Innovation can be defined in many ways. You can deliver innovative design or an innovative user experience. In any scenario, innovation stems from the desire to either create something unique and original that has never existed before, or to take an existing product or service and make it even better. Here at 3H, we thrive on the being innovative and thus, put together a list of some of the companies we thought were the most innovative companies of 2013:

2013’s Most Innovative Companies:

1. Burberry: The company’s cutting-edge vision of creating a new user experience brought the runway to the physical stores — through the mirrors. Using RFID chips, which can be read by screens and mirrors, when a customer is trying on clothes, the mirrors can respond by showing images of how it was worn on the catwalk or details of the garment’s construction.

2. Sephora: It’s exceedingly frustrating to choose a foundation when your skin tone keeps changing with the seasons. Without an endless cycle of trial and error, finding the right colour can be a tedious task. Thankfully, Sephora has a handheld device, whose technology is based on that used in graphic design, which holds over 1,000 SKUs of colour to determine an exact match for customers.

3. Flipp App: This is an app that aggregates information from users and retailers to provide the ability to search flyers by interest and your location. Magazines have gone digital, why wouldn’t flyers? This is considered one of 2013’s most innovative companies because they identified a need: making a necessary part of everyday life more convenient, while being environmentally friendly.

4. Crate & Barrel: The retailer’s 3D Room Designer gives customers the ability to ‘try on’ a piece of furniture in their rooms before buying it. Users simply upload a photo of the room they would like to furnish to Crate and Barrel’s online platform and provide their room’s dimensions. The photo is the wiped clean of its furniture, enabling shoppers to substitute pieces from the retailer’s online catalog and visualize them as they would appear in the room. Shoppers can then email the modified photo of their room to the nearest Crate and Barrel and schedule a personal design appointment with an associate.

5. Uniqlo: The Japanese clothing giant has made “fast fashion actually fashionable” (a distinction that some other fast-fashion retailers might disagree with), citing its collaborations with such designers as Jil Sander and Rei Kawakubo.

What examples of innovative companies weren’t mentioned here? We’d love to hear your comments!