Home Articles & Features People of the North: Andy Johns, Managing Director at Good Comms

People of the North: Andy Johns, Managing Director at Good Comms

Andy Johns, Managing Director, Good Comms
Andy Johns, Managing Director, Good Comms

Established in 2011, Good Comms is a creative advertising agency that specialises in the financial services sector. Good Comms works with many well-known brands creating multi-channel advertising and marketing campaigns.

Based in the historic city of Chester, the agency has clients from all parts of the UK but typically works with businesses in the North West.

Their approach is unique because they have the expertise to turn around large multi-channel campaigns quickly and simply without the complexities, hierarchies and costs of larger creative agencies.

The agency’s slogan, ‘Great Ideas, Simply, Delivered’, sums it up perfectly because what you see is what you get. High quality creative thinking from individuals who understand their clients and know how to make brands stand out.

Andy Johns founded Good Comms in 2011 because he wanted to create an agency experience that was genuinely different from the agencies he had worked for previously.

Andy is an accomplished agency professional with 25 years experience. His wide-ranging advertising and marketing communications experience has seen him work with many of the UK leading brands such as Virgin, Tesco, M&S Bank, Shell, The Co-operative Bank, MBNA, Bibby Financial Services Lloyds Banking Group and HBoS.

He is insightful, analytical, creative and intuitive relishing the development of new marketing strategies or solutions to client briefs.

How long have you been running your business and what does your business do?

Good Comms is a full-service design and creative agency which is just over nine years old. We create multi-channel advertising and marketing campaigns for some of the UK’s largest financial services providers.

What or who was the inspiration for the business current path you are on?

The inspiration behind Good Comms was to create an agency that is unlike any other. I wanted to get rid of all the fluff and smoke and mirrors of traditional agencies and provide big financial services businesses with a very different agency experience.

Many agencies are so rigid in their structure and processes that creativity and delivery are completely stifled by so many levels of hierarchy and account management. We wanted to do away with all of that and so we operate a flat structure and our clients get to deal with us directly.

At Good Comms what you see is what you get…great ideas, simply delivered.

Is there one piece of advice you wish you’d been given before you started your business?

Don’t start a creative agency during a recession! The recession had a lasting impact on the creative industry. It was certainly a tough time to start a business but it also taught me a lot about resilience and perspective.

The one most important thing you’ve learned during the experience of running your own business?

Simply put, don’t try and do everything yourself. You might wear many different hats as a business owner and have a high workload. But it’s important to make sure you rely on the skills and advice of those around you. After all, you hired them to do a job, believe in them and their ability. As Steve Jobs put it “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”.

What do you see as your future business challenges?

Clearly, we are heading for a prolonged period of economic turbulence and uncertainty. To survive we are going to need to be agile, flexible and add new skills to our portfolio.

We are already seeing traditional marketing channels drying up for many of our clients and so we are embracing new media opportunities and adapting our skills and thinking to work in new marketing channels.

What would you like to leave as your business legacy?

I’d like to think that Good Comms had a good reputation in the agency world. For our creativity but also for our integrity, which can, at times, be pretty lacking within the wider creative industry.

I am very proud that we have some big brands in our portfolio but the legacy I’d like to leave behind is that Good Comms did things differently, that we shook things up a bit and changed the tired old agency model and replaced it with something more personal and more honest.

What is your biggest business achievement / success so far?

I think for a small team of six, we punch well above our weight. And I think getting onto the roster of a couple of the biggest financial services companies in the country is quite an achievement and something I am very proud of.

When you are not running your business, what do you do to relax?

I’m a bit of an exercise junky if truth were told. I start and end my day with exercise of some sort. I find it hard to tackle the day without the adrenaline buzz of an intensive HIIT routine or a gentle run.

I love the outdoors and when I’m not working I’ll be out with my dog somewhere along the sunny North Wales coast or the green and pleasant surroundings of Chester. I don’t mind where, as long as there’s a pub at the end of the route!

Your biggest achievement outside of business?

I consider my two beautiful daughters to be greatest achievement but I am also really proud to have raised thousands of pounds for many local charities over the years by undertaking swims and runs but also sponsoring others to do the same.

What would you be doing if you weren’t running your business?

I’m a pretty motivated person and I like to be busy but I’m not sure what exactly I’d be doing. It would have to be something creative and fun though as, for me, enjoying what you do is the most important thing. If you don’t enjoy it, then you won’t do it well.

Find out more about Good Comms at their website.

Follow Andy Johns on Twitter.