They have made their mark in areas ranging from the traditional-the marketing of a fabric softener-to the high tech-the marketing of mobile telephones-to the out-of-the ordinary-the marketing of a theme park, a professional soccer league and even a political party.
This year's honor roll proves that true marketing innovation isn't limited to small entrepreneurs.
Alongside Indian bookstore Crossword and a regional Czech brewery, there is Kraft General Foods Suchard's Milka chocolate, Pepsi-Cola Co.'s Pepsi Max and two special achievers for Burger King, one in Spain and one in Canada.
Among the factors that went into their selection are market shares, revenues, brand name recognition, consumer acceptance, innovative and creative advertising and other conventional benchmarks.
But the 1994 Superstars stood out in unusual ways too.
Rene Monory fought against perceived provincialism aimed at his small backwater village in France as he succeeded in attracting millions of visitorsto a futuristic amusement park. Helmut Markwort believed so firmly that Germany was ready for a new kind of newsweekly that he convinced Burda Publishing to challenge long-entrenched Der Spiegel with his livelier, breezier Focus.
The 44 individuals profiled here represent more than 20 nations on six continents. Almost half of those selected, 18, made their mark in Europe; 14 in the Americas; 10 in Asia/Pacific; and two in Africa.
Unfortunately, women were once again hard to find. This wasn't for lack of trying, but in many markets, particularly Asia, it's either difficult for women to break through the glass ceiling or to receive credit for doing so.
That's why we are especially proud to highlight four that stood out this year: Patricia Turck-Paquelier, who used a potentially disastrous lawsuit to her advantage to introduce YSL's Champagne perfume; Dagmar Digrinova, who introduced Harlequin romance fiction to a country where women had been indoctrinated that it was evil; Marta del Rio, who led Burger King Espana to a remarkable turnaround; and Ety Fefer, a young entrepreneur who teamed with her brother, Samy, to revolutize the music store business in Peru.
May the experiences and successes of the trailblazers profiled here serve as an inspiration to all in marketing around the globe.
A directory, including thumbnail sketches of the superstars and the pages on which they appear, is at left.