Apple is still the coolest brand – despite PR disaster of free U2 album

This marks the third year that the American technology giant has topped the annual survey

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The Independent Tech

Apple’s reputation for style might have been dented this week as fans protested against its tie-up with “dad rockers” U2, but it was not enough to knock it off the perch as the coolest brand in Britain.

This marks the third year that the American technology giant has topped the annual survey by CoolBrands, news that comes in the month it released its new smartphones and internet-connected “smartwatch”. The release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus met with record pre-orders and had fans queuing up for hours outside Apple stores to be among the first to get their hands on the new devices.

Yet, there was also a backlash with Apple’s decision to automatically install U2’s latest album, Songs of Innocence, directly to the library of 500 million iTunes subscribers, also announced this month at the event in Cupertino.

The website Noisey said the partnership between U2 and Apple “wasn’t just intrusive, it was deeply uncool”. The backlash even prompted Apple to release a special button to allow users to delete the album from their account.


Yet it remains top of the list of cool brands in Britain compiled by votes from 2,000 consumers and a panel of 37 people the company calls “key influencers” including models Sophie Dahl and Jodie Kidd and fashion designer Julien Macdonald.

Stephen Cheliotis, the spokesman for CoolBrands, said: “Apple continues to dominate the listing and remains untouchable for now.”

While brands including Aston Martin, Nike and even Glastonbury maintained their position in the top 10, the social media giant Twitter dropped out of the top 20 altogether after three years on the list.

The streaming service Netflix, whose popularity has soared with a string of hit programmes including the remake of House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, has broken into the top 20 for the first time. Department stores Liberty and Selfridges return to the list after a year’s absence as does the technology company Bose.

Mr Cheliotis said the rankings “illustrate that a solid reputation is hard to undermine or, in the case of rivals, overcome”. He added that it was also“refreshing” to see brands such as Netflix and photo-sharing site Instagram join the top 20.

2014/15 cool brands  the top 20

1 Apple (last year: 1)

2 Aston Martin (2)

3 Nike (4)

4 Chanel (13)

5 Glastonbury (5)

6 Google (7)

7 YouTube (6)

8 Dom Perignon (N/A)

9 Rolex (3)

10 Netflix (N/A)

11 Bang & Olufsen (12)

12 Ray-Ban (10)

13 Alexander McQueen (19)

14 Instagram (N/A)

15 Bose (N/A)

16 Liberty (N/A)

17 Selfridges (N/A)

18 Sony (17)

19 Virgin Atlantic (9)

20 Stella McCartney (N/A)