Apple takes coolest brand title

AppleApple has knocked Aston Martin from its title as the UK's coolest brand, according to a survey.

The luxury car lost the top spot to the technology superbrand, which has just launched its iPhone5 to near universal acclaim, falling to third place after dominating the annual CoolBrands list for six of the last seven years. The 11th annual poll placed YouTube second, Twitter fourth and Google fifth.%VIRTUAL-SkimlinksPromo%
Just under 3,000 British consumers and a panel of 39 "key influencers", including chart acts Rizzle Kicks and Plan B and actor David Harewood, ranked a shortlist of 1,200 brands from more than 10,000 initially considered. The panel scored each brand for factors including innovation, originality, style, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness ahead of the public vote.

The BBC iPlayer, the Glastonbury festival, Virgin Atlantic, Bang & Olufsen and department store Liberty rounded out the top 10.
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Almost half the list is made up of technology and media brands (45%) compared with just a quarter last year, while a record number of online brands made the top 20. Among the highest movers into the top 20 were Twitter, Skype and Nikon. YouTube was up eight places from last year while Facebook did not feature at all in the top 20.

It is also the most "affordable" list yet, with 25% of the brands free to consumers including YouTube, Google, Twitter, Skype and BBC iPlayer, and 15% costing under £10 including Haagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry's and Vogue. Luxury brands that have fallen out of the top 20 include Maserati, Ferrari, Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands expert council, said: "It is interesting that in this age of austerity our perception of cool has increasingly shifted from aspirational, luxury brands to free or more affordable brands that provide us with pleasure. The presence of the online brands like BBC iPlayer, Twitter, YouTube and Skype are a great case in point.

"Whether watching our favourite shows online, sharing opinions, viewing comedy clips or speaking with friends from across the world, these brands bring us inexpensive entertainment and enjoyment that we appreciate and value highly.

"Perhaps reflective of its lack of success since becoming a public company, Facebook has failed to join its peers in the top 20. As we have seen over the last five years, the bulk of the top 20 is dominated by international brands, which is very sad for UK plc.

"Despite Team GB's success it remains unlikely that next year's top 20 will see any change in that pattern. It will be interesting to see next year if the luxury brands fight back or whether the list continues to feature so many online brands together with the tech giants."

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Jobs done: Apple's finest creations
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Apple takes coolest brand title

Apple I (1976): Apple's first product was a computer for hobbyists and engineers, made in small numbers. Wozniak, left, designed it and Jobs dealt with the funding and marketing. The computer went on sale priced at $666.66

Apple II (1977): One of the first successful personal computers, the Apple II was designed as a mass-market product, retailing at $1,298, and was the first personal computer to feature colour graphics. Several upgrades for the model followed, and the product line continued until 1993. It was so popular that Jobs' fortune exceeded $100 million by the time he turned 25.

Lisa (1983): Following a visit to Xerox's research centre in Palo Alto, California, Jobs was inspired to build the first commercial computer with a graphical user interface, with icons, windows and a cursor controlled by a mouse. It was the foundation for today's computer interfaces, but the Lisa, which cost a whopping $9,995, was too expensive to be a commercial success.

Macintosh (1984): The Macintosh was heralded by an epic advert shown during the Super Bowl, directed by Ridley Scott, which referenced George Orwell's 1984. Like the Lisa, the Mac had a graphical user interface, but it was faster and at $2,495, a quarter of the price. People soon realised its potential for desktop publishing.

iMac G3 (1998): In 1985, Jobs and Apple's CEO, John Sculley clashed, leading to his and Wozniak's resignation from the company. When Jobs returned to Apple 11 years later, Apple was struggling. The radical iMac was the first step towards healing the ailing company. It was strikingly designed as a bubble of blue plastic that enclosed the monitor and computer. It went on sale priced at $1,299.

iPod (2001): In 2001, the game well and truly changed when the first iPods went on sale. The first generation of iPod cost $499 (£400), but as Apple updated and modified the winning formula, prices came down. Of course, it wasn't the first digital music player with a hard drive, but it was the first successful one. The iPod's success prepared the way for the iTunes music store and the iPhone.

iTunes (2001): Apple also introduced iTunes in 2001 - a media-playing computer programme, useful for playing and organising music and videos. The music store was added in 2003, with 200,000 songs at 99 cents, or 79p, each, giving people a convenient way to buy music legally online. iTunes is now an integral part of Apple software: the iPhone cannot be used without first 'synching' with the owner's personal iTunes.

iPhone (2007): If the iPod laid the foundations, then the touch-screen iPhone is Apple's towering glory. The world was introduced to 'apps', which made the phone a device not just for making calls but for managing money, storing photos, playing games and browsing the web. Apple is now the world's most profitable maker of phones, and the influence of the iPhone is evident in all smartphones. The current model, the iPhone 4, sells for $749 (£612), and the arrival of the iPhone 5 is eagerly anticipated.

iPad (2010): Dozens of companies, including Apple, had created tablet computers before the iPad, but none caught on. The iPad finally cracked the code, creating a whole new category of computer practically by itself. In the case of the iPad, Jobs, famed for identifying and creating the next big thing, seems to have created a market where none existed. The highest spec iPad currently retails at $699 (£659).

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