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A brand with its own legal currency? Check your pocket and you may find some of its coins…
This story shows how powerful a brand can be. It starts in 1759 when Arthur Guinness founded his brewery and launched his famous stout beer in Ireland. Arthur decided to use the harp as the brand’s logo. The Guinness brand and logo took off quickly and is nowadays one of the most famous brands in the world and is – perhaps along with Heineken – one of the few truly global beer brands. Moreover, the Guinness brand appears to be an authentic symbol of Irish culture. It manages to embody the essence of Ireland in a glass of stout beer: Power, Goodness and Fellowship.
The brand and its harp symbol are so compelling that people all over the world naturally associate them with the Celtic culture. In fact, they almost serve as the logo of Ireland.
When, back in 1999, the government of Ireland replaced the Irish pound with the euro, it had to choose a symbol for the euro coins it issued… and it decided upon the harp. Legend has it that Guinness refused to allow its logo to be used for that purpose! For that reason the harp found on the Irish euro coins is a mirror image of the Guinness logo!
Nevertheless, it is essentially the Guinness logo that is now circulating on millions of euro coins every day across Europe! What nicer toast to a brand could there be?
Could that have perhaps inspired Amazon? It’s uncertain whether Jeff Bezos has Irish roots, but he’s planning to launch Amazon’s virtual currency for making Kindle purchases next May!
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