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Back Talk: What’s The Coolest Brand You’ve Seen?

Cool brands have a magnetic pull; they excite consumers and attract word of mouth attention. What cool brand campaigns have caught your eye; why?

“That is so cool!” How often do you see a product in a store, online or on TV and think just that? A few weeks ago, Vertical Marketing Network looked at ways in which perennial “cool” brands such as Apple, IKEA, Red Bull and Virgin America have succeeded in establishing brand loyalty while also continually fueling brand passion. That combination, we observed, is the secret ingredient to cool brand status, and emerging medias, whether they be application-based or social, are playing major roles. Brands ranging from Converse (cool) to Lexus (high-brow cool) to Dell (kinda cool) would agree. Strategy may not be visible to the consumer eye (and smart strategy shouldn’t be), but marketers know it certainly is at work. Coolness doesn’t just happen.

Maybe I’m just blogging out loud, but it seems like brand coolness can be crafted. For brands and marketers, the challenge is in engaging consumers in a fresh, meaningful and smart way.

Which begs the question: what brands and/or campaigns have caught your “cool eye.” And what can we learn from them?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Brought to you by Vertical Marketing Network, a Leading Integrated Marketing Agency.
Photo credit: jurvetson

About JJ Nelson

Freelance blogger for Vertical Marketing Network; food writer; bartender.

8 comments on “Back Talk: What’s The Coolest Brand You’ve Seen?

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  5. Cynthia Batterman
    May 26, 2011

    The coolest brand I’ve seen lately is Lady Gaga! In a recent study conducted in 16 countries with 4k consumers, Gen Y’s rated “own style,” “real/authentic”, and “unique” as the top brand characteristics that attracts them to a brand. Lady Gaga has all these characteristics, in addition to constantly creating fresh news, she has created an incredible strong, cool brand. It is no surprise that she has risen to the top of the charts in 2+ short years, and I expect that she’ll be around for years to come.


  6. Marty Safir
    May 24, 2011

    I’m the kind of guy who will rarely, if ever, wear a logo’d tee-shirt. Perhaps because I’m a designer, but I just don’t want to broadcast my brand preferences. At the same time, I love broadcasting my loyalty by what I actually use, i.e. Apple, and now, Toyota (I love my Venza). With Apple, I always go back to what Steve Jobs says they try to do. They just want to make products that they, themselves, would love to own. And I love my iPhone and how it’s permeated and improved my life.

    @Diane, I agree the Geico commercials are great. The latest “Is the Pen Mightier than the Sword” floored me. And I suspect it is moving the needle on their sales. I don’t think Apple has won by great marketing alone. I think their users and the media, market for them very effectively. And the reason they do it is that underneath, the product is unquestionably great.


  7. Mark
    May 17, 2011

    Cool often comes from the reflection of the people who embrace the brand. Undoubtedly, I think the story behind Pabst Blue Ribbon is evidence that the marekting can help fuel the “coolness” but ultimately it is the people who use it that define it. Pabst did nothing initially, but found a huge uptick in sales in Portland, OR. They went to Portland to discover why. They stayed away from exploiting that and instead participated with them. They created their bowling leagues to engage the purveyors of cool and the rest kind of carried itself.

    March 30, 2011

    Pabst Blue Ribbon seeks bowling teams

    This is a post from a Phoenix based site … they even charge people to be in the league so it is still authentic and such…

    Pabst Blue Ribbon is looking for teams to participate in its seasonal PBR “Just for Fun” bowling league, which begins at 7:45 p.m. Sunday at AMF Scottsdale Lanes.

    Four-person teams compete the next 14 Sundays. Cost is $13 per person each week, but players can enjoy $1 PBR drafts and $5 PBR pitchers and win PBR prizes.


  8. Diane
    May 17, 2011

    I think the Geico gecko is an obvious great campaign because of its reinforcement of the brand name. I oftentimes have friends tell me they absolutely love a commercial – but then cannot recall what product or brand it was for! In my mind the iPhone just has some great marketing behind it. It’s not a great phone – yet everyone wants one.


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