Aston Martin loses its cool.. while Mercedes gains some swagger


Luxury sports car maker, Aston Martin, has sat atop the CoolBrands index since 2010, outdoing the likes of Apple, Rolex, Harley Davidson and Nike, but in this 50th anniversary of the James Bond films, the brand which made Britain’s most revered MI6 agent has dropped behind Apple and YouTube, into a lowly third place.

Perhaps it’s 007’s Golden Anniversary that’s put the kybosh on Aston’s coolness – after all, how many of CoolBrand’s Gen Y judging panel can identify with Ian Fleming’s Vodka Martini drinker?

Now in its 11th year, CoolBrands is an eclectic mix of some of the coolest brands in Britain, chosen by an independent council of style experts and thousands of members of the public. The experts include opinion-formers such as Ben Drew (Plan B & The Sweeney), Sadie Frost and Rizzle Kicks, who are part of a 40-strong panel led by Stephen Cheliotis, CEO of The Centre for Brand Analysis (TCBA).

From the initial 10,000 entries, a shortlist of 1,200 brands were ranked for innovation, originality, style, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness – each attributes classed by the organisers that play a part in a brand being perceived as cool.

READ: Aston Martin recaptures UK’s Coolest Brand title, but so what..? [28/09/2011]

Aston Martin Vanquish: There’s very little wrong with the cars.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said about last year’s results, “Cool is subjective and personal. But being identified as a Cool Brand by the British public and a panel of influential opinion formers implies it is a brand that most Brits wish to own.”

In our essay at the time we added, “Or to put it another way, a cool brand must inspire admiration, aspiration, a willingness to associate and a mutual sense of identity.”

But it’s not just Aston Martin who’ve been overtaken by the popular tech brands, last year’s Top 20 included Ferrari and Maserati, but they’ve slipped off the top-table to be replaced by Mercedes-Benz in a lowly 16th place.

Models such as the new A-Class and SLS AMG have helped raise the brand profile of the Mercedes among the all-important Gen Y audience.

Rob Halloway, Communications Director at Mercedes-Benz commented on the results: “I think by its very nature, coolness is in the perception of others. I think that cool things have a certain style, elegance and swagger about them.

“Cool people possess all these qualities, and cool brands blend a timeless quality with absolute topicality. It sounds like an oxymoron, but that’s what makes cool “cool”.

“Like style over fashion, cool endures where trendiness tends to be transient.”

Of course not every automotive brand even makes the shortlist, so let’s recognise all those car makers who made it through to the final shortlist:

  • Audi
  • Aston Martin (3rd)
  • Bentley
  • BMW
  • Ferrari
  • Jaguar
  • Lamborghini
  • Land Rover
  • Maserati
  • Mercedes-Benz (16th)
  • MINI
  • Morgan
  • Porsche
  • Rolls-Royce

So, what do you think, were there any serious omissions from the list?

The UK’s Business Secretary, Vince Cable, during a visit to Aston Martin’s Global HQ in Gaydon, Warwickshire: Could he be the cause of Aston’s mis-fortune?

Included in last year’s shortlist were Alfa Romeo, Lotus, Morgan and Range Rover, so if you’re driving any of these brands, just remember, you’re no longer considered to be cool..

And… you in the back sniggering in your Seat Leon – you were never cool.