Industry & Business

Guinness Remains Ireland’s Most Valuable Brand at €2.1 Billion

Guinness Remains Ireland’s Most Valuable Brand at €2.1 Billion

Guinness Remains Ireland’s Most Valuable Brand at €2.1 Billion
March 19
09:31 2018

Guinness remains Ireland’s most valuable brand after growing by 5% over the last year to a brand value of €2.1 billion on the back of new product innovations and steady sales of the world-famous draught, according to the latest report by Brand Finance, the world’s leading independent brand valuation and strategy consultancy.

Guinness’s brand value has been supported by revenue growth primarily in Europe and Africa, with sales remaining steady elsewhere. In addition, Diageo, the corporate parent and owner of St James’s Gate brewery, has launched new products using the Guinness brand, including full-flavoured non-alcoholic beer to reach a whole new customer base. This represents a clear strategic vision to better leverage the strength of the Guinness brand into new product segments.

Simon Haigh, Managing Director, Brand Finance Ireland, commented:

“Ireland’s home-grown brands are worthy ambassadors for the Irish economy, which saw an impressive 7% increase over the past year. Their strong reputation derives not just from successful marketing campaigns, but because they create authentic value for their customers. Guinness leads by example, delighting with every pour, settle, and sip.”

Ireland’s 10 Most Valuable Sector Brands

Rank 2018 Rank 2017 Brand name Country Brand value (EUR b) 2018 % change Brand value (EUR b) 2017 Brand rating 2018 Brand rating 2017
1 1 Guinness Beers 2.1 5%  2.0 AA AAA-
2 4 Allied Irish Banks Banks 1.9 40%  1.4 AA- AA-
3 2 Primark / Penneys Apparel 1.8 1%  1.8 AA+ AAA-
4 3 Ryanair Airlines 1.6 4%  1.5 AA+ AA+
5 7 Smurfit Kappa Eng. & Con. 1.2 6%  1.2 AA AA-
6 8 DCC Oil & Gas 1.1 0%  1.1 A A
7 5 Bank of Ireland Banks 0.9 -30%  1.3 A+ AA-
8 9 Jameson Spirits 0.8 3%  0.8 AA AA
9 10 Ardagh Group Eng. & Con. 0.7 6%  0.7 A+ A+
10 12 Kingspan Eng. & Con. 0.7 26%  0.6 A AA-

Bank Brand Values Diverge
Allied Irish Banks (up 40% to €1.9 billion) was the fastest-growing Irish brand over the past year, as it moved from 4th place to 2nd. AIB’s brand value increase coincided with its privatisation as part of Europe’s biggest IPO of the year and its significantly improved financial results. This represents a significant turnaround for a brand seriously damaged in the fallout from the 2007-2008 financial crisis, which has now returned to private ownership.

In contrast, Bank of Ireland (down 30% to €0.9 billion) is the only brand in the Brand Finance Ireland 10 league table to see its value drop this year. The brand had a tough year and is now going through a period of adjustment under a new CEO. Bank of Ireland’s public association with the nationwide mortgage tracker scandal, which generated widespread negative press coverage and weak revenue forecasts, contributed to its poor brand performance.

Despite benefiting from pan-European operations, Ireland’s two big budget brands, Primark/Penneys (up 1% to €1.8 billion) and Ryanair (up 4% to €1.6 billion), recorded sluggish brand growth.

Primark’s brand value is under pressure from increased online competition, following its decision not to sell clothes online given the very small margins involved in its product range.

Meanwhile, Ryanair had to face a staff holiday scheduling crisis in late 2017, when 400,000 passengers were impacted by flight cancellations. However, Ryanair’s deliberate decision to manage customer expectations by positioning itself as a no-frills service, rather than prioritising emotional connection, makes the brand more resilient in such situations. Despite causing a major communications issue for Ryanair at the time, last year’s embarrassment is unlikely to cause Ryanair much long-term brand damage.

Beyond Consumer Brands

The brand value of Smurfit Kappa (up 6% to €1.2 billion) grew in conjunction with their ‘Open the future’ global brand campaign showcasing the company’s expertise across packaging, paper, and sustainability to help solve real-world problems. It reflects a renewed focus by Smurfit Kappa on innovation and working with brands to make their products more attractive to shoppers.

Meanwhile, Kingspan (up 26% to €0.7 billion), which focuses on building insulation, enjoyed very strong brand value growth at the same time that it made a large number of strategic acquisitions globally. As part of this effort, Kingspan will gain access to a number of new technologies to complement their existing insulation development work, especially in a market, which is continually seeking improved efficiency and effectiveness.

View the full Brand Finance Ireland 10 2018 report here

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