As lovers of all things brand we were very excited to see the list of this year’s official ‘Cool Brands’. The brands in the list are decided by 2000 consumers, and a panel of 37 key influencers (which this year’s included models Sophie Dahl and Jodie Kidd and fashion designer Julien Macdonald). The brands are marked on their style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness.
When looking at the list, you can definitely see the influence of desirability and style in the raft of high-end luxury lifestyle brands (Dom Perignon, Aston Martin, Bang & Olufson, Selfridges, Liberty, Chanel, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney are probably not everyday purchases for most people…). There is also a strong presence from slightly more accessible technology brands, with Apple, Google, YouTube, Instagram, Sony and Netflix all in top 20.
Brands which were in the top 20 last year, but didn’t quite make it this year include Twitter, BBC iPlayer, Prada and Adidas, though these seem to have been replaced by similar brands (Twitter has been usurped by Instagram, and iPlayer by Netflix)
The 2014/15 CoolBrands top 20 is:
Bang & Olufsen
We had a good old chat in the office about the list this morning, and all agreed that we were pleasantly surprised to see Glastonbury in there. Of course, Glastonbury is undeniably cool, but it just doesn’t spring to mind when you think of ‘brands’.
We didn’t really agree with the inclusion of Google, Sony & YouTube – we felt these were more like useful platforms, products and services – those things that run in the background that keep your life running smoothly. Useful, yes. Cool, no. In fact, I’d go so far as to say Google is a little bit geeky.
Michelle is a big fan of Apple so she’s happy to see them in the CoolBrands top spot, while I am not so thrilled (our differing opinions on Apple are well documented…). However, I do agree that Aston Martin is just the epitome of cool (but then I am a car person…). I personally think of Nike as a little chavvy, and am surprised it’s so high on the list, but I guess it’s some people’s ‘thing’.
The other thing that is worth noting about this CoolBrands list is that there definitely seems to be a split between the ‘old guard’ of classically cool brands that have been the height of cool for 10, 20 or even 40 years (the sort of things that bring to mind the saying ‘fashions come and go, but style is eternal’) and the new guard of funky brands (generally tech-related)… It will be interesting to see how this goes next year, whether the more modern brands will jostle for position amongst themselves (similar to how Twitter and Instagram have battled it out this year) or slowly replace the classic brands.