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first direct Voted One of UK's Coolest Brands for 2013/14

23 Sep 2013

first direct  has officially been named a CoolBrand, in an influential annual initiative to identify the UK's coolest brands. The CoolBrands® list, now in its twelfth year, follows a vote by a combination of 3,000 consumers and a panel of 37 designers, style experts, media personalities and prominent figures from the worlds of TV, fashion and music. Helping rate coolness this year were the likes of TV Chef, Gizzi Erskine, musicians Laura Mvula and Charli XCX, Bestival founder, Rob da Bank and model, Daisy Lowe.

Co-ordinated by The Centre for Brand Analysis, the prestigious CoolBrands list was drawn from over thousands of independently identified brands and whittled down into a shortlist of 1,136. The panel of 37 influencers then scored each brand, bearing in mind factors such as style, innovation, originality, authenticity, desirability and uniqueness, before 3,000 members of the British public gave their ratings. The views of both the panel and consumers were combined to produce a list of the brands most highly rated by both council and consumers. first direct beat tough competition to take its place in the prestigious list.

Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said: "The pressure on consumers' disposable income is still considerable, so having a loved and desired brand can provide a much-needed edge in the battle for discretionary spend. The brand qualities we examine in the CoolBrands survey - such as authenticity and innovation - can be key influences on consumer purchasing, so performing well is not just a thumbs up for first direct 's reputation, but an indication of its future success."

The CoolBrands survey has been compiled annually since 2001. The results are published every September and a selection of the country's coolest brands are featured in a luxurious, hardback format book, available from all good bookshops (RRP £55), or which can be ordered by contacting 020 7079 3310 or at You can also stay up-to-date on CoolBrands news at the CoolBrands Facebook page and


For more information please contact:  Rebecca Hirst on 0113 276 6899, or Amanda Brown on 0113 276 6700,  

Notes to Editors: 

What is CoolBrands®?

CoolBrands is an annual initiative to identify and celebrate the UK's coolest brands. Since 2001 the survey has been canvassing the views of opinion formers and consumers to produce an annual barometer of the nation's coolest brands. This year's survey sought the opinion of the independent influencers and 3,000 British consumers.  Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The results are published every September and a selection of the country's coolest brands are featured in a luxurious, hardback format book, available from all good bookshops (RRP £55), or which can be ordered by contacting 020 7079 3310 or at You can also stay up-to-date on CoolBrands news at the CoolBrands® Facebook page 

What is the CoolBrands selection process?

The UK's CoolBrands are chosen by an Expert Council of influencers and members of the British public. Brands do not apply or pay to be considered. The entire selection process is independently administered by The Centre for Brand Analysis. The key stages of the selection process are as follows: 

A comprehensive database of UK brands was compiled using a wide range of sources, from sector reports to blogs. From the thousands of brands initially identified, approximately 1,200 brands were shortlisted. This shortlist was scored by two separate groups of voters: 

  • The independent and voluntary Expert Council, comprising 37 opinion-formers. Council members individually awarded each brand a rating from 1-10 and were not allowed to score brands with which they had a direct association or were in direct competition to.
  • A nationally-representative group of just under 3,000 British adults, accessed via an SSI online panel. 

The opinions of the Expert Council (80%) and the British public (20%) were combined and the best performing brands awarded CoolBrands status. 

Cool is subjective and personal. Accordingly, neither set of voters were given a definition but were asked to bear in mind the following factors, which research has shown are inherent in a CoolBrand: Style, Innovation, Originality, Authenticity, Desirability and Uniqueness. 

Who is on the CoolBrands Expert Council 2013/14?

  • Stephen Cheliotis, Chairman of the CoolBrands® Expert Council
  • Angela Scanlon, Broadcaster, Trend Forecaster & Writer
  • Bip Ling, Blogger, DJ & Model
  • Carl Barât, Musician & Actor
  • Charli XCX, Singer
  • Charlotte Riley, Actress
  • Daisy Lowe, Fashion model
  • David Harewood MBE, Actor
  • Gemma Cairney, Radio Presenter & Journalist
  • Gisèle Scanlon, Writer Broadcaster & Artist, Co-Founder,,
  • Gizzi Erskine, Food Writer, Chef & Television Presenter
  • Grace Woodward, TV Presenter & Fashion Creative
  • Izzy Lawrence, TV Presenter & Blogger
  • James-lee Duffy, Art Director & Illustrator, We Are Shadows
  • Julien Macdonald OBE, Fashion Designer
  • Justin Wilkes, DJ, Kiss FM
  • Kate Halfpenny, Fashion Designer & Stylist
  • Kelly Hoppen MBE, Designer & Entrepreneur
  • Laura Mvula, Singer-Songwriter
  • Lisa Snowdon, Presenter, Model & Co-host, Capital Breakfast Show
  • Liz Matthews, Publicist
  • Luke Peters, Editor, T3 Magazine & Tablet Editions
  • Mark Krendel, Managing Director, 8lbs
  • Melissa Odabash, Fashion Designer
  • Millie Kendal MBE, Beauty Brand Creator
  • Natasha McNamara, Digital Editor,
  • Oliver Cheshire, International Male Model
  • Quentin Jones, Illustrator & Filmmaker
  • Rizzle Kicks, Pop-Rap Duo
  • Rob da Bank, DJ & Bestival Founder
  • Ruby Hammer MBE, Make-up Artist
  • Sadie Frost, Actress & Fashion Designer
  • Sam Hall (Goldierocks), Global DJ & Broadcaster
  • Sophie Sumner, Model
  • Spark, Singer-Songwriter
  • Susan Riley, Deputy Editor, Stylist magazine
  • Tom Findlay, DJ & Producer
  • Will Best, TV Presenter
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