Research - 05.10.2012 - 00:00 

2012 Swiss Innovation Ranking

The HSG and htp St.Gallen interviewed 420 executives about their perception of the innovative power in 1,600 Swiss companies. Swatch, Nestlé and Novartis occupy the top positions in the ranking.<br/>


5 October 2012. The Center for Innovation of the University of St.Gallen conducted this survey among Swiss executives about their perception of innovative power for the second time. The "Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Marketing (GfM)" supported the study.

Both at home and abroad, Swiss enterprises, products and services are known for their good quality, but not for inventiveness. This was the result of the “Swissness Worldwide” study, which the HSG and htp St.Gallen conducted in 2010. It is Japan, Germany and the US which are regarded as pioneers in the field of innovation. Scientific studies prove that a company’s perceived innovative power has a positive impact on its image, customer satisfaction and success and that it is therefore important.

“Swiss companies are definitely innovative. With this ranking we would like to stimulate Swiss enterprises to occupy themselves more strongly with the communication of their innovative power,” says Professor Oliver Gassmann, the academic director of the study.

Swatch is regarded as an engine of invention
Nestlé continues to be the only Swiss company in the worldwide innovation ranking conducted by Business Week. Yet in Swiss people’s perception, it was relegated to second place by Swatch. The watchmaker still arouses emotions with its products. Numerous ideas produced by Swatch are linked to the name of the company’s founder, Hayek. In Nestlé’s case, Nespresso and the technology firm Nestec have a favourable effect on customers’ perception of the company as an enterprise with a wealth of ideas.

The result of the survey: innovation continues to be a multi-front war; only very few companies rely solely on products. Most firms are active in at least two fields and supplement products with innovative customer experiences. This is a good development since innovative customer experiences are frequently a domain of American companies like Apple.

Innovative power should be measured regularly
The innovation ranking is intended to be conducted regularly in the next few years. The directors of the study want to use it to create a “currency” for the marketing and communication of innovative products and services. Innovations, too, are subject to the motto: “Only what is measured will also be implemented.” The ranking is intended to motivate companies to work more intensively on the communication of innovative power. Thus it is not only factual innovation power that is crucial to success, but also customers’ perception of it.

Picture: Photocase / Erdbeermarmelade

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