Is Apple too cool for school? No, but it may be just cool enough for school. Wired reports that, over the summer, the company became one of the coolest companies in America according to youth marketing experts. Contributing to the company’s “coolness” factor are such products and services as the iPod, the iTunes Music Store and the Power Mac G5.
DeeDee Gordon, co-president of Look-Look, a youth marketing and research firm in Los Angeles, Calif., told Wired that Apple was one of the top five brands for young people based on their research with a worldwide network of 20,000 Net-connected correspondents aged 13-35. When asked what company they would most like to endorse if they were a celebrity, those queried named Apple first of all, then Coca-Cola, Levi’s and Nike. When it comes to “extremely well-designed products,” the iMac and iPod topped the responses, Wired reports. What’s more, the iPod is the No. 2 “must have” item for the back-to-school season (right after new shoes), according to Look-Look’s August youth culture newsletter. A new desktop or laptop — specifically an iMac or Power Mac G5 — comes third on the list.
Gordon told Wired that Apple appeals to young people because cool celebrities use their products; what’s more, the company’s slick advertising and upscale retail stores contribute to this image. Claire Brooks, executive research director of the Lambesis Research Group, which publishes the L Style Report, a quarterly tip sheet, also said Apple is mentioned consistently in its research.
“(Apple) is a core trendsetter brand,” she told Wired. “It’s a lifestyle thing. Apple just comes up all the time.”
Barbara Coulon, vice president of trends at Youth Intelligence, a New York trend-forecasting firm, said the iPod is mainly responsible for Apple’s high profile among young people. Still, though many trend watchers cite Apple as hot (or cool, depending on how you look at it), the company doesn’t appear on all the indexes of cool. For example, Lucian James’ American Brandstand, a weekly list of product “shout-outs” in the Billboard Hot 100, makes no mention of Apple, Macs or iPods, according to Wired.
“Apple hasn’t shown up in Brandstand because it’s too nerdy,” James said. “Cell phones are cool, iPods are too niche. They also don’t seem to have the hip-hop appeal that is a prerequisite to get into the Billboard chart.”