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Revealed: The 20 coolest brands in the UK

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Solid consumer awareness and perception are paramount for a brand’s survival – something Merlin Entertainments-owned Alton Towers found out the hard way when its sales fell by £50m year-on-year following the Smiler rollercoaster accident in June.

However, according to the annual CoolBrands list for 2015/16, one brand that remains at the forefront of British consumers’ minds is Apple. In fact, the maker of the iPhone retained the number one coolest spot for the fourth year running, as devices like the Apple Watch become embraced by businesses as well as the general public.

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In addition to British consumers that voted, other contributors on a panel of 36 influencers included SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards, British Fashion Council chief Caroline Rush, and musicians Ella Eyre and Labrinth.

Apple’s latest products, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, have achieved record sales of 13m handsets in just three days since launching on 25 September. The sum is set to grow even more from 9 October when the new releases start to retail in 40 additional countries.

“Sales for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been phenomenal, blowing past any previous first weekend sales results in Apple’s history,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO.

While Apple sat at the top of the pile, the rest of the top five was completed by Ray-Ban, Glastonbury, Nike and Netflix. In fact, Netflix made its debut into the top 20 in 2014 and the video streaming service has leapt five places from number ten.

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Elsewhere, Instagram, which has made a special focus to support small businesses, has climbed to the seventh spot from 14th in 2014/15.

New entrants, meanwhile, include home audio firm Sonos in at 14 – unfortunate for fallen heroes Sony and Bose – and Whole Foods Market at 15, which highlights the ongoing trend of consumers embracing a healthy lifestyle.

Although luxury firms have been trying to embrace social media to reach millennials, with the likes of Burberry using Snapchat and more, Dom Perignon, Rolex and Stella McCartney aren’t considered cool and lost top 20 positions.

That said, 14 brands from 2014/15’s top 20 ranking retained the status, highlighting the challenge that new brands face to stand out.

“Attaining Top 20 CoolBrands status takes time and isn’t the result of a one year fad or flash in the pan,” said Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Council.

“Young brands however, like Netflix and Instagram, are 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.

“How long Apple hangs on to pole is hard to predict, but as the initial excitement around new products dies down, evaluation on how pioneering these are could be telling.”

The official 2015/16 CoolBrands Top 20 is:

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

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