Yesterday, we published the 14th edition of the GreenBook Research Industry Trends Report and one of the most eagerly awaited subjects we covered is our annual “GRIT 50 Most Innovative Companies” ranking. Today I’m pulling out part of that section (there is a more in the report than I have here) for quick reference for our faithful readers.
Beginning in 2010 we decided to start tracking which firms were perceived as most innovative within the global market research industry. This has evolved into the GRIT 50 Most Innovative list, which at its core is simply a brand tracker using the attribute of “innovation” as the key metric. Now, each year we measure how market research suppliers are leveraging this brand element through a simple question series:
1. Using an unaided awareness verbatim question, we ask respondents to list the three research companies they considered to be most innovative.
2. We then ask them to rank those firms from most to least innovative.
3. Finally, we ask another verbatim as to why they consider their number 1 ranked firm to be most innovative.
For this wave, using the aggregate of the ranking question, we developed a list of 991 companies in total, with 304 that received multiple mentions. From that list we have narrowed it down to the Top 50 for additional analysis. The goal of this avenue of inquiry is to glean insight on the drivers of perception around what makes a firm innovative in order to understand how MR firms are capitalizing on the idea of “innovation” to grow their businesses. We believe that this list, developed by our peers within the industry, is a true measure of how successfully these companies are using “innovation” to help drive brand awareness.
Due to issues around consolidation and multiple brand within a single entity (Kantar for instance with Millward Brown, TNS, Added Value, etc…) we are presenting the Top 50 in two ways: without brand rollups which is based solely on the companies mentioned with no consideration given to parent company ownership or affiliation, and with brand rollups, where we have consolidated all appropriate business entities under the parent brand. As you’ll see this doesn’t change things significantly, but there is a reshuffling of the higher ranked companies, most notably for Kantar-owned companies.
Only brands that received 12 or more mentions made it onto the “Without Rollups” list while 11 or more was the threshold for inclusion on the ‘With Rollups” list.
Here are the rankings both ways:
|Rank||Top 50 Without Rollups||Count||Rank||Top 50 With Rollups||Count|
|8||Millward Brown||80||8||InSites Consulting||74|
|9||InSites Consulting||74||9||Research Now||72|
|20||Vocatus||30||20||Instantly (formerly uSamp)||28|
|21||Instantly (formerly uSamp)||28||21||GIM||27|
|33||Gut Check||17||33||Research Through Gaming||15|
|35||Survey Monkey||16||35||Hall & Partners||15|
|36||Research Through Gaming||15||36||Anderson Analytics||15|
|38||Hall & Partners||15||38||Harris Interactive||14|
|41||Harris Interactive||14||41||Schlesinger Associates||12|
|44||Schlesinger Associates||12||44||KL Communications||12|
|48||ComScore||12||48||Happy Thinking People||11|
Congratulations to all these firms for their inclusion; their hard work is paying off and being recognized by the industry!
For the third consecutive year, BrainJuicer unequivocally (and by almost an order of magnitude lead) is considered the most innovative company by GRIT respondents, a testament to their discipline, creativity, and focus when it comes to branding and marketing. They quite simply “own” this attribute within the research space. Other perennial leaders Vision Critical, Ipsos, GfK and Nielsen saw some slight shuffling within the Top 10, but the real surprise was the debut of Google Consumer Surveys at number 5, no doubt driven by the extensive industry media coverage of the Google Consumer Surveys offering as well as their ubiquitous presence at virtually every research conference since their debut.
Google wasn’t the only debut, however – a total of 18 companies made it onto the Top 50 list for the first time in 2013. Interestingly at least 4 (Vocatus, Dialego, Ideo & Blauw) seemed to be driven by the large German sample contribution to GRIT, demonstrating the power of their presence within their local market. No other regional specific players made similar appearances.
16 brands increased their position by moving up the ranks, with the single greatest gain being made by Lieberman Research Worldwide with a jump of 25 spots from number 37 in 2012 to number 12 in 2013.
16 brands declined in the ranks.
So what does this tell us? Those firms that debuted or moved up in the ranks really drove the conversation across multiple channels in 2013 and their branding continues to pay dividends for them in the minds of the industry. Remember, the GRIT 50 is a vertically centric brand tracker for MR, and with each iteration we are witnessing how some brands are effectively leveraging various marketing channels (social media, conferences, advertising) focused on the broad idea of “innovation”, while those who are declining should look at changing their marketing strategies and positioning to deal with the massive influx of competitors crowding the space.
In the report we do a deeper analysis of why respondents considered these companies innovative and a multivariate analysis mapping certain core attributes to their brand identification. It’s very instructive and I encourage you to check it out.
The overall message message here is that these firms are associated with aspects of innovation within the marketplace and their positioning on the GRIT 50 list indicates significant brand recognition and affinity with these attributes. These brands can use this information to adjust their messaging as needed in light of their strategic branding goals, and of course other firms looking to compete effectively can also leverage this analysis to help with their own positioning.
Next week we’ll be conducting a webinar to discuss these findings more in depth, along with what clients consider to be most important in supplier relationships. Make sure to join us (register here: http://www.civi.com/greenbook_registration/research_industry_trends/) , it will add much depth to the report itself.