Articles by Chris Lumsden

Brand Analysis, Brand Architecture & Naming

5 signs your brand needs a simplification audit.

In our experience, B2B portfolios are too complex and create a lot of confusion. Here are 5 tell-tale signs that your portfolio needs to be simplified.

Brand Architecture & Naming

The Practical Side of Brand Architecture: What Theory Doesn't Tell You

A recent uptick of enquires around specialist brand architecture projects has prompted me to reflect on the complexities these businesses face and how theoretical understanding impacts practical application.

Brand Strategy

Navigating the AI Revolution in Brand Consulting

In a recent discussion, Sam Altman suggested a future where AI could automate 95% of tasks traditionally performed by marketers, agencies, and creatives offering instant, nearly perfect outputs at negligible costs.

Brand Strategy

Decoding Brand Confusion: Aligning Agency Expertise with Executive Vision

We’re often brought into branding projects when things have gone wrong, or a previous branding project has run out of steam.

Brand Insight, Brand Naming

The Lost Art of Brand Naming

Like deciphering coffee menus, obscure business branding can lead to confusion, affecting sales.

Brand Insight, Brand Architecture & Naming

Does Your Business Need a Sub Brand?

This is a recurring issue in the B2B work we do – and our answer to the question ‘should we create a new sub brand?’ is almost always ‘no’.

Brand Strategy

From Frivolous to Fruitful: Agency Challenges in Promoting B2B Brand Characters

We recently had an agency debate about which brands had the best brand character. Over the course of a week, we voted on different options and Captain Birdseye won. (A fine choice, don’t you agree?)

Good to know

The Power of Simplicity for B2B Tech Brands: Less is More

Exploring the why and how of B2B tech's fear of simplicity

Good to know, Brand Insight, Brand Strategy

Why do Private Equity firms ignore the role of brand in creating value?

This is the question that’s been keeping me up at night. I’m slightly scared to ask it publicly, but I’m genuinely struggling to answer it.

Good to know

Reflections on a 10 year client partnership

Agencies aren't partners with their clients unless they share in the commercial risk of the enterprise.

Brand Analysis

Brand mistakes made by B2B Tech firms

These mistakes may not be brand killers, but they could cause yours to bleed value and equity and feed the competition's business.

Brand Insight

Helping B2B understand why it should invest in brand

I think that outside the realm of B2B marketing, clients generally have a poor understanding of brand and why they should invest in it. I also think that’s because we (agencies) do a bad job of explaining why.

Brand Strategy

B2B Tech Firms must dig deeper to differentiate

It feels like every other B2B tech firm I look at conforms to the same visual and verbal convention.

Good to know, Market Research, Trends & Innovation

Why the status quo is the real competition

Even if we offer customers something new, better and cheaper it’s not necessarily the case that they’ll jump at it straight off the bat.

Good to know, Website Management

Tips for a good brand homepage

One thing we’re always telling clients is that the clarity and coherence of their organisation needs to come through in the first contact with the brand. Often, this first contact comes via a company’s website.

Good to know

Tips on how to run a brand workshop

I had an experience recently that forced me to boil down the essence of a brand workshop to its constituent parts, so that we could be through it in an hour. This wasn’t particularly easy, given that we usually run these sessions over a half day period.

Brand Architecture & Naming, Brand Strategy

Why Brands Need a Serious Brand Strategy

When businesses decide on a growth strategy, there are several options open to them. Growth through acquisition is a commonly chosen path. Shopping lists are written and deals are done, often in quick succession – a demonstrable commitment to growth.

Trends & Innovation, Brand Guardianship

How brands can make their ESG meaningful

ESG is making a bigger impact on brands than ever before. But the challenge is that many of them just can’t leverage their ESG credentials in a credible way. I wanted to take a look at why and what can be done about it.

Brand Insight, Brand Definition, Foundations

Creating the vision for your brand.

Creating a vision for your brand seems straightforward when looking at other companies. They seem so self-evident, so obvious.

Market Research, Brand Definition, Foundations

The Value of Brand Values.

I’ve recently been doing some B2B research, I looked at 34 large corporate entities. They were all a certain size, with average revenues in the $3bn mark, a global footprint and more than 1,000 employees. So, they’re not mom and pop shops.

Good to know, Brand Strategy

Brand Strategy is Business Strategy

At Good, we’re of the view that if clients want to spend money on brand, then they should have a right to know what it’s likely to do for them.

Good to know, Trends & Innovation

Sustainability Disclosure Requirements: What it means for brands.

The UK government recently announced that there’s legislation pending on the thorny topic of sustainability.

