Consumers Rank Weber, Navy Federal Credit Union, Chick-fil-A, and Trader Joe’s More Innovative than Major Tech Brands

Thursday, 19. September 2019 17:14

New York, NY, Sept. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, along with the Norwegian School of Economics, and market research firm Rockbridge Associates, Inc., announced the top innovators from the American Innovation Index™ (Aii), the only survey in the US measuring company innovativeness based on customers’ experiences. 

The survey found that the most innovative companies are not always in technology.  Weber, the 126 year-old manufacturer of grilling equipment, ranked #3 on customer-perceived innovation, higher than #5 Amazon, #7 Google, and #8 Netflix.   The nation’s largest credit union, Navy Federal, made the top 10 at #9, ranking higher than all major banks.   Food retailers, Trader Joe’s and Chick-fil-A are tied at #15, out of 174 U.S. companies.  Major tech brands like Uber (#35), Facebook (#95) and Twitter (#125) lag behind.

The top 20 Aii leaders will receive awards at the 2nd annual American Innovation Conference on October 3 at Fordham University, and include:  Apple, Honda, Weber, Toyota, Amazon, Ikea, Google, Netflix, Navy Federal Credit Union, Samsung, Ford, GM, John Deere, Airbnb, Trader Joe’s, Chick-fil-A, Stanley Black and Decker, Aflac, Microsoft, and Southwest Airlines.

“In a competitive market, innovation propels companies to the top of their industry and drives their growth and financial performance,” said Lerzan Aksoy, Ph.D., Professor of Marketing at Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business.  “The American Innovation Index recognizes the companies with the highest innovation index scores based on customer ratings.”

“Companies can excel in satisfaction, but if they do not deliver an innovative customer experience, they face obsolescence,” said Gina Woodall, President of Rockbridge.  “Your industry does not matter.  For example, among airlines, Southwest is an innovation leader  while other airlines rank near the bottom.”

About the American Innovation Index:

e Aii scores and ranks the innovativeness of U.S. companies based on their customers’ experiences. The 2nd annual study was conducted in May 2019, and covers 174 firms from 21 industries, such as airlines, hotels, car rental companies, banks, TV and Internet service providers, wireless phone providers, manufacturers, retailers and utilities. The study surveyed 8,863 consumers and covered over 38,000 customer-company relationships. To date, no large scale, scientifically vetted measure of customer-perceived innovation exists in the United States.

For more information about the Aii and a full list of company rankings, visit

About Fordham University:

Fordham University offers exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition across nine schools. Fordham awards baccalaureate, graduate, and professional degrees to approximately 15,000 students. 

About the Norwegian School of Economics:

NHH Norwegian School of Economics, one of the leading business schools in Europe,  launched the Norwegian Innovation Index in 2016 and partnered with Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business and Rockbridge Associates to replicate the methodology in the US.

About Rockbridge Associates, Inc.:

Rockbridge Associates, Inc. is an outcome-based market research firm that has been advising  Fortune 500s, mid-sized firms and non-profits on their innovation and marketing strategy for over two decades.

Lerzan Aksoy
Fordham University

Joseph Taliuaga
Rockbridge Associates
703-757-5213 ext.123
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