As this unsettling year for Irish business comes to a close, the well-known and much-loved symbol of ‘G & I’ that guarantees you are buying Irish has undergone a rebrand and repositioning in order to reflect a modern, Irish society.
Here at Guaranteed Irish we have broadened the membership criteria and are now accepting non-indigenous members who are actively contributing to the Irish economy.
When Guaranteed Irish was established as a state agency in the 1960s, it was with the purpose to promote Irish jobs and enterprises to Irish people. After Ireland joined the EEC, it was felt the symbol was protectionist and didn’t embrace the EEC’s ambitions for developing a single market. Subsequently we left the state sector and became a membership-based, non-profit organisation, committed to promoting Irish both at home and internationally.
Ireland has changed dramatically since the 1960s and indeed since the 1980s, so as a business representative organisation it was crucial that we adapt and become truly representative of Irish society today. The decision to accept some non-indigenous organisations as members was a key development, taken so we are championing all contributions to Ireland’s economy and most importantly, Irish jobs. We believe that this integrated position is more representative of the ever-globalised economy that Ireland operates in.
In developing our rebrand, we executed significant research into what the symbol meant to people in Ireland. What we quickly discovered is that the original genius ‘GI’ symbol is widely recognised and loved and that any rebranding had to respect the historical roots of the organisation. The primary focus has been to simply enhance the symbol and expand the use of the brand, digitally and internationally.
Members of Guaranteed Irish are companies that are proud of their Irish base and committed to creating a better Ireland. When assessing an applicant for membership, we address three core criteria – jobs, provenance and community. If a company is contributing positively to Ireland across all three of these criteria, then we are looking to talk to them.
These criteria were developed with advice and input from National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), Enterprise Ireland and an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) consultant and allows the symbol to now confidently compete with other national standards marks like “Made in Britain” and “Made in Italy”.
In recent research conducted by Amarach for Guaranteed Irish, 8 in 10 consumers would like to see more Irish companies display the GI symbol and a staggering 96% feel it is just as important as 5 years ago that people buy from companies with a vested interest in Ireland.
After a turbulent year for international relations and following political developments in our closest neighbouring countries, it’s now more important than ever before to support businesses that are truly contributing to Ireland’s economic development. At Guaranteed Irish we are ambitious to grow our membership base and to position Ireland and the much loved National iconic symbol, ’GI’ as an international symbol of trust and better business.