Guinness, AIB and Primark top list of most valuable Irish brands

Brand Finance rankings also include Ryanair, BoI, Smurfit Kappa and Kingspan

With up to 7.5 million pints of Guinness expected to be downed on St Patrick’s Day alone, the Diageo-owned brand was estimated to be worth €2.1 billion in 2017. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

With up to 7.5 million pints of Guinness expected to be downed on St Patrick’s Day alone, the Diageo-owned brand was estimated to be worth €2.1 billion in 2017. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

 

Guinness has again topped the list of Ireland’s most valuable brands, coming ahead of AIB and Penneys owner Primark in the latest rankings by London-based consultancy Brand Finance.

With up to 7.5 million pints of Guinness expected to be downed on St Patrick’s Day alone, the Diageo-owned brand was estimated to be worth €2.1 billion in 2017, up 5 per cent on the previous year.

Brand Finance said the value of the Guinness brand had been bolstered by steady global sales and new product innovations such as Pure Brew, the company’s new non-alcoholic lager, which represented a “clear strategic vision” on the part of its owner.

AIB was afforded the accolade of fastest-growing Irish brand, seeing its value jump 40 per cent to €1.9 billion on foot of an oversubscribed IPO in June and improved financial results. This moved the bank from fourth place to second place in the rankings.

Tracker mortgage scandal

In contrast, rival Bank of Ireland fell from fourth to seventh place with its brand value dropping 30 per cent to €900 million on foot of the ongoing tracker mortgage scandal and weak revenue forecasts.

“The brand had a tough year and is now going through a period of adjustment under a new CEO,” Brand Finance said.

Despite having big pan-European operations and benefiting from an upturn in the euro zone economy, Ireland’s two big-budget brands, Primark/Penneys and Ryanair, which came third and fourth in the rankings, recorded only “sluggish” brand growth, the consultancy said, rising 1 per cent to €1.8 billion and 4 per cent to €1.6 billion respectively.

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

Pilot rostering issue

Ryanair suffered a major public relations setback in late 2017 when a pilot rostering issue caused the cancellation of hundreds of flights .

“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,” the consultancy said.

“Ireland’s home-grown brands are worthy ambassadors for the Irish economy, which saw an impressive 7 per cent increase over the past year,” Simon Haigh of Brand Finance in Ireland said.

“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,” he said.