That’s the second year running that the iconic car company has pipped Apple’s trendy tech empire to the top spot of the annual Superbrands list. Which we have to admit is quite satisfying. No matter what sleek, i-life-enhancing gizmo the Silicon Valley mob magic up next, it’s still not as cool as a good old-fashioned British motor (which doesn’t even need an ejector seat as standard to win people’s hearts).
Indeed, it’s good to see the cool crown going to something with a bit of heritage like Aston, which has benefited from an association with James Bond films going back to Goldfinger in 1964. The brand seems to have pulled off the difficult trick of timelessness - which, as cool is a famously fleeting thing, prone to faring poorly with the passage of time and not travelling well beyond its core audience (the So Solid Crew were probably ‘cool’ to some people at some point), is quite the achievement. Even being a favourite of Jeremy Clarkson’s hasn’t seen it shed any cred.
In fact, you can even see Aston as a true brand for our times. The company has been close to collapse three or four times in its 98-year history, having failed to turn a profit for the first 91. The fact it's still capturing people's hearts despite the bumpiness of the road should be a real lesson to all.
A Superbrand is apparently something that has established ‘the finest reputation in its field’. As you’d expect, mnay of the winners are very much of the age – Apple, Google and YouTube all represent the tech sphere high in the list. Women are apparently just as impressed with technology brands as men, with 47% voting Apple their most popular tech brand while 44% voted for BlackBerry (although their passion failed to push Jimmy Choo and Dom Perignon into the list’s upper echelons).
BlackBerry managed to overcome its unfortunate association with the looting of trainers from JD Sports in the summer - and business people - to finish ahead of Google. And it’s good to see Harley-Davidson still manages to come third: which shows that the open road, roaring engines and handlebar moustaches will never go fully out of fashion.
The annual league tables are based on the opinions of marketing experts, business professionals and 2,000 UK consumers. ‘These brands are clearly delivering cool in the eyes of consumers and influencers alike,’ said Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the Cool Brands Expert Council. That’s the thing with ‘cool’. To be really cool you don’t care about being cool; it’s only the people outside it looking in that get all frothy about it. The upshot: if you manage to generate such an aura around your brand, you can be the corporate version of the Fonz in no time.