About Islandbridge

We help identify your strengths and match them with your market, to build a brand that supports and drives your business.

We’re a brand planning & strategic development company. We developed our storytelling approach to brand planning and communications following our years working with businesses across Europe, Asia and the US.

Gerard’s Story

Like most of us, you could say that I’ve been telling stories for as long as I’ve been hearing them and that I was making brand choices even before I could talk.

The truth is, I spent fifteen years following a wandering star before deciding to be a brand builder. After two years in a seminary and three more at university in Dublin completing a degree in English and Philosophy, it was time to consider my options. There weren’t many in the Ireland of 1988.

Whilst my peers headed to London or New York, I answered an ad recruiting for the role of Inspector of Police in Hong Kong. I’d never been to Asia, but that doesn’t worry a 22-year old. I signed up, and after nine months training, was put in charge of a unit of thirty-six officers near the Chinese border.

When I transferred to the Marine Police soon afterwards, I enjoyed a work schedule that allowed me to explore a parallel career in event management and led me to set up Arts & Noise to promote art, exhibitions, music and theatre events. Around the same time, I opened LKF The Gallery in the commercial and entertainment district of Lan Kwai Fong, where we held over 40 successful exhibitions of local and international art.

In 1998, I returned to Dublin to establish Arts & Noise but, without the network of contacts I’d had in Hong Kong, this local venture foundered.

Two introductions brought my wandering star to rest. The first was to the National Safety Council for whom I directed the landmark ‘Fly The Flag’ Road Safety Campaign, which woke me to the power of a brand to change (& save) lives. The second was to Alexander Dunlop, where I was introduced to ways in which brands work, and to their culture, stories and magic.

Working with international brands like Miller Brewing, Carlsberg and Capital One Financial Services, I made connections to planners, designers and producers, many of whom I work with to this day. I found that my rich experience in working in different parts of the world and with people and businesses from all walks of life had given me my own common sense take on brands and how they work. I knew then that I wanted to be a brand builder.

Since then, I’ve worked hard to master my skills and deepen my understanding, particularly around the use of story as a framework to bridge the gap between buyers and sellers, businesses and their markets. I’ve developed a practical and effective approach to brand building that’s enabled me to work with companies of all shapes and sizes in Ireland and overseas.

I set up Islandbridge in 2004 to deliver brands that work for both business owners and their customers and, as you’ll see from our Islandbridge Client Stories, it works.

Anne’s Story

 I joined Gerard at Islandbridge in 2012.

It’s funny how life can turn full circle. With only fifteen months between us, Gerard and I were as thick as thieves growing up but then, like many siblings, went our separate ways, forging our own life paths and careers.

I trained to be a teacher, studying English and Catechetics, and spent the next twenty-odd years working with children as young as four, adults as old as seventy and everyone in between!

In 2008, I added Life and Business coaching as another string to my bow and through this discipline discovered the power of active listening, which I’ve come to see is vital for all business owners when it comes to understanding what their customer truly values in their offer.

Then in 2009, taking a leap of faith, I decided to do something I’d been putting off for years: I began to write. And write and write; and in 2011, my first poetry collection ‘Take This Life’ was published. During the writing process, I instinctively imagined an audience for my work, a woman who would pick up my book and find it resonate with her life’s experience. Every poem I wrote, I wrote for her. I didn’t imagine then that two years later, I would be helping our Islandbridge clients to identify and communicate with their own ‘Bullseye Customer’ who sits at the very centre of their market.

Which brings us back to 2012, when I was looking for opportunities to put to work the range of skills I’d built up over the previous twenty-five years. The answer, as is often the case, lay very close to home. I had been following Islandbridge’s trajectory with interest for years, and the unique brand-building approach to business strategy that Gerard had devised fitted perfectly with my understanding of how we relate to and do business with each other.

Through Islandbridge the magic and power of branding has come alive for me and it’s been an absolute pleasure working with clients to build a brand that supports and drives their business.