Good to know, Market Research

When should you hire a brand consultancy?

The last 2 years have been mad. We’re all doing things differently and business has never been as strange. One thing we’ve noticed in our consulting is that some clients reviewing their brand values in house. And I get why.

Brand Definition, Life After Launch

Why content is more important than brand.

I think that content v branding is like David v Goliath. Branding gets all the headline billing and razzmatazz, but content is ruthlessly efficient in getting the job done.

Brand Insight, Brand Strategy

Why Are All Whisky Brands The Same?

In our time as a brand firm, we’ve done our fair share of work in the whisky sector. And the one thing that has been consistent across it has been that all the brands seem to be saying more or less the same thing.

Good to know

How to Buy Branding Services

Every month we get, on average three new business inquiries through the website. What’s interesting is how these inquiries vary in terms of approach. Some are highly professional, others… well, leave some things to be desired.

Marketing Strategy, Brand Guardianship

Branding for global, local or both?

When you take on a brand project with a global business, the thorny issue about how to deal with the various regions and the language translations is always there, sitting just below the surface.

Good to know, Brand Guardianship

Sustainability is Damaging Brands

Post pandemic, it feels like the sustainability trend is going to dominate. For a tired old brand cynic, it’s the next cab off the rank for brands to fetishise now that AR, QR codes and social media seem to have normalised.

Brand Insight, Brand Definition

Brand Building Recipe for Success

There’s a formula for brand success and it’s really no different from that tried-and-true recipe you always go back to. When it comes to brand, we know what works – simplicity, quality and consistency – and it’s what’s worked for a very long time.

Brand Architecture & Naming, Brand Definition, Brand Guardianship

The Most Important Aspect of Modern Branding? Discipline

The world of branding is notorious for making changes to brands all the time. It's as if we need to keep changing to attract attention, when in actual fact, it's the opposite that's true. The more brands stay the same, the more recognisable they become.

Brand Insight, Market Research, Trends & Innovation, Marketing Strategy, Brand Analysis, Clarity Reports

Introducing Clarity Reports

We’re delighted to announce the launch of our first product from Good, the Clarity Report. We’ve been working on creating these reports for about eight months now, so it’s a relief to get it out in the world.

Brand Insight, Market Research, Trends & Innovation, Clarity Reports

How We Found Clarity During the Pandemic

From a business perspective, the pandemic’s been shit. It’s forced lots of businesses to close, increased layoffs and generated tons of debt. At Good we were not spared. We stared into the abyss along with everyone else and wondered…will we make it out?

Good to know, Brand Definition, Creative Expression

7 Reasons Why Brand Language Matters

There’s loads written on tone of voice and it’s an important component of a successful brand. I want to go a bit further and say that language is about more than just TOV, it can work harder for brands.

Brand Strategy, Brand Creation & Evolution

Branding By Algorithm

I’ve been thinking a wee bit about what happens to brand in this digital world, and one of my conclusions is that it’s being overpowered, and we’re now “branding by algorithm”.

Brand Insight, Trends & Innovation

Six Ways Recruitment Firm Brands Bleed Value to their Competition

One industry I think is particularly behind the curve in the brand space is recruitment. They misunderstand the value of ‘brand’ and the disproportionately important role it plays in customer interaction which happens primarily in the digital sphere.

Brand Architecture & Naming, Brand Guardianship

How to Tell if Your Brand is Leaking Value

I like the term ‘leaking value’ when it’s attached to brand. For me, it perfectly encapsulates the idea of what happens to organisations when they have a brand problem that’s hidden from view.

Good to know

Do clients choose us or do we choose them?

For us, I suppose the reality is that it’s somewhere in between.

Brand Architecture & Naming

How many products does a brand need?

There’s not necessarily a right or wrong answer here. But in my opinion, the fewer, the better

Good to know, Marketing Strategy, Brand Strategy

Do you need to write a brief?

This is going to sound controversial, but many of the written briefs we receive are crap and aren’t worth it.

Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture & Naming

Time to Review Your Brand Architecture

Brand architecture challenges are the branding equivalent of pulled muscles. They cause pain and frustration, but they don’t create enough of a problem to take you entirely offline to focus on the fix.

Brand Insight, Brand Analysis

Understanding Business Change During Coronavirus

I've got an old school pal who has a cracking family business. It's the oldest craft bakery in Scotland and has been in his family for 190 years. (No pressure there then).

Good to know, Content Delivery

Good is Good Enough

One of our worst habits as a business is trying to make things brilliant, when they only need to be good.

