Just read a news headline on digg that Apple is looking to launch its “kindle” killer and people were already rooting for it even though most of the people are very much satisfied with that $400 kindles (it delivers what it promise so no reason for people to complain). This “rooting for” is something which always made me wonders how strong can be this coolness factor.
For example, Google and Apple are cool, WalMart, Verizon and AT&T are not. It is not that difficult to tell why some companies are cool and why some are not. In case of apple, they make trendy, exclusive and great (though overpriced) products, people don’t mind paying more money as it make them look hip and cool. On the other hand, companies offering day to day products which are so mainstream that the people don’t even care about the company like walmart and verizon can never have the cool image, and I don’t think their marketing team is even trying to make them look cool (which is surprising though I am sure there must be reason behind it)
Now I strongly feels, if you are a startup or small company looking to offer B2C service or product, you want to be cool, because there is nothing better then having a fanbase spreading information about your product and service for free and this loyal fanbase will stick with you in good and bad times as long as the feeling of being special is reciprocated. Offering the product/service for free and helping people without expecting anything in return are two easy ways to be cool.
PS – pic unrelated but still you can check the story behind professor badass here