Inspired by Spanish innovation … fast fashion, gourmet tapas and quirky shoes

October 6, 2016

Spain is a land of diverse cultures that drives incredible creativity. From the humanistic forms of Antoni Gaudi and cubist renaissance of Picasso, to great cities like Barcelona and the rejuvenated Bilbao, the ready-baked clothes of Amancio Ortega to the cork-popping of Friexenet, the Spanish are natural lovers of innovation, and of life.

After a deep recession, triggered by the global financial crisis in 2008 and lasted until 2014, Spain is expected to soon become one of the fastest growing economies of the 28 countries in the Eurozone. Whilst this healthy economic outlook may come as a surprise to many of Spain’s so-called “mileuristas” (young, well-educated Spaniards who earn less than 1000 euros a month), and an unemployment rate of about one in four, there is definitely a mood of confidence, investment and innovation.
Madrid has become my second home in recent years, having taken on the role of professor of strategy and innovation at the IE Business School (recently voted Europe’s top business school by FT and Bloomberg). I get to work with some of Spain’s most interesting companies, and their leaders, although the programs also attract companies from across the world too. So here’s a list of my top Spanish innovators to explore:

Bilbao … the city brand reinvented with a little help from Guggenheim

Camper … quirky shoes inspired by the peasant farmers of Majorca

Carto … enabling you to explore the insights underlying location data

Chupa Chups … Picasso branded lollipops sold in local bakeries

Desigual … bright distinctive clothing, but with naked days

eDreams … the online travel agency with a high destination

Ferrovial … managing complex projects and customer experiences

Iberdrola … the world’s leading wind energy business

Inditex … fast fashion in multiple brands, Mango to Zara

LA Organic … Philippe Starck helps to rejuvenate Spanish olive oil

Lolea … fabulously branded, sangria packaged for wherever you are

Loewe … luxury clothing and accessories, party of LMVH

Moritz Factory … gourmet tapas and beer at affordable prices

Privalia … online fashion outlet with flash sales for members only

Wallapop … the mobile flea market, a Craigslist for millennials

Find out more about my programs at IE Business School in Madrid on strategy, innovation and marketing in Spain – inspired by local and global insights and ideas to lead your business for more profitable growth.

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