SAN JOSE, CA: Productivity and efficiency have been the traditional indicators of business performance, but a new study argues that creativity helps brands to outperform their rivals in terms of both revenue growth and market share.

According to the Creative Dividend survey, conducted by Forrester Research for Adobe, the US software company, 58% of firms that believe they cultivate creativity reported revenue growth of 10% or more compared to 2012.

By contrast, only 20% of the less creative companies recorded a similar performance.

Based on a poll of senior managers from more than 300 large global brands across eight countries, the survey also revealed that creative companies were more likely to achieve greater market share and "competitive leadership".

Of those reporting market share leadership, creative companies outnumbered their less creative counterparts by a factor of 1.5, the report said.

Despite growing awareness of creativity's influence on commercial success, almost two-thirds (61%) of respondents said they did not see their companies as creative.

And just over half (51%) said they were neutral or not aligned with creative firms, while 10% believed their employer's business practices led to the opposite of a creative environment.

Brands that embrace creativity also appeared to foster better morale in the workplace, the report suggested.

More than two-thirds (69%) of creative companies said they have won awards and national recognition for being "a best place to work," compared to just 27% of companies deemed to be less creative.

David Wadhwani, senior vice president of digital media at Adobe, said creative companies were 50% more likely to report a commanding market leadership position over their competitors.

"For years, business leaders have focused on things like employee productivity, process efficiency and workforce planning as the key success drivers for their companies. But over the past few years, the mindset has shifted," he said.

"Leading companies recognise the importance of another key success driver – the need to infuse creativity into all aspects of the business environment – from strategy and culture, to innovation and customer engagement."

Data sourced from Adobe; additional content by Warc staff