BCG Names the World's 50 Most Innovative Companies

Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:01am EST

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BOSTON, MA, Jan 10 (Marketwire) -- 
While technology and telecommunications companies continue to dominate
the top ten spots on The Boston Consulting Group's list of most
innovative companies, many traditional companies -- most notably
industrial and automotive companies but also diversified conglomerates --
have joined the list, staking out their places alongside the usual tech

    Since 2004, BCG has surveyed more than 1,500 senior executives in a wide
range of countries and industries to help illuminate the state of
innovation. In a new report titled "The Most Innovative Companies 2012:
The State of the Art in Leading Industries," the firm reveals the 50
companies that global executives ranked as the most innovative.

    Coinciding with the start of BCG's fiftieth anniversary celebration, the
report is part of its Game-Changing Initiative, a year-long effort to
focus decision makers on the opportunities the seismic shifts in the
global economy are creating. 

    "In today's fast-changing world, innovation is more important than ever
to driving organic growth and achieving competitive advantage," noted
Andrew Taylor, a Chicago-based partner and a coauthor of the report,
"Both are critical to generating sustained, above-average returns,
especially in a turbulent economic environment."

    The tech and telecom industries continued to take the lead on innovation,
earning seven of the top ten places on BCG's list. Many of these
companies have demonstrated impressive staying power in the top rankings:

--  Apple has been number one every year since 2005.
--  Google has been number two every year since 2006.
--  Microsoft has been in the top ten every year since 2005.
--  IBM and Sony have been in the top ten nearly every year since 2005.


But the world of bits and bytes no longer comes exclusively to mind
when executives think of innovation. In a notable development,
traditional industries such as industrial products and automotive
together made up 40 percent of the list, comparable to the percentage
that the technology industry held in 2010. Automotive companies made up 7
of the top 25 companies in 2012, for example, and 5 diversified
industrial companies entered or returned to the rankings. 

    Industry-level shifts do not begin to describe all the changes going on
in the innovation environment. The world of innovation may be a place
where the small and nimble succeed, but it is also a place where the
biggest and most diversified companies generate measurable advantages in
scale and scope. These "premium conglomerates" have built their
innovation capability so that they add value from the center to the
diverse business units that they own. In all, 11 of the top 50 most
innovative companies were diversified conglomerates.

    Meanwhile, the usual pure-play life-sciences companies failed to achieve
a spot in the rankings. Since 2007, only one pure-play health care
company has placed in the rankings, and none has placed since 2009.

    BCG also asked executives a host of questions to assess the current and
future robustness of the innovation environment. Among the many
indicators used, two of the most critical were the relative priority of
innovation and the outlook for increased innovation spending over the
coming year (2013). Executives rated these indicators at their highest
levels in more than five years.

    In addition, the report details the major industry and company trends
that have emerged since the survey began and maps the innovation
landscape in four major industries that dominated the list in 2012 --
industrial products and processes, automotive, consumer and retail, and
technology and telecommunications -- as well as in an industry that has
struggled to regain its place: health care.

    Finally, the authors examine six practices of the most innovative
companies and explore how those practices have played out at innovation
leaders across a range of industries.

    "Billions in profits are at stake for companies that can crack the code
and deliver meaningful advantage from innovation, as we've seen from the
ever-changing list of most innovative companies," said Kim Wagner, a New
York-based senior partner and a coauthor of the report. 

    A copy of the report can be downloaded at

    To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric
Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or 

    About The Boston Consulting Group
 The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a
global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on
business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and
not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value
opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform
their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the
dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels
of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve
sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and
secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 78
offices in 43 countries. For more information, please visit

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The Boston Consulting Group
Eric Gregoire
Global Media Relations Manager

Tel +1 617 850 3783
Fax +1 617 850 3701 

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