A just-released study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) ranks the 50 most innovative companies. Not surprising, the list is dominated by large corporations, but relatively few are consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs).

It is important to note, however, that CPGs rely on a constant stream of innovation to fuel their growth. Nowhere is that more true than in packaging design. Packaging is one of the most basic marketing tools for CPGs, and a product’s success can turn on the effectiveness of its packaging. When it comes to innovation in packaging, the truth is that many of the most innovative designs are coming from smaller start-ups willing to take risks to make their products stand out—which is why many of these smaller start-ups get snapped up by larger within a few years of a successful launch.

The BCG study points to two major factors that can lead to success in innovation: Making analytical and judicial use of the massive amounts of market data available and tapping into external sources as inspiration for new developments.

Research can provide the underpinnings for good design. BCG says mountains of data are available to help innovators shape their innovation strategies. The challenges are identifying what data exists and locating it. A bigger problem is sorting, organizing, and gleaning usable insights from millions of files.

With increasing limitations on staffing, many companies find they must turn to outside sources for innovation ideas. Another major hurdle is changing corporate culture to dispel the “not-invented-here” mentality when they attempt to bring a new idea or model into their organizations.

Successful companies develop innovation models to meet their strategies and needs. With product lifecycles accelerating, the ability to make best use of data and being open to outside ideas will, undoubtedly, be keys to success in packaging design.