25 Sept 2012

Mercedes-Benz is cool - according to normal people

No that isn't Speedmonkey going on about how great Mercedes-Benz are again (we know, we know but they do make some great cars).

This time it is somebody else saying Mercedes-Benz are cool.  Specifically CoolBrands -  self proclaimed purveyors of wisdom when it comes to all things cool.  According to CoolBrands they use an Expert Council (the capital letters are theirs, not ours) of influencers and 2,000 members of the public to ascertain how cool a brand is.

The trouble is when one looks over the photographs of the Expert Council one does call into question how cool they are themselves.  One man's cool is anothers idiotic beard and hair combination.  Never mind the fact we had only heard of one person on the list before (Sadie Frost - but no idea what she does other than appear in tabloid newspapers).

According to CoolBrands the definition of cool isn't just one thing but comes down to Style, Innovation, Originality, Authenticity, Desirability & Uniqueness.  The Oxford Dictionary puts it much more succintly as, "The quality of being fashionably attractive or impressive."

Questioning the validity of coolness of CoolBrands' Expert Council may be easy (really easy) but lets get to the meat of the matter.

Aston Martin are usually number one on the list.  This year they have slipped to number three, behind Apple and YouTube.  They will almost certainly rise to the top spot again after the new James Bond film, Skyfall, is in cinemas.

Mercedes-Benz are the only other car company in the top twenty.  They are sixteenth.

And, despite the fact that this might seem like a load of piffle put together by a group of airhead, MetroSexual, ninnies who need a lie down if ever they were to venture outside the M25, CoolBrands might have a point.

Mercedes-Benz are pretty cool.  Cool as defined by normal people.  Cool as in 'that's a cool car'.

We asked around and the general consensus is that, yes, Mercedes are cool.  Or at least the top models are.  The SLS was quoted as cool whereas the lower models were not quite so cool.  One person said they were cooler than Audi, "but then again, that isn't difficult."

And that is the point.  Car companies don't invest in Formula 1 or sponsor London Fashion Week or spend money on TV adverts or put their name to golf tournaments for a laugh.

They do it to sell cars.

The SLS AMG is an incredible car.  We know that, we've driven it.  But not many people can afford to actually fork out the £192,000 needed to buy one.

That doesn't matter.  The more Mercedes-Benz is perceived as cool, the more efforts they put into creating a brand that is iconic or desirable, the more that people coo in the street as a gullwing SLS drives by, the more cars they will sell.

So being cool is good.  It is a commercially attractive proposition to be perceived as cool.

Cool, though, as defined by us - the normal people who buy cars - not the strange creatures on the CoolBrands Expert Council.

The full top twenty is below.

  1. Apple
  2. YouTube
  3. Aston Martin
  4. Twitter
  5. Google
  6. BBC iPlayer
  7. Glastonbury
  8. Virgin Atlantic
  9. Bang & Olufsen
  10. Liberty
  11. Sony
  12. Bose
  13. Häagen-Dazs
  14. Selfridges
  15. Ben & Jerrys
  16. Mercedes-Benz
  17. Vogue
  18. Skype
  19. Nike
  20. Niko*

*We have no idea what Niko is

The image below is of some people who think they are cool and who sit on the Expert Council (one of whom appears to be Audrey Hepburn)