Aston Martin knocks iPhone from "cool" top spot

Apple’s iPhone has been knocked off the top spot of the annual Cool Brands list by classic car marque Aston Martin.

Aston Martin has regained its title as the coolest brand in the annual survey after being displaced by the Apple iPhone last year.

However technology brands continue to lead the Superbrands Cool Brands survey with the rest of the top five spots taken by tech brands.

Apple’s iPod takes third place, Blackberry is fourth and upmarket audio-visual brand Bang & Olufsen takes fifth place.

Apple, the iPhone parent brand and video sharing site YouTube dropped out of the Top 10 to 13 and 15 respectively while champagne brand Dom Perignon (10) and motoring brands Ferrari (9) and Harley-Davidson (6) moved up.

The list identifies the 500 “coolest brands” and is compiled by The Centre for Brand Analysis.

Brands are judged by 2,000 consumers and a panel of expert judges including designers, lifestyle magazine editors and brand consultants on style, innovation, originality, and desirability.

The top 20 CoolBrands:

1. Aston Martin
2. iPhone
3. iPod
4. BlackBerry
5. Bang & Olufsen
6. Harley-Davidson
7. Nintendo Wii
8. Google
9. Ferrari
10. Dom Perignon
11. BBC iPlayer
12. Vivienne Westwood
13. Apple
14. Tate Modern
15. You Tube
16. Mini
17. Chanel
18. Ray Ban
19. Alexander McQueen
20. Jimmy Choo

Readers' comments (8)

  • This strikes me as a meaningless study.

    For a start, Aston Martin don't need a survey to tell them they're cool. It's a predictable mixture of luxury brands with the odd social media giant thrown in (although the predictability or otherwise of the results of a study is no reason in itself to cast doubt on its value). But no Superdry? No Innocent? One presumes this is a UK-wide study; given our lack of biker traditions, would Harley Davidson not run away with it in America?

    Why is Apple in there alongside iPhone and iPod? Why not have LVMH in there with Dom Perignon, too?

    As for methodology, neither the Superbrands nor the Centre for Brand Analysis even mention this study's existence, and since this article also gives no clues, I'll have to hope that further details come out in time. I do note, however, that the Superbrands "Consumer Brands" survey had a similar setup with an "Expert Council" (yes, with capitals) choosing a shortlist before being put before the proletariat to vote on. 5-and-a-half pages of the 6 page methodology document are devoted to biographies of the Expert Council (who admittedly have impressive credentials). For that study, consumers were asked to consider the following definition of a brand: ‘A Superbrand has established the
    finest reputation in its field. It offers
    customers significant emotional and/
    or tangible advantages over its
    competitors, which (consciously or
    sub-consciously) customers want
    and recognise.’ Crikey. I had to read that three times. Were "cool" brands defined in such a wooly way? Who are the "experts" (and how have "designers lifestyle magazine editors and brand consultants" been defined as such?) Exactly how has "cool" been defined as a mixture of "style, innovation, originality, and desirability", and how were those components weighted? No doubt these questions will all be answered in the book "Coolbrands 2010/11", released for days ago for the bargain price of £45.

    Sorry to be cynical, but this strikes me as a deeply empty study, and apart from generating some healthy PR for the Centre for Brand Analysis, is unlikely to shed much light on anything.

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  • Superdry? Innocent? Popular - yes - very. Cool - no! I agree with most of your other comments about the validity and 'weight' of the study.

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  • Eoghan, your logic is undeniable. I too have scratched my head over the years at this 'apples with pears' hit parade. It says absolutely nothing about brand equity which should be the point of such lists.

    Personally speaking, given the choice between an iPhone and an Aston Martin, I know which one I would have... (Well, actually I already own an iPhone. It was a bit cheaper. Probably why...)

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  • Eoghan's comments are better articulated and more relevant than the article itself.

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  • Eoghan, the CoolBrands voting methodology is available from (follow 2010/11 Results > Selection Process)
    The direct link for the full methodology document is

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  • Thanks for the links. Once again the majority of the PDF is expert bios. I note the supporting website which has promotional pages on about 70 of the brands considered. The longlist makes interesting reading and is basically more of the same: upmarket restaurants, haute couture, and a lot of champagne houses. (Take the point about Innocent and Superdry - those were off the top of my head - I'm not down with the kids any more! Although they both made the longlist)

    The results were weighted so the 35 "experts" (I broke them down roughly: 9 fashion, 8 journalism, 8 marketing, 5 music/art, 5 others) had 70% of the vote, while the 2000 consumers got the remaining 30% between them. If the "experts" are the sorts of people who are setting trends anyway, surely the mass market choices, by that logic, would be the same? Or are these "cool " brands as defined by a list of people subjectively chosen to be "cool" themselves?

    James - sadly the only thing aside from the freebies in the top 20 I have is an iPod, and yes I'd quite happily have any of the others (and most of the longlist) perhaps despite its flaws it has come up with a list of desirable brands!

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  • Does James Amoroso mean 'apples with oranges' rather than 'apples with pears'?

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  • Kind of academic really;I own the top 3 coolest items (I was lucky enough to buy into the coolest brand when it wasn't so cool) - but am I cool; NO! I am just a 40+ marketeer and Dad.
    Hats off to Apple creating 3 iconic brands recognised in their own right. And what is Superdry ? Sounds like a deodorant! Not cool - or am I showing my age!

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