No prizes for guessing what reigns supreme in the home of the Black Stuff...
Brand Finance has released its inaugural 'Ireland 10' list, compiling the strongest and most valuable brands in the land.
Debuting in pole position is Guinness, thanks to its brand value growing 2% to an all-time high of €2.045 billion in the past year. An international success story, it now ranks among the 10 most valuable beer brands in the world.
Brand Finance Ireland’s new Managing Director, Simon Haigh, commented:
“Guinness’s domination can be attributed not only to cherishing tradition but also to seizing the opportunities presented by the craft beer revolution.
"By prioritising the creation of hip sub-brands such as Hop House 13 and investing in marketing campaigns featuring human stories, Guinness is reaching out to younger customers, and broader audiences of both genders and a broader age range."
You can't move for its promotions – or the oft-controversial comments and antics of CEO Michael O'Leary (pictured) – and its 'Always Getting Better' image overhaul as a friendly low fares airline is clearly paying off, as Ryanair lands in second place.
The company can count the past 12 months among its most successful periods, with profits up 43% to €1.2bn. Its brand value has jumped 44% year-on-year to stand at €1.5bn.
The finance sector is well represented, with AIB, Bank of Ireland and insurance company XL Group in third, fourth, and fifth places respectively.
AIB stands out as the fastest growing brand this year, up 81% to €1.4bn. Confident of its sustainable profitability, the bank is preparing for an IPO as well as a dividend payout of €250m to ordinary shareholders; the first Irish bank to do so since 2008.
New lending approvals to customers are increasing, with mortgage lending growing by 22%, personal lending up 36%, and business lending rising by 9%. AIB’s strong business performance is reflected in pre-tax profits of €1.7bn in 2016.
Bank of Ireland, though lagging AIB in year to year growth, has a similar brand value and BSI score, suggesting it is well-placed to capitalise as Brexit delivers opportunities for Ireland’s financial sector.
With a brand valued at €768m, Jameson is eighth.
Jameson is the strongest of all Pernod Ricard’s international brands, with a sales surge of 20% in the first half of the 2017 fiscal year, driven primarily by its success in the US. Its international standing was confirmed in the Brand Finance Spirits 50 report published last month, where it rose to 15th place globally.
Here's the full top 10 rundown: