Apple has come first in the annual CoolBrands survey to find out which companies and brands are the UK's coolest. And technology and social media brands in general have taken over 45 per cent of the top 20, in comparison to last year's 25 per cent.

The CoolBrands list is derived by canvassing the thoughts of industry opinion-formers and influencers (including celebrity musicians Plan B and Carl Barat) and consumers in general. This year's survey asked 3,000 members of the public to participate, and it's worth pointing out that no brands pay or advertise in order to make the list.

Other big tech movers this year include Nikon, Twitter, Bose and Skype - none of which appeared on last year's list. However, neither BlackBerry nor Nintendo can repeat last year's success (at 6 and 16 respectively in 2011, not even in the top 20 this time around).

Bang & Olufsen has dropped from fifth to ninth this year, and bizarrely now appears lower than Glastonbury, even though the much-loved festival had a year off.

Of course, the list isn't a rating on how good companies or brands are, but more on how recognisable they are on the marketplace.

Stephen Cheliotis, chairman of the CoolBrands Expert Council, said: "It is interesting that in this age of austerity our perception of cool has increasingly shifted from aspirational, luxury brands to free or more affordable brands that provide us with pleasure. The presence of the online brands like BBC iPlayer, Twitter, YouTube and Skype are a great case in point.

"Perhaps, reflective of its lack of success since becoming a public company, Facebook has failed to join its peers in the top 20."

A hardback book featuring many of the coolest brands is available for £50 from all good bookshops, and you can find out more about the CoolBrands initiative at

The full CoolBrands 2012/13 top 20:

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 & Jerry's
16. Mercedes-Benz
17. Vogue
18. Skype
19. Nike
20. Nikon