One drink to rule them all…

At the end of 2015 I spent 3 weeks at home in Ireland for Christmas.

‘Twas my first time home for Christmas in 5 years. That’s a looooong bloody time. So long, I almost forgot how good the Guinness tastes back home.


It’s pretty well known around the world that we Irish like our drink.

And if we’re known for one drink, more than any other, it’s Guinness.

“The Creamy Black Stuff”, as it’s fondly known.

Our international reputation as surprisingly functional alcoholics means many a person will instantly up their drinking game the second they come into contact with an Irish person.

Or the second they step into an Irish bar.

It’s a weird phenomenon to witness, but, all of a sudden, when you’re within striking distance of anything Irish, it’s party time!

Thing is, Guinness is a strange drink for most people.

It’s technically a stout. And stouts aren’t all that popular or common in comparison to other beers. Mainly because they’re heavy and can taste a bit manky if you’re not used to them.

But that doesn’t stop folks from ordering them in a right snappy fashion the second they find themselves in Irish territory!

“Sure, I’ll try one of those — when in Rome, eh?”

Why is it that?

Well, it’s because to “foreigners”, Guinness is the most Irish drink they know. 

So when they’re deciding to live a little — enjoying the brief spark of joy in that small Irish moment — it’s the obvious choice.

(And it’s no wonder – Guinness’s marketing is amazing. But that’s a story for another day.)

‘Tis a different story in Ireland. When you go to order stout on the Emerald Isle, there are 3 main options you’ll be greeted with:

  1. Guinness
  2. Murphy’s
  3. Beamish

Beamish is about 50c cheaper per pint.

So, the answer to it’s Value Proposition Question:

“If I want a pint of stout, why should I buy Beamish, rather than any of it’s competitors?”


“… because Beamish is the cheapest Irish stout, so you can get more pints in for your 20 euro”

A simple, yet very effective Unique Selling Proposition.

Beamish though, happens to taste like absolute muck.

So, if you’re any sort of a self respecting human being, you really only have two remaining options.

Now, I come from a place in Ireland called County Cork.

Cork is a fiercely proud part of Ireland, where the local population have a reputation for thinking we’re better than everyone else.

Murphy’s also happens to be made in Cork.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that a lot of people in Cork will choose Murphy’s over Guinness, simply because it’s made in Cork.


Because “Made in Cork” is a claim that’s both Appealing and Exclusive to the regular Corkonian. In many corners, that’s reason enough for Murphy’s to be chosen.

“But, Ross — tell us — which tastes better?”

“And is it possible to tell the difference if your life (or reputation) depended on it?”

Believe it or not, this conversation came up over Christmas.

Logically, the only way to arrive at the answer was to thrown down in public, with the Irish equivalent of the “Pepsi-Coke Challenge”…



“The Guinness-Murphy’s Challenge”

The One Drink To Rule Them All

(Or make you look a little foolish in front of your friends)

The rules are simple. 

  1. You have to blind taste 2 pints of stout, which are handed to you by the group.
  2. Either time, it can be Guinness or Murphy’s. 
  3. There’s no guarantee you’ll get both drinks. 
  4. Each contestant must correctly identify which drink is which.

As an Irish person, the stakes in this game are high.

We’re a tricky people, so not only do you have figure out which drink is which, but you have to figure out if your friends are trying to fool you.

Not being able to identify your preferred choice would mean opening the door to a brutal slagging from everyone else in the bar.


The Guinness Murphy’s Challenge – Correctly identify which stout is which, or suffer a serious dose of holy mortification (If you look closely in the picture in the bottom left, my friends handed me a glass of water. They weren’t fooling anyone).

Of the 5 people who took part, 2 got it wrong. Which means they called their own choice o’drink by the other brand’s name.

“Mortified for your mother!”

So, even though they couldn’t tell the difference in taste, they still had their reasons for choosing.

Takeaway: Your Unique Selling Proposition, why people choose you, isn’t always about your product. No matter how much you want that to be the case.

If you’d like to chat about the factors that go into why people choose you, your product, or your company, click the link below.

We can organize a quiet, friendly chat — like we’re just down the pub:

No fee. No commitments. No obligation.

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