The American computer firm secured the top spot for the third year running, beating stiff competition from classic car manufacturer Aston Martin and sportswear company Nike.
Proof of Apple’s hallowed position among consumers was the fact that, even on the night of the independence referendum, hundreds of devotees camped out at the Buchanan Street Apple Store in Glasgow to be first to procure the iPhone 6.
However, the retention of a cool aura is sometimes hard to achieve as Twitter discovered, when the fact that everyone and their elderly father now has an account meant that the firm was jettisoned from the list in favour of its rival Instagram, according to the annual survey.
The CoolBrands list has seen Twitter drop out of the top 20, ending a three-year stint, while Instagram made its debut on the list at number 14.
The latest list has also seen new entries such as Netflix, the film and television streaming service that introduced the award-winning drug drama Breaking Bad to a new wider audience, as well as producing hit shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black.
Retailers Liberty and Selfridges are back on the list after a one-year absence, as is technology brand Bose. The luxury fashion brand Stella McCartney has also re-entered the top 20, alongside champagne label Dom Perignon, which regained a place on the list after a three-year absence.
A total of 13 brands retained their top-20 status from last year, including Chanel, Aston Martin and Nike, but those falling out of favour include Prada, Adidas and the BBC’s iPlayer.
The list is voted on by 2,000 consumers and a panel of 37 “key influencers”, which this year included the models Sophie Dahl and Jodie Kidd, and the fashion designer Julien Macdonald. Voters were asked to bear in mind style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness when listing their brand selections.
Stephen Cheliotis, a spokesman for CoolBrands, said: “The idea that this is about fads and short-term reputational success is ripped apart by the solid performance and dominance of regular top-20 brands such as Aston Martin, Chanel and Nike. If anything, this year’s rankings illustrate that a solid reputation is hard to undermine or, in the case of rivals, overcome.
“That said, it was refreshing to see unique and original brands such as Instagram and Netflix join the top 20. Both have had an impact on the market, shaking up the status quo and forcing rivals to up the ante. Apple, however, continues to dominate the listing and remains untouchable for now.”
Yesterday, Stefan Drew, a marketing and brand consultant known as the “Marketing Magician”, said he was not surprised by the list.
“I’m not surprised that Apple are at the top but they’re not my favourite company,” he said. “I’ve an Apple iPhone and I’ve always been frustrated that it doesn’t come with an instruction book. It just assumes people will get it, which I suppose is the essence of cool.
“I’m not anti-technology as I’m a huge fan of YouTube. In fact, I think YouTube should be even higher up the list as people now respond to video footage far more than to the written word. What is interesting about this list is that companies can’t go out and actively brand themselves as cool.
“They have to aim to the right age bracket and wait for other people to describe them as cool.”
2. Aston Martin
8. Dom Perignon
11. Bang & Olufsen
13. Alexander McQueen
19. Virgin Atlantic
20. Stella McCartney