Can you think of any cool brands?

Apple, Google and Virgin come to mind.

What makes you feel cool? I feel cool when I have something others want. Exclusive privileges makes me feel cool too. Like being in business class on a long haul flight. That’s pretty cool.

A while ago, I started researching what key ingredients cool brands have in common. There’s a great article in Esquire, “Small things that make you feel cool (that really shouldn’t)”

The article lists some fleeting moments in life that make us feel cool. Here, I use some examples of those moments to show the feelings that any brand can strive to stimulate for a cool customer experience:

1. Ordering cocktail without consulting the menu

We feel: Knowledgeable and skilful

2. Strolling confidently away from a shop counter after handing over the exact change. No need to wait around – you know it’s right

We feel: Knowledgeable, proactive and bold

3. Withdrawing more than £100 at a cash machine

We feel: Prestigious and privileged

4. Using a complicated sequence of keyboard shortcuts

We feel: Expert and skilful

5. Being recognised by an attractive person on the street in the company of your friends

We feel: Good-looking and recognised

6. Pulling out a copy of The Times on the tube while everyone else is scanning The Metro

We feel: Exclusivity and prestigious

7. Answering any request from your boss with ‘I sent you that last week’

We feel: Smart and proactive

8. Buying the non-sale item in a place with an end-of-season sale on

We feel: Prestigious, cutting-edge, contemporary

9. Passing through the gates of the tube without breaking your stride

We feel: Focused and forward-thinking

10. Cracking an egg with one hand

We feel: Skilful and bold

And so on – you get the idea.

It boils down to two things: Cool brands make customers feel


e.g. good-looking, contemporary, bold



e.g. knowledgeable, skilful, expert

Your tone of voice, content you share, how you engage and even your chosen sales channels are all key aspects of a cool brand.

To be successfully cool, ensure your product or service makes the customer experience journey a joy for the customer. Don’t be tempted to make your brand the hero. Remember it is your customer that is the hero.

Now, go make a cool brand.

Photo credit: Flickr user Eric.Ray “Cool”, Creative Common License

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