Brand Insight

Brand Paranoia

Let’s talk about paranoia in branding. It’s something I’ve noticed a lot over the years - mostly with clients overestimating how much equity there is in their brand.

Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture & Naming

Brand Architecture - Don’t forget the due diligence

When businesses merge or acquire other businesses, they don’t spend enough time thinking about what to do with the brands, products and portfolios. This is our experience anyway. 

Marketing Strategy

Brand Consultant vs Management Consultant

Is it ridiculous for us to consider ourselves a management consultancy?

Good to know, Brand Insight

The Good MBO - Learnings From The Journey

We recently completed a Management Buyout at Good. Keith, my co-founder and partner of 15 years, left the business and I now have four new partners from the management team.

Good to know, Brand Strategy, Environments

Tips on Working Internationally

When we started, our first ambition was to open an office in London. It’s an inconvenient truth that we needed to have an office there in order to be taken seriously by clients. (Thankfully, I think it’s beginning to change now).

Brand Insight, Brand Strategy

The Importance of Brand Expertise

I’ve been asked to prepare a presentation on how Good has come to appreciate and sell the value of design. When I sat down to think about this journey, it was hard to plot how we got to where we are.

Creative Expression

How to build a brand: Start with words

From time to time we face an interesting moment during that first client presentation when we’re introducing a new brand. We’ll take them through values and positioning matrices. Through the insight we’ve gleaned to give the brand the best possible start.

Marketing Strategy

Creating the right marketing strategy

This might sound overly simplistic, but one of the questions we keep asking ourselves (and our clients) is ‘how does this contribute to the plan?’

Brand Architecture & Naming, Brand Naming

Five Tips for your next Naming Project

TalkTalk have launched FibreNation – a company to help build a new broadband network for Britain. And we worked with them to name and brand the new organisation.

Market Research

Measuring Design Effectiveness

Let's be honest. There’s no straightforward methodology to measuring design effectiveness.

Internal Comms

The Role of Brand in Internal Comms

Our top 5 tips for creating effective internal comms.

Good to know, Brand Strategy

What's the Difference between Branding and Marketing?

We need to share our expertise in order to build a better understanding of difference between the two.

Good to know, Brand Strategy

Positioning Makes Marketing Simple

A strong well positioned brand acts like a marketing rudder. It creates coherence and simplicity, effortlessly sorting tactics from strategic activity.

Good to know, The SimpleTruth

Why brand onions don’t work

I don’t know about you, but I’ve always had a problem with the brand onion, aka brand wheel, brand key, brand house.

Good to know

How to buy design services

Now, before I start, I want to make it clear. This isn’t a rant. I’m not using this piece to have a go at clients, the system, or any third party who has ever sought to influence how and where work is placed.

Good to know, Brand Creation & Evolution

Equity in lieu of fee — what I’ve learnt

Why part owning a brand gives you a unique perspective on your own firm.

Brand Strategy, The SimpleTruth

The ‘Simple Truth’ of Leave

More often than not, politics nets down to branding and communication. It's just that politicians don't always see it that way.

Good to know

Understanding the value of Experience

Today I got one of those strange moments of clarity and understanding. I was chatting with a colleague about how she’s fitting into the company.

Brand Strategy, Brand Architecture & Naming

Defining your Brand Architecture

The new sub brand launch is due next quarter and you’ve run out of names, colours and icons. If only there was a simpler way...

Brand Creation & Evolution

What’s the difference between a Logo and a Brand?

The Tokyo Olympics identity system has re-raised the age old question. What is a logo and what is a brand?

Brand Insight, Trends & Innovation

Why Luxury Branding Should Just Be Branding

It’s funny the way certain themes and strands emerge in the marketing world.

Brand Naming

There’s No ‘i’ In Apple

Since the big reveal of the Apple Watch, there has been some speculation on why the long-anticipated product ditched Apple famous ‘i’ prefix.

Market Research, Trends & Innovation

Consumers Don’t Care

I’m amazed at how we can complicate this industry so much that we actually forget what’s right in front of us.

Brand Strategy, Brand Creation & Evolution

How To Get The Best Out of a Rebranding Job

In our 10 years we’ve done quite a few of these jobs and we’ve learned a fair bit about what happens and what matters when you're doing them.

Good to know, Trends & Innovation

How Effective Are We?

We recently won another couple of Design Effectiveness Awards, which takes our tally of DEAs to ten since 2009. Six golds, three silvers and one bronze.

Good to know

A Good Place To Work

Nord secure the Andrew Doolan Best Building In Scotland prize for South Block - home of Good.