top of page


Updated: Apr 25, 2023

When the captivated and hack-thirsty audience asked the master of online “trolling” what was the magic recipe for success, he answered: “Don’t copy us!”

Ryanair is one of the most recognisable Irish brands. Its value is estimated at EUR 2.1 billion, and it is also one of the most hated brands. Ryanair carries the most passengers across Europe each year. This is a low-cost airline company with the highest profit level of all the airlines in Europe. The value of its brand has grown tenfold in the past ten years.

The key to success? Research reveals that nearly 90% of consumers say a brand’s presence is the key factor when choosing to support or like a certain brand. Consistent branding and presence (verbal or visual) increase a brand’s income by 33%. In this era of authenticity, brands must be honest if they want to connect with their customers.

“Our unit (Ryanair’s social media communication department, A/N) is based around our executive director, who had been the face of our marketing for years. His breakthrough has affected how we have been speaking and writing across our entire marketing for years now. All we have done is reshape what is already written in our DNA to make it more socially friendly.”

Ryanair = O’Leary. Apple = Jobs. Starbucks = Schultz. Nike = Knight. Body Shop = Roddick. Patagonia = Chouinard. But what happens when this foundation is gone?

The Authenticity Gap research has been studying the phenomenon of brand authenticity for almost a decade, and it has detected an important change occurring in the post-pandemic period. The global pandemic has disrupted and challenged every aspect of our lives and has caused a key shift in how companies communicate and how brands respond to fundamental issues. Questions concerning diversity, capitalism and inclusion and their stance toward socially significant issues have moved to the core of what brands stand for and what they cherish. Their stance on social issues has become an important element of reputation, the success of brands and consequently, the companies themselves.

Many brands are trying to do similar things. Now the belief is being created that dancing mascots guarantee success. Everyone makes their own mascots, but that doesn’t mean they’re successful. It indicates that they are not thinking about what to do to solve the problem,” remarks the energetic Irishman.

Studies show that only 1 in 25 or 4% of people actually speak up when witnessing something unusual or are prepared to speak on socially sensitive issues. Are brands prepared to take on that role? Should we expect this share to be higher among brands than the population?



About me

I help organizations manage challenging and complex communication issues.


bottom of page