Apple is a company that has consistently punched above its weight - it has defined the rules for cool in corporate culture, a new report explains.

Forrester magazine has a five page report (a PDF) explaining the company's approach (as noted by MacMinute) - and it's not as simple as it appears - in following the "Five Rules of Cool".

"Apple's leaders have assiduously cultivated the image of a corporation that is hip, stylish, humane: the maker of 'the computer for the rest of us,'" the report explains.

Such effort to remain close to its customers have paid off: "It's as if the entire company has ingested some magical elixir that immunises it against bad publicity," it explains.

The report declares that Apple's success can be put down to five rules, though these aren't foolproof and "tend to work better when Steve Jobs is running the company", it says.

The rules are:

Excellence trumps everything;
Decide on your own story then stick to it;
Choose your friends well;
Choose your enemies better;
Let your allies play bad cop.

Apple's 2.5 per cent minority market share actually helps the company build the most important marketing illusion of all, Forrester concludes: "Apple's most effective marketing, however, may not be on behalf of a particular product but, rather, a brand. Apple has created a special place for itself in the public mind. By studying how Apple has done so, CEOs can learn a lot about the power of great design, and even more about the power of a great story."