This year’s list of the 100 most innovative companies, according to Forbes, sees French luxury brand Hermès sitting at number 13. The list is determined by measuring which companies trade at a level incongruous to their underlying financials and assets, leading to an Innovation Premium (IP).
Hermès set a record last year, reporting an operating profit of $1.69 billion with $5 billion in sales – the fastest growing business in its industry over the past six years. In fact the only others categorised as ‘luxury goods’ on the list from Forbes are Li & Fung at 41 and Luxottica Group at 51.
Unlike a great number of its counterparts, Hermès has created desire coupled with mystique that even in today’s digital age it has managed to maintain. Doing so can be attributed to much more than just the elusiveness of its famous handbags however, and one such way is the creativity it defers to online.
While Burberry might be shouted about as a digital pioneer or Chanel heralded for its elegant YouTube channel, not to mention statement-worthy catwalk shows, Hermès should be regarded for the creative content it is pushing out across channels. It regularly, and always quietly, releases everything from quirky illustrated videos to pop-up e-stores that tick every box associated with the brand craftsmanship it is engaged in, setting it apart from many others in the space.
An article in the September 8, 2014 issue of Forbes magazine accompanying the list highlighted the fact Hermès doesn’t have a marketing department. “Why should it? McKinsey doesn’t have a consulting department nor does Microsoft have a software department. Marketing is Hermès’ core business,” writes author Susan Adams.
She quotes the company’s CEO, Axel Dumas: “Our business is about creating desire. It can be fickle because desire is fickle, but we try to have creativity to suspend the momentum.”
Read the full story via Forbes where several examples of such creativity in action can be seen. Here’s a sneak preview…