Aston Martin were today announced as the coolest brand in the UK, outdoing Apple’s iPhone which held the top spot last year. The index was drawn up from a potential list of more than 10,000 brands which are whittled down and rated by a panel of 35 ‘style-experts’, before 2,100 members of the public provided their ratings.Uncool: Definition – To try to be cool, and fail and be an embarrassment to people nearby, or end up looking like a right pillock.
CoolBrands is an independent process administered by the Centre for Brand Analysis to produce an annual barometer of the nations coolest brands, places and people. The end result is the CoolBrands Top 500, which is published in September each year.
We’ll take a closer look at 2010/11 winner Aston Martin in a separate article, but we thought it worth taking a look at which brands missed out.
As you can see from the list above, there are unsurprisingly plenty of British brands (Jaguar, Lotus, Range Rover, Mini, Bentley, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and of course Aston Martin) but we think there are a few ‘glaring’ omissions..
Morgan are one of the few independent car makers still in existence and they’re British too. Not only that, but they’re the only car maker to truly bridge traditional and contemporary style (even more so than Aston) and if you’ve ever driven a Morgan then you’ll find they’re a very social brand to wear too – everyone waves at you and each fuel stop is another opportunity to make new friends.
Individual, classy and drop-dead gorgeous – surely that merits being considered cool? Morgan also have a number of spirited and successful race teams campaigning the GT3 Aero SuperSports in the FFSA GT Championship, so this is a British brand with real fighting spirit.
If excluding Morgan from the index was an understandable omission (small brand, better known to enthusiasts) then missing McLaren off the list must be considered a major faux pas. What were they thinking?
Okay, we’ve talked about high-end exotica but what about something more affordable? Well in my mind the most improved brand in terms of coolness has to be Citroën. This is the brand that not long ago was making the Xsara and which put the ‘C’ into Chav (often seen driving their maxed out AXs with the whole car vibrating to the latest solid tunes. Innit Blad?).
But take a look at the Citroën range these days and you’ll find some of the most contemporary and stylish cars around, such as the DS3 or C5 Tourer and then of course there’s the concept cars. Surely a brand that has finally made the electric car cool, deserves a place in the CoolBrands Top 500.
There are several other brands that perhaps should make the list. Fiat? They’ve certainly started a trend with the Fiat 500 and you might argue that their current partnership with music duo Faithless is testament to the coolness of the Italian brand, but we’d understand anyone who felt otherwise.
Maserati are also missing from the Top 500 and yet Alfa Romeo were included – and Alfa that’s cooler than a Maserati? We don’t think so.
If you’re a motorbike fan then you may be pleased to hear that brands such as Harley Davidson, Aprilia, Ducati, Kawasaki, Piaggio, Truimph and Vespa made the list, but Yamaha didn’t (ridden for the past 4 years in Moto GP by nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi).
You probably get the picture by now that we’re none too impressed with the quality of the CoolBrands Index when you look at the automotive sector, but maybe we’re wrong. What do you think?