The Coolest & Gaps Top 5, Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney, Ferrari, Virgin

Back in November I invited you to participate in a worldwide branding survey, The Coolest and Gaps, that was being conducted by the Madrid consultancy Allegro 234. Now with 1,000 participants, spanning 39 different countries Europe 55%, the Americas 40% and Asia 5%), the results are in.

Here are some highlights from the study:


The five coolest brands are:

  • Apple (2x’s more mentions than 2nd place)
  • Coca-Cola
  • Disney
  • Ferrari
  • Virgin

Runner-up brands just missing the top five:

  • Adidas, Alfa Romeo, Illy, Moët Chandon, Nike
  • Agent Provocateur, BMW, Jaguar, Nestle, Norwegian Cruise, Patagonia, Red Bull, Starbucks, Volvo, Vueling

Even coolest brands can improve. These areas were noted as needing improvements:

  • Associate services: The product meets expectations, what it is around shows deficiencies
  • Warranty: The “small print”
  • Price: Brand premium price


Across the board it was noted that all companies, across industries, need to focus on their brand experiences.

Of the participants, 70% were working in related areas of branding, marketing, communications and PR. Cristián Saracco notes, Allegro 234’s CEO, made an interesting observation that,

Those working in areas related to branding are more pessimistic than the non-related people, except in regard to the synthesis of their value proposition [what the brand says]

    He goes on to say,

    … in regards to the internal branding experience, 60% of participants believed that it is inappropriate and/or partially adequate in their business.

    • Those working in related areas are more critical [they base their internal experience on communication]
    • Those working in non-related areas live the experience better because they are considering other factors that go beyond communication


    Who Will Lead Us?

    It was that last quote that got me thinking about how brands are soon going to have to face these issues with their experiences head on, because they will only get worse as the landscape continues to shift. We need to change our mindsets from fine tuning messages to evaluating how we are meeting (hopefully exceeding) expectations from start to finish and back to start again.

    As brands start to make this shift from heavy communications to creating consistent experiences across channels, who we have leading us will become more important than ever. As we move closer to a totally online world, we will need a new breed of creatives to step up to the plate and show our brands how to take on and maintain the organic, adaptable traits necessary to thrive in world where consumers are creating the expectations. Communications (in the traditional sense of the word) aren’t going to meet those expectations alone.


    I’ve included the full study below.



    What do you think?

    Who should lead brands in the future?