“Cool” is a quality highly desired by consumers and, therefore, highly desired by brand owners, yet it is frequently supposed to be elusive and obscure. Scouting for cool is known as “coolhunting” and its pervasive influence has captivated brand owners and their agencies alike. Its claim to be able to predict future trends by researching cool individuals has been both an inspiration and an irritant to the account planning community. This paper argues that coolhunting is, in fact, self‐defeating. The real challenge for brand owners is not to observe cool people, but to create new cool products, services and experiences. Account planning, with its mix of analytical and creative thinking, is uniquely placed to offer a framework for doing this. One such framework, based on Aristotle’s ethical theory, is discussed.
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