James Bond may have displayed a lack of brand loyalty in recent outings, flirting with Fords and BMWs, but his Aston association has helped the car manufacturer beat Apple's iPhone to return to the front of the cool pack, a position it's now claimed four times in the last five years.
The list takes into account the views of around 2,000 members of the public, and a panel of 35 designers, style magazine editors and web execs. (Imagine that conversation. We’re happy to be outside the cool elite, if it means we don’t have to listen to that). With the legendary motor beating the revolutionary phone, it shows that when it comes to desirability it’s not necessarily the latest gizmo that carries the most clout. Aston Martin is over 100 years old.
Indeed, in this eco-conscious age you’d be forgiven for thinking that the cachet that comes with an aspirational wagon may just be on the wane. But Aston’s success (which CoolBrands put down to its ‘power, beauty and soul’), along with the appearance of Ferrari and the Mini, shows that despite green concerns, pedals are still being pressed fondly against metal. As does the success of Harley-Davidson, which beat Chanel, YouTube and Jimmy Choo to come sixth – despite being about as cool as Ed Miliband striding onto the stage for his Labour conference speech to a song by Vampire Weekend (which wasn't very cool at all, for those who were wondering).
In other areas, Vivienne Westwood claimed the fashion crown, BBC iPlayer was named coolest website, and Bang & Olufsen made it to fifth – impressive given the high-end stereo maker is Alan Partridge’s audio brand of choice.
Apple shouldn’t be too upset that its iPhone slipped: the near-ubiquitous gadget was joined in the list by the iPod and the Apple brand itself. No room yet though for the iPad, and this may have heartened BlackBerry – the tech rival came a respectable fourth, despite being more popular among business types than the trendies, and it has just revealed its own soon-to-launch rival to Apple’s, the PlayBook. It may just be able to get in before Apple's takes too much of a hold.
While the select few elite brands get to bask in their own glory, it is, however, not all about glitz and glamour. Others still have to deal with branding’s more nitty-gritty concerns – like EU regulations. Cadbury has revealed it’s removing the ‘glass and a half of milk’ reference from the back of its packets of Dairy Milk, after legal advice suggested it may fall foul of changing EU rules about measurements. The chocolate maker is replacing it with the phrase ‘The equivalent of 426ml of fresh liquid milk in every 227g of milk chocolate’.
Who said pedantry wasn't cool?