Anyone who read a newspaper, watched TV news, listened to the radio or was online last week would have seen that Apple was named the coolest brand in a list compiled by CoolBrands’ expert panel (and a survey of 3,000 people). The panel consists of people like Plan B, Rizzle Kicks, designers, creatives and brand experts.

Another year of blanket coverage for the list, which has become more and more influential over the last few years.

For the last 6 out of 7 years, Aston Martin has topped the list. Aspirational, stylish and associated with James Bond, so you can see why. But this year, Apple is at the top of the list. The list just happened to coincide with the launch of Apple’s iPhone 5… Millions of people queuing for a phone that’s quite similar to its previous versions. Is that really cool?

I’ve had a look through the top 20 and the other brands listed and here are some of the trends:

Free-to-use websites and apps

YouTube, Twitter, Google and BBC iPlayer are all in the top 10 and Skype is at number 18. They’re all a massive part of our daily lives now – and completely mainstream – but still seen as cool. Notice how Facebook isn’t on the list.


Aston Martin, Bang & Olufsen, Liberty, Selfridges, Mercedes-Benz and Vogue all make the top 20. Associated with wealth, quality and style, these are all aspirational brands that have been around for years.

Interesting to see the combo of the free websites that are part of our daily lives and the luxury/premium brands – on the one hand, you have the growing impact of the internet and the need for free entertainment/social networking (during tough economic times) and on the other hand, people still aspire to have luxury goods (actual physical products you can touch and see) from brands that have stood the test of time.

Ice cream

Ben & Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs are two new entries to the list, in a year when the UK’s ice cream sales hit the £1billion mark. Again, two very mainstream brands which are widely available, but quite innovative with flavours and their offerings.

A special shoutout to wallpaper company Graham & Brown – “From is humble beginnings in post-war Blackburn it is now the leading light in wallpaper worldwide.” #coolLancashire

Here’s the full top 20:

  1. Apple
  2. YouTube
  3. Aston Martin
  4. Twitter
  5. Google
  6. BBC iPlayer
  7. Glastonbury
  8. Virgin Atlantic
  9. Bang & Olufsen
  10. Liberty
  11. Sony
  12. Bose
  13. Haagen-Dazs
  14. Selfridges
  15. Ben & Jerry’s
  16. Mercedes-Benz
  17. Vogue
  18. Skype
  19. Nike
  20. Nikon

Thanks to CoolBrands for sending me a copy of the book!

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