Perceptions of the Guinness brand as determined by young American drinkers

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Kelly, Bridget Rose
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MBA in Marketing
Dublin Business School
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This research presents vigorous and unique insight into the Guinness brand as perceived by young American drinkers, a recently targeted demographic for the brand. The established literature and current marketing practitioners alike have recognized the importance of examining brand perceptions in recent years. The ways in which country of origin and heritage influence brand perceptions is necessary to understand in order for future marketing activities to be properly tailored to improve or reinforce currently attractive perceptions of brands. An in-depth case study of the alcohol industry, developed by the use of in-depth interviews, a research diary, and observations, was used to gather data in qualitative form. The result of the study reveals imperative insight into the Guinness brand, in which Guinness’ robust heritage and Irish origin had profound, positive effects on the ways in which the brand is perceived by American drinkers newly legally allowed to consume alcohol. The results of this study provide Guinness, and in fact all alcohol brand managers, with an understanding of perceptions of desirable alcohol brands as well as an understanding of Guinness’ extensive history and the Irish origin’s effects on perceptions, which were entirely positive. Brand managers of the Guinness brand should continue to emphasize the brand’s history and Irish origin in future marketing plans, in which current marketing practices implemented by the brand are virtually unnoticed by young, newly-legal American drinkers. Author keywords: Branding.brand perceptions, international marketing, brand image, brand identity, Guinness, alcohol industry, heritage, country of origin