Business development · 28 September 2015

Disruptive digital services like Netflix and Spotify prove popular among UK consumers, but luxury brands suffer

Netflix rose to fifth place in the CoolestBrands survey
Netflix rose to fifth place in the CoolestBrands survey

Many new firms face the difficulty of establishing brand recognition and loyalty among consumers and clients, but the latest list of the UK’s coolest brands showcases that new names can make an impact – and are doing so at the expense of longer-established companies.

While Apple retained its top spot for the fourth year running in the annual CoolBrands survey, Netflix, Instagram and Spotify climbed the rankings. Netflix broke into the top 20 last year and has gone from tenth position to fifth, as it continues to move into new markets and add subscribers. Spotify re-entered the rankings at number 11, while Instagram moved up from 14th to seventh place.

Sonos, the maker of wireless multi-room speaker systems and early player in the connected home market, also joined the index.

Digital brands had a solid year in that respect, with luxury brands – the long-term stalwarts of the CoolBrands survey, suffering as a result.

Rolex, Dom Pérignon, Bose, Selfridges and Stella McCartney all dropped out of the top 20, though 14 brands held onto their top 20 status from 2014. High-end home tech designer Bang & Olufsen dropped five places, while Sony also fell out of the rankings.

The results were determined by a poll of 2,500 British consumers and a panel of 36 key influencers, including entrepreneur Kelly Hoppen, actresses Sally Hawkins and Sadie Frost, musicians Labrinth and Ella Eyre and British Fashion Council CEO, Caroline Rush.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Council, said that while cracking the top 20 “takes time and isn’t the result of a one year fad or flash in the pan”, young brands were “showing clear momentum”.

“They are moving up the top 20 at a decent pace and posing a threat to established sector peers, suggesting they’ll challenge the leading brand overall,” he added.

Newer brands then, may take a while to chip away at bigger names, but there are some qualities possessed by those in the top 20, which are useful to bear in mind for less-established firms, aiming to improve their status.

Voters of the top 20 are asked to consider authenticity, desirability, innovation and originality as credentials for CoolBrands status – if you keep those in mind while fleshing out your marketing, it’ll put you in a better place for cultivating a more recognised brand that consumers are excited about.

The top-ranked CoolBrands of 2015/16:

(1) Apple

(2) Ray-Ban

(3) Glastonbury

(4) Nike

(5) Netflix

(6) Alexander McQueen

(7) Instagram

(8) Chanel

(9) YouTube

(10) Aston Martin

(11) Spotify

(12) Google

(13) Royal Albert Hall

(14) Sonos

(15) Whole Foods Market

(16) Bang & Olufsen

(17) Ace Hotel

(18) Adidas

(19) Virgin Atlantic

(20) Liberty

Image: Shutterstock

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Rebecca is a reporter for Business Advice. Prior to this, she worked with a range of tech, advertising, media and digital clients at Propeller PR and did freelance work for The Telegraph.

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