Apple takes a bite out of British car giant's cool status


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The Independent Online

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

The luxury car marque 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.

Just under 3,000 British consumers and a panel of 39 "key influencers" – including the chart acts Rizzle Kicks and Plan B and the 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's iPlayer, the Glastonbury festival, Virgin Atlantic, hi-fi maker Bang & Olufsen and department store Liberty rounded out the top 10. Almost half the list is made up of technology and media brands (45 per cent) 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 per cent of the brands featured being free to consumers – including YouTube, Google, Twitter, Skype and BBC iPlayer, and 15 per cent of them costing under £10 – including Haagen-Dazs, Ben & Jerry's and Vogue.

Luxury brands that have fallen out of the top 20 include the car brands Maserati and Ferrari and the fashion houses Chanel, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.

Stephen Cheliotis, chair of the 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."