Disruptive business models change entire industries. The Game Changer Award 2015 presented by Bain & Company and manager magazin honored for the first time companies that redefine the rules of the game for their sector.
In 2015, three companies were selected as the winners in the following categories:
- Incumbents, large-scale enterprises
- Focused Players, established companies and industry leaders, and
- Challengers, smaller companies with an innovative digital business character
The finalists were selected on the basis of a structured four-stage method: First, a longlist was drawn up on the basis of the population of all companies in Germany and according to criteria such as revenue, venture capital, and innovation potential. The list included 100 Incumbents, 150 Focused Players, and 78 Challengers.
As financial success is also a fundamental criterion for the award, the second step involved analyzing the companies' financial data. For the Challengers, mentions in the media were drawn on as an additional or alternative parameter for economic success. The Bain consultants and external international experts then assessed the "digital relevance" of the candidates. Individual sectors, such as energy supply, were not included here. Important aspects of the assessment included the adaptation of products, distribution channels, or the business structure to the digitalization. For the Challengers, the extent to which the business model is actually disruptive, i.e. whether it is new, unique, and has a great influence on customers and competitors, was also analyzed.
At the end of this process, there were five finalists in each category:
- BMW, Bosch, Deutsche Telekom, SAP and Siemens in Incumbents
- Axel Springer, CEWE, Festo, Kuka and ProSiebenSat.1 in Focused Players
- Check24, EOS, Isra Vision, Soundcloud and Zalando in Challengers
These companies were subjected to another detailed test: How successful was their reaction to the digitalization? How strong is their influence on their industry and competitors? For the Challengers: What added value do they really offer to customers? How sustainable and profitable is their growth?