Airbnb tops annual list as 'most innovative' lodging brand

The American Innovation Index—which scores and ranks the innovativeness of U.S. companies based on customer perceptions— named Airbnb as the most innovative lodging brand. The Index covers more than 200 companies across nearly 20 industries, based on experiences captured from over 30,000 customer touchpoints. According to AII's research, companies that engage in positive innovation are perceived as more attractive and rewarded with greater loyalty from their customers.

The Index ranked several hotel companies on the overall list:

  1. Airbnb (26)
  2. Hyatt (58)
  3. Hilton (65)
  4. Vrbo (83)
  5. Marriott (87)
  6. IHG/Intercontinental (128)
  7. Choice Hotels (146)
  8. Best Western (159)
  9. Wyndham (166)
  10. Motel 6 (186)

“In an industry where consumers are demanding greater flexibility and affordability along with increased residential-style amenities, Airbnb is perceived as being more innovative than traditional lodging brands,” Leigh Anne Statuto, executive director of the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business Responsible Business Center, said in a statement. “American Innovation Index survey participants who booked with Airbnb rated it highly as being a ‘pioneer in the category,’ ‘changing the market,’ ‘innovative and creative—more so than traditional brands.’ Their unique business model is not unnoticed by larger competitors; for example, Marriott introduced its own short-term-rental offering, ‘Homes and Villas.’”

For the past six years, the American Innovation Index has ranked the most innovative companies based upon customer perceptions from research conducted and compiled by Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business, Rockbridge Associates and the Norwegian School of Economics.