Guinness and Ryanair named among most valuable Irish brands

Brand Finance ranking also includes AIB, DCC, BoI, Smurfit, Jameson and Kingspan

Guinness is among the 10 most valuable beer brands in the world, according to a new study which finds the company's value has reached an all-time high.

The beloved black stuff tops the inaugural Brand Finance ranking of Ireland's most valuable brands, which also includes the likes of Ryanair, AIB, Smurfit Kappa and Jameson.

The survey reveals Guinness’s brand value grew 2 per cent to an all-time high of €2.045 billion in the past year, placing it head and shoulders above other Irish companies.

Brand Finance, a London-based consultancy that also prepares an annual global survey, attributed Guinness’s ongoing success to the fact that, as well as cherishing tradition, it has also been quick to seize on 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," said Brand Finance Ireland managing director Simon Haigh.

Ryanair comes in second place in the ranking of top Irish brands following a year in which profits rose 43 per cent to €1.3 billion. According to the survey, the airline’s brand value growth rose 44 per cent in 2016, on the back of a successful campaign to rewrite history by being nice to customers.

Finance sector

The finance sector is well-represented, with AIB, Bank of Ireland and insurance company XL Group in third, fourth, and fifth places respectively in the list. AIB is the fastest-growing brand this year, up 81 per cent to €1.4 billion, ahead of a soon-to-be-announced IPO.

Iseq-listed companies dominate the rankings with Smurfit Kappa, DCC and Kingspan also featuring in the top 10.

Jameson, the world’s best-selling Irish whiskey with sales of 5.7 million cases, was also included in the inaugural rankings in eighth place.

The brand, which reported a 12 per cent growth in volume for the year to end-June 2016, is also included in a separate global spirits ranking in 15th place.

Rounding out the top-10 Irish brands is the Ardagh Group, which raised more than $300 million last month in an initial public offering that saw the group list on the New York Stock Exchange.

A separate study from the same consultancy finds that Britain’s most valuable brands have taken a pounding following the vote to leave the European Union.

According to the research, 88 of the 140 brands covered in the study have seen a decline in their fortunes, primarily due to the devaluation of sterling.

Shell is Britain’s most valuable brand, with a value of £28.3 billion, up 35 per cent on the previous year as oil prices recovered. Vodafone, HSBC, BP and EY round out the top five.

According to Brand Finance, Google is the world's most valuable brand, having overtaken Apple earlier this year. Lego is deemed to be the most important globally.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist