Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business (Research)


Department of Continuing Education

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


This study is an examination and assessment of the branding phenomenon, ‘Ireland the Brand’. An investigation into the current image of ‘Ireland the Brand’, was conducted as part of this research study, focusing particularly on the aspects of the brand relating to the foreign direct investment sector (Ireland Inc.), and the Irish tourism industry brand (Tourism Brand Ireland). Many events and aspects of Irish history contributed to the subsequent awareness of the values of ‘Ireland the Brand’. It included the Great Famine, which led to mass emigration, marking the beginning of a substantial Irish community abroad, the Irish diaspora. Also, the Celtic Tiger, a recent pivotal era in Ireland’s history influenced the success of ‘Ireland the Brand’ during this period. The recent global economic recession, however, had a catastrophic effect on the Celtic Tiger economy in Ireland. The global economic recession together with the worldwide banking crisis added to the failing Irish economy which currently exists. The failing Irish economy has impacted negatively on ‘Ireland the Brand’. The positive associations with ‘Ireland the Brand’ have been eroded and credibility in the brand abroad has dropped. This study identifies, however, that ‘Ireland the Brand’ still has a significant amount of brand values, including, the native Irish people, the Irish diaspora, Irish culture and heritage, an educated, English speaking workforce, an attractive corporate tax structure, and an open economy.

There is a certain amount of complexity linked to ‘nation branding’, significantly, the structure of the organisations within a country that arc deemed responsible for marketing the ‘nation brand’. This current study contends that there are many stakeholders within Ireland responsible for marketing ‘Ireland the Brand’. This research study recommends that a more synergistic approach, incorporating representatives from all the stakeholder groups, should be implemented on an ongoing basis, in order to increase the value proposition of ‘Ireland the Brand’.

This research is therefore concerned with presenting a current overview of ‘Ireland the Brand’. The direction of this research is dictated by the previous economic success experienced by ‘Ireland the Brand’ and the belief that Ireland, ‘the land of saints and scholars’, has the capacity to achieve success again. The findings of this study, demonstrate that a focus on building the knowledge economy, creating a ‘Green Ireland’ and utilising the emotional and commercial assets of the Irish diaspora will be key to building a successful future for ‘Ireland the Brand’.

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