Apple “has become one of the coolest companies around, thanks to the iPod and the iTunes Music Store,” according to global market research group Datamonitor. The group’s research, as reported in The Age, shows that the big shift in consumer patterns is about people buying products that reflect their aspirations to lead a cool lifestyle and conspicuously present it to other people as part of their self-image. Other “cool” brands include Nike, FCUK and Virgin.