Apple have topped the annual CoolBrands survey, which rates which brands are considered the most hip in the UK on a yearly basis.
Compiled by a group of key cultural influencers, designers, journalists and musicians, and including celebrities such as Carl Barat and Eliza Doolittle, this year sees tech brands storming the list, making up 45% of the top 20. Last year, tech brands accounted for just 25%.
Alongside Apple are tech companies including Nikon, Bose and Bang & Olufsen.
So what’s turned tech from geek to chic? We’re putting it down to the Three A-s; accessibility, affordability and aspirational…ability.
Take an iPhone 5; it’s a top-end product, at the cutting edge of design, but you can walk down any highstreet and pick one up from multiple stores. It’s priced at a premium relative to its competitors, but not out of reach of the common man; having a glitzy new iPhone will still make you the envy of your mates without breaking the bank, while an Aston Martin remains the reserve of the super-rich. And the super-rich, in this austerity age of bogus bankers are a vilified gang that are about as cool as Chumbawamba at a Gary Glitter-themed karaoke night.
Free online services further back this up, with BBC iPlayer, Twitter and YouTube all making the top 20 cut.
It’s a sentiment that Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, mostly echoes:
“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 that provide us with pleasure. The presence of the online brands like BBC iPlayer, Twitter, YouTube and Skype are a great case in point.
“Perhaps, reflective of its lack of success since becoming a public company, Facebook has failed to join its peers in the top 20.”
For Facebook, it seems that overexposure has done it no cool-favours. When everyone and their dog uses a service, it reaches saturation point; taken for granted like a public transport system, but just as likely to irk and annoy.
The full CoolBrands 2012/13 top 20 is as follows:
3. Aston Martin
6. BBC iPlayer
8. Virgin Atlantic
9. Bang & Olufsen
15. Ben & Jerry’s