Rated Ranking: The Most Innovative Companies 2015

The Most Innovative Companies 2015



Forbes has published the annual list of the “Most Innovative Companies 2015”. The ranking is compiled by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), who have surveyed across a wide range of countries and industries since 2005 to help cast light on the state of innovation in global business. The new report reveals the 50 companies that this year’s sample of 1,500 international executives perceived in a survey as the most innovative.

The methodology is based on the survey results and three financial measures: three year growth in total shareholder return (TSR), revenue and margins. Respondents’ votes counted for 80 per cent of the ranking, while TSR for 10 per cent, and revenue and margin growth for 5 per cent each. BCG made two changes to the methodology in the 2015 edition: Respondents were asked to rank the most innovative companies both in their own and in all industries and five-year growth is indicated in TSR. Due to this mixture of collecting perceptions AND “hard facts” plus the expertise of the seniority of survey respondents, this methodology is a robust and plausible way to measure the “innovativeness” of companies – unlike other ranking approaches that either only rely on surveys OR on so-called “hard facts” such as patents only. Respondents to the survey were not only asked to rank the most innovative companies but also to rank the importance of innovation in their company. 79 percent of respondents ranked innovation as either the top-most priority or a top-three priority within their company.

Like in last year’s edition of the ranking, Apple remains #1 for the eleventh year in a row, followed by Google. Tesla takes the third position. The electronic car company was at #41 last year. This is a 38-position increase in only one year. The Top Ten are dominated by technology and automotive companies with Microsoft at #4 , Samsung at #5, Toyota at #6, BMW at #7 and Daimler at #10. When it comes to countries, most of the Top 50 companies come from the US (29). Eleven come from Europe and 10 from Asia. Unlike last year, when Bayer was the only company from the healthcare sector listed, this year no less than eight healthcare firms made it into the top 50, headed by Gilead Sciences at #8. It seems like the healthcare industry was quite successful in changing stakeholders’ attitudes toward them in terms of being perceived innovative.

In conclusion, “Most Innovative Companies” is a highly valuable ranking to gauge and compare the innovation status of individual companies. As the ranking has a long history, comparisons and developments over time are possible.

You can read the Forbes article incl. the full top 50 ranking table here. Detailed information on the ranking and a PDF report can be found on the BCG website.

Relevance / Impact
– 13 points –
Added Value / Insights
– 15 points –

Trustworthiness / Intention
– 13 points –
– 13 points –

Aggregated points
– 54 (out of 60) –
Highly valuable ranking

Useful ranking with some flaws

Partially useful ranking with considerable flaws

< 30
Useless ranking

Reach of publication:

  • Global, e.g. North America, Europe and Asia (5 points)
  • Regional, e.g. Europe or North America (3 points)
  • Large national market: e.g. US, China, Japan, Germany, France, UK, Italy, Brazil (2 points)
  • Mid-sized or small market, e.g. Switzerland, Netherlands, Argentina, Singapore (1 point)

Ranking will be recognized by key stakeholders:

  • Opinion Leaders (Politicians, Professors; NGO’s) (2 points)
  • Business Advisory Board, C-Level Executives (CEO, CCO, CFO, CMO) (2 points)
  • High Potentials & Top Talents (employer market, students) (2 points)
  • Financial Market (2 points)
  • General Public (2 points)

Aggregated points: 13 (of max. 15)

Is the owner providing the ranking a credible and trustworthy organization?

  • Ranking owner has limited credibility and reputation. (1 point)
  • Ranking owner has fair credibility and reputation. (3 points)
  • Ranking owner has excellent credibility and reputation. (5 points)

What is the ranking owner’s intention to produce and disseminate the ranking?

  • Ranking is predominantly a tool to raise awareness for the owner with the possible intention to sell consultancy services. (1 point)
  • Ranking is partly a tool to raise awareness for the owner with the possible intention to sell consultancy services. (3 points)
  • Ranking is predominantly a tool to surface and share important insights on the subject surveyed. (5 points)

Is/Are the media outlet(s) where the ranking is published of high credibility and reputation?

  • Media outlet(s) has/have limited credibility and reputation. (1 point)
  • Media outlet(s) has/have fair credibility and reputation. (3 points)
  • Media outlet(s) has/have excellent credibility and reputation. (5 points)

Aggregated points: 13 (of max. 15)

Do the ranking results provide overall orientation where companies stand?

  • limited orientation only (1 point)
  • fair orientation provided (3 points)
  • very good orientation (5 points)

Is the Ranking published in the same format on a regular basis, e.g. annually, which allows to track developments and comparisons over time?

  • ranking is published for the first time (1 point)
  • ranking is published for the second time in the same format (3 points)
  • ranking is published for more than 3 times on a regular basis in the same format (5 points)

Comment: Ranking published for the 11th time in a row.

Do the ranking results provide added value and further insights on how companies are evaluated in in their industry, e.g. detailed ratings in various sub-dimensions of the overall result?

  • limited added value only (1 point)
  • fair amount of added value (3 points)
  • high amount of added value (5 points)

Aggregated points: 15 (of max. 15)

Is the ranking based on a representative survey among key stakeholders or on a jury only?

  • Ranking is based on a jury’s opinion only. (1 point)
  • Ranking is based on a small survey or only on a limited group of stakeholders. (3 points)
  • Ranking is based on a robust and representative survey. (5 points)

Comment: Only CEOs and senior executives are asked, but they are generally well-informed about the innovation status of companies.

Is the ranking methodology easy to understand and reasonable – even for non-statisticians?

  • Methodology not easy to understand and not reasonable. (1 point)
  • Methodology fairly good to understand and reasonable. (3 points)
  • Methodology very easy to understand and reasonable. (5 points)

Is the ranking methodology easy to access and transparent?

  • Methodology not easy to find and not sufficiently transparent. (1 point)
  • Methodology fairly good to find and of medium transparency. (3 points)
  • Methodology very easy to find and of high transparency. (5 points)

Aggregated points: 13 (of max. 15)

Ranking category

  • Product / Service Brands
  • Company Brands
  • Corporate Reputation and Company Esteem
  • Social Responsibility, CSR & Sustainability, Ethical Business Practices
  • Innovation & Technology
  • Employer Attractiveness & Diversity
  • Leadership
  • Nations & Destinations
  • University & Other Institutions
  • Sports
  • Lifestyle
  • Social Media
  • Personal Branding & CEOs

Ranking statistics

  • Name of Ranking: The Most Innovative Companies 2015
  • Ranking managed/produced by institute/organization: The Boston Consulting Group
  • Ranking published by media outlet: Forbes
  • Date of recent publication: December 2, 2015
  • Date of previous publication: November 3, 2014

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