Customers rated companies on several key metrics, including
innovations, social innovation, customer loyalty and attractiveness. Data was also collected on emotional experiences associated with the company such as arousal and pleasure and perceived
change in how the company does business.
The Aii is unique because it measures innovation from the
customer point of view rather than relying on expert opinions
that bypass what customers actually experience, said Colby.
“Many of us are familiar with traditional measures, things like
satisfaction and the Net Promoter Score,” said Colby. “What the
index does is it measures customer’s perceptions, how innovative companies are and captures perceptions that the company
changes the market that it’s creative, that it is pioneering, that it
is generally innovative from a customer point of view.”
Creating the Aii
The Aii is modeled after the Norwegian Innovation Index
(NII), created by the Norwegian School of Economics
(NHH) in 2017. The NII was built based on the idea that
sustainable businesses all have similar characteristics—they
deliver high-quality goods and services, they innovate on
a regular basis, and they launch innovations that trigger
active emotions. To evaluate innovation, NHH looked
at 20,000 customer experience at 79 companies in more
than 20 industries over the course of a year. In the NII
retail store Ikea, digital bank Sbanken and
telecommunications company OneCall took
the top three spots for most innovative.
Inspired by the report, Rockbridge partnered with the Gabelli School of Business at
Fordham University and NHH to implement
the innovation study in the United States. To
create the U.S. version, Rockbridge upped the
number of companies surveyed to 163. Which
companies to include were carefully considered,
“We can’t quantify everybody,” he said.
“The way we picked them was, first of all they
are all B-to-C. We did not want to look at,
for example, how IBM delivers services to corporate clients
and things like that. Then we picked what we felt were the
major sectors of the U.S. economy and we looked at what the
Fortune 500s were. Then within their categories, we tried to
look at some non-U.S. based companies like Ikea for example. Then we added some disruptors because we felt like they
were up and coming like Uber and Lyft.”
Once the companies were selected, each company was given a
0-100 score, based on customer’s perceptions of the company’s
creativity, how much it was changing the market with its
products and services and if it was a pioneer in its category.
Several companies stood out as being most innovative. Apple
took the top spot, followed by Amazon, Ikea, Toyota, Netflix,
Honda, John Deere, Southwest, AirBnB, and Samsung.
In addition to the Aii, Rockbridge also evaluated companies based on their perceived positive impact on society as
part of the Social Innovation Index (Sii). This index asked
customers how each company’s innovative offering benefited
society, if they were creating innovative solutions to benefit
society and how much they prioritized social good.
“Here it relates to things that are maybe less tangibly valuable
to a customer but might matter to a customer because they
know the company is doing positive things for society and the
Highest Scoring Companies