Top innovation consulting firms

Compare innovation consultancies: Here's a list of the top innovation consulting firms and business design agencies around the world.

Hi innovator

Looking for the best innovation consulting firm?

Finding the best innovation agency to help you out can be a huge challenge. Do you need the traditional design thinking mindset of IDEO, the business capability of McKinsey, or a hands-on business design and innovation strategy expertise? There is a wide spectrum of innovation consulting services around. So we’ve compiled an ebook breaking down the offerings of the world’s leading agencies. 

Yes, some of them are our competitors. But so what? Our long-term mission is to inspire 100 million people to innovate for a better tomorrow. And doing so requires collaboration.

From programs to help you optimize your innovation budget, to business-oriented formats – which prioritize delivering value – and talent development programs which create long-term innovation capabilities, it can be difficult to make the right choice for your organization and its level of innovation maturity. Let’s give you an overview of the different clusters, so you can solve your corporate innovation challenge.

Innovation agencies compared

Overview of innovation consulting services.

Some aspects to take into account when deciding which innovation agency you want to work with are:

  • the expertise of the innovation consultants;
  • the innovation methodology they use;
  • client portfolio & sector focus;
  • strings attached – after setting up an innovation program for you, some agencies may encourage you to source technical capabilities from their affiliates regardless of whether they are the best choice. Keep an eye out for these biases.

Firms focused on design thinking

IDEO compared to ?What if! or Fjord

These types of innovation agencies have a strong background in design thinking methodologies. In their innovation teams, you can often encounter service designers, human-centered designers or business innovation consultants with hands-on design skills.

Design and innovation consultancy firms like this can be found more & more. The success of design driven startups like AirBnB & Tesla has pushed this category to new heights! More examples in this cluster would be Jump Associates, Lunar, Frog, or Claro.

Firms focused on business model innovation

Innosight versus Fahrenheit 212

The best business innovation consultancy firms are not specialized in just one discipline but cover a wide range of capabilities.

Consultancies in this category are often more focused on business model innovation, new branding, or marketing concepts.  Compared to the previous group, more innovation consultants in this category have a background in innovation management, marketing or economics. Other related agencies are Happen, The Doblin Group or Continuum.

Mixed innovation strategy & business design focus

Our approach at Board of Innovation

At Board of Innovation, we aim to combine the best of both worlds. Our innovation consultancy firm consists of experts in business model innovation, lean startup, and design thinking. Our experience in a broad range of industries, both B2B as B2C, puts us in a unique position to encourage non-obvious solutions. And we’re an independent business design and innovation strategy firm, so rather than link our services to in-house technical capabilities, we’ll only recommend the best collaborators for your organization’s unique needs.

I learned more from 1 day talking to customers than from the research we did over the last 6 months.

Market Research Manager, Adidas

Top innovation consulting firms

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Client cases

Trusted by Fortune 500 and global innovators.

Board of Innovation makes Fortune 500 companies innovate like startups, mixing proven methods from design thinking and lean startup strategies.

Accelerating platform business models at ING

Discover how we built 2 new ventures with ING during a changing banking climate.

Accelerating product innovation for O-I

A journey from sticky notes to rapid prototyping, to real-world innovation.

Social innovation for Pepal

Scaling up and achieving sustainability of high-quality HIV prevention and treatment services in Myanmar.

Building internal capabilities for ING

Innovation transformation program, train-the-trainer tracks, and corporate accelerators: tailored initiatives to keep ING an innovation-driven company.

Trend-based ideation for KLM

Facilitating the KLM’s Disruptive Field Day.

B2B Co-creation for Valmet

Securing new profitable innovation growth whilst developing an intrapreneurial innovation culture and mindset.

Transformation program for Proximus

Design thinking transformation program for Proximus, first telco in Belgium.

Digital innovation strategy for Roche

We enabled Roche to co-create and action a patient-centered innovation strategy tailored to the business's unique needs in healthcare.

Developing food & beverage products with Danone

How we helped Danone create 8 food and beverage concepts for the Chinese market while training staff in practical business design methodologies.

Global innovation challenge for Unilin

A story of intrapreneurship, talent management, innovation, and technology.

Ideation bootcamp for ABInBev

Ideation brainstorms and co-creation workshops for ABInBev.

Design thinking & creativity for TD Bank

Boosting capabilities and techniques of TD's center of excellence.

A design thinking mindset for Total

Hands-on training in design thinking for management and talents in Total.

Boosting Engie’s innovation strategy

From innovation strategy to corporate accelerators: 360° innovation support for Engie.

How-to-startup coaching for Thomson Reuters

How-to-startup coaching for global intrapreneurs in Thomson Reuters.

Redesigning the pension journey for AXA

How our co-creation program with bank and insurance provider AXA helped improve the pension sales process for brokers and redesign the customer journey.

Corporate startup coaching for Vanderlande

Corporate startup coaching, from ideation to RedDot Design Award: Board of Innovation for Vanderlande.