Modern Marketing

Apple voted 'coolest' brand for fifth year in a row despite competition from new challengers like Airbnb and GoPro


By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

September 26, 2016 | 5 min read

Apple has kept its cool for the fifth year in a row, coming out on top of the CoolBrands survey even in the face of growing competition from the likes of Airbnb, Netflix, Instagram and Spotify.

Despite the outrage over Apple's wireless EarPods and allegations from employees that the company culture is toxic, the brand has once again been voted as the the coolest on offer by UK shoppers and trendsetters.

The annual research asked 2500 British consumers and a panel of 36 key influencers including blogger Ella Mills (of Deliciously Ella fame), fashion designer Amanda Wakeley, and editors from tiles like TechRadar and InStyle along with Mobo founder Kanya King to rank the coolest brands. Companies were placed across four categories: authenticity, desirability, innovation and originality.

Apple Coolest Brand

Apple voted 'coolest' brand for fifth year in a row despite competition from new challengers like Airbnb and GoPro

As with the 2015 CoolBrands list, digital brands like Netflix and Instagram have surfaced as strong challengers to Apple's crown, with the online streaming service moving up two places to claim the third spot, while Facebook's image-sharing platform rose one space to number six. Elsewhere, Spotify broke into the top ten this year, placing at number seven.

The shakedown of the rankings shows that consumers now deem brands to be 'cool' when they are accessible and low-cost, but also offer access to a wealth of content.

Having narrowly missed out on a Top 20 position in 2015, young innovator Airbnb, which was recently valued at $30bn, has scooped 12th place this year. Another new entrant is action camera company GoPro which has edged at at number 18.

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Sports brands were prominent in the top 10, with Nike and Adidas both highly rated by shoppers and influencers. Researchers believe this this is partly down to the fact that big names in the space have been increasingly turning to influencers to front their campaigns, coupled with the 'wellness' trend.

Interestingly, high-end fashion labels have taken a dip this year, with notable fallers including Alexander McQueen which has gone down seven places, and Chanel which has tumbled to number 19. M.A.C, however, entered the top 20 for the first time which could be down to celebrity partnerships, such as the line it has released with Caitlyn Jenner.

"While Apple is still perceived by influencers and the public alike to be the UK’s coolest brand, a concerted wave of fast-growing, entrepreneurial businesses are building momentum to seriously challenge its position," said Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Council.

"Disruptive brands like Netflix, Spotify, Instagram, Airbnb and GoPro (proving Apple no longer has a monopoly on cool tech) continue to boost their credentials, consolidating their positions by either moving further up the Top 20 or entering for the first time.These rising stars have hit a sweet pot, retaining a positive reputation with influencers, while building their awareness and lustre among consumers.

"These challenger brands are utilising new technologies, new business models and new ways of thinking, while remaining accessible and useful; conversely many premium brands are falling, as evidenced by the significant drop in performance of the luxury fashion brands surveyed."

The full list of this year's results can be found below.

  1. Apple
  2. Glastonbury
  3. Netflix
  4. Aston Martin
  5. Nike
  6. Instagram
  7. Spotify
  8. Adidas
  9. PlayStation
  10. YouTube
  11. Google
  12. Airbnb
  13. Alexander McQueen
  14. Bose
  15. M.A.C
  16. Sonos
  17. Harley-Davidson
  18. GoPro
  19. Chanel
  20. Ray-Ban
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