, although the mix was globally representative - 46% were from North America, 30% from Eurpoe, and 16% from Asia and Pacific.

In 2007, out of the top 50 innovative companies, only 14 were outside North America; in 2006, 20 companies were outside North America. Perhaps this has to do with the executives answering the survey, and their representative global mix.

Regardless, the top 50 innovators in the world are world-class companies creating new innovations through unmatched creativity and driving profitable growth.

Creativity And Innovation in Business Definitive Guide is a 212-page collection of my handpicked 56 Creativity and Innovation best practices, case studies, articles, interviews, and insights on the current state of innovation in business. The Innovation eBook provides real-world examples on how the Top 50 Innovators including Apple, Google, GE, Proctor and Gamble, Yahoo, Toyota, Netflix, BMW, Deloitte, Timex, Frito Lays, Johnson & Johnson, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, Intel and more innovate and grow their business successfully time and again, especially during trying times. Use this eBook as a guide and relevant resource to find and create game-changing innovations, unblock creativity, and make innovation successful at your business...Learn more

The Innovation Index Reports:
Introducing The Innovation Index Fund - The Innovation Index Fund introduction announcement
Top 50 Innovative Companies in the world - 2007 & 2008 Report on Top 50 Companies and Innovators
The Innovation Index closes 2007 with 66% gain, crushes major U.S. indices
- 2007 Annual Report
Annual Report - Chapter One - Total Innovation Activity
- 2006 Annual Report One
Annual Report - Chapter Two - The Top Innovator - 2006 Annual Report Two
Annual Report - Chapter Three - The Innovation Insights - 2006 Annual Report Insights
Innovation and Stock Performance Correlation - The Innovation Index and Stock Performance
About The Innovation Index

The Innovation Index introduced in December 2006 is a weighted stock price index of the top 20 Innovators in North America.

The Innovation Index returned 66% in 2007, and would have returned 174% over the previous five years (2002-2006). This assumes equal investment in each stock of The Innovation Index as of December 31, 2001. An average of $100 invested in The Innovation Index on December 31, 2001 returned $454 as of December 31, 2007. By comparison, $100 invested in S & P 500 returned 28% or $129, $100 invested in NASDAQ returned 34% or $136, and $100 invested in the Dow Jones Index returned 30% or $131 through December 31, 2007. The Innovation Index beats the S & P 500, NASDAQ and Dow Jones Index by more than seven times over the past six years.

Alphabetical list of the Top 20 Innovators of The Innovation Index for 2008 and their stock ticker symbols:

3M Company - (NYSE: MMM)
Amazon.com, Inc. - (NASDAQ: AMZN)
America Movil - (NYSE: AMX)
Apple Inc. - (NASDAQ: AAPL)
AT&T Inc. - (NYSE: T)
Best Buy Co., Inc. - (NYSE: BBY)
Cisco Systems, Inc. - (NASDAQ: CSCO)
Costco Wholesale Corporation - (NASDAQ: COST)
eBay Inc. - (NASDAQ: EBAY)
General Electric Co. - (NYSE: GE)
Google Inc. - (NASDAQ: GOOG)
Hewlett-Packard Co. - (NYSE: HPQ)
Intel Corporation - (NYSE: INTC)
International Business Machines Corp. - (NYSE: IBM)
Merck & Co., Inc. - (NYSE: MRK)
McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD)
Microsoft Corporation - (NASDAQ: MSFT)
NIKE, Inc. - (NYSE: NKE)
Research In Motion Limited - (NASDAQ: RIMM)
The Proctor & Gamble Company - (NYSE: PG)
The Innovation Index will analyze the positions and standings of the Top 20 Innovators at the end of each year. For 2008, there will be no further changes in The Innovation Index.
Disclaimer: The Innovation Index Group, Inc. invests in the stocks comprising The Innovation Index.
Additional Labels:
top 5 innovative companies
innovative companies
top innovative companies
top companies on innovation and creativity
innovation and creativity top 50
creativity and innovation in business
top 10 creative and innovative companies
top 10 innovator
top 100 innovative business
top 10 innovative companies
top 50 innovative companies

Originally published: May 11, 2007
Updated: April 22, 2008, May 21, 2009
*Past performance does not guarantee future returns

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