Here’s a free e-book that is buzzing around at the moment.

It’s called Build Brilliant Brands.

It is, apparently, good advice from 22 of the world’s leading marketers.


Just because it’s free doesn’t mean it’s bad.

But it doesn’t mean it’s good either.

However, good people like Mark Ritson have contributed.

So it should be OK.

Here we go:




It is very important to know what you do in business.

What you are.

And what you are for.

And it is very important that it is clearly, precisely and consistently communicated.


It is however just as important to know what you are not.

And Always Wear Red is not a Fashion Brand.


I’ve just brought the Always Wear Red Instagram page back to life.

This week.

With Always Wear Red’s Brand Marketer, Rojin Yarahmadi.

You can follow Always Wear Red on Instagram, here:


Our page won’t be like a fashion brand page in the purest sense.

Because I don’t want to be a fashion brand in the purest sense.

So I am afraid that I will fucking rattle on about sustainability and world kindness, gender neutrality (so you can share everything we ever make), zero waste (we’re made to order only), season-less design (classic lasts – fashion doesn’t) and a unique buy back facility so our zero waste policy extends way beyond the purchase (we’ll buy back, repair, refurbish, relabel, and resell any AWR hand knit – for ever).

There are no fish-gobbed, size 6, 18 year old models looking miserable in carparks either, I’m afraid.

And we’re far too slow and world kind / sustainability obsessed to be a ‘proper’ fashion brand anyway.

We’re definitely not cheap.

We’re bloody expensive, in fact.

But the value stays in because we can’t get anywhere near the 5x to 9x mark-up that big fashion brands work to.

So there we go.

Always Wear Red. World Class Clothing Brand. Shit Fashion Brand.

(Good slogan that… ‘might use it).


It is very important to know what you do in business.

What you are.

And what you are for.

And it is very important that it is clearly, precisely and consistently communicated.


It is however just as important to know what you are not.

And Always Wear Red is not a Fashion Brand.

Always Wear Red on Instagram:

I am one of the 17.

In TEAM 17.


Team 17 is author (and more) Michael Heppell’s concept.

Here are some of the people in TEAM 17.

  • Davina McCall (yes, that one).
  • Sarah Cox (yes, that one).
  • Michael Douglas (no, not that one).
  • Kelly Hoppen (yes, that one).
  • Tanya Byron (yes, that one).
  • Patrick Kielty (yes, that one).
  • Mychael Owen (that’s me).

What is TEAM 17?

TEAM 17 is tools, techniques and ideas.

Assembled by Michael Heppell.

Designed to change your life, I do believe.


There’s a 17 Module University.

17 Minute Sprints.

Massive Action Projects.

Bookable 17 minute 1:1 Turbo Coaching Sessions.

Group get-togethers on the 17th of each month.

And you also get to see a number of exclusive 17 Minute Interviews.

That’s where Davina McCall, Sarah Cox, Michael Douglas, Kelly Hoppen, Tanya Byron, Patrick Kielty and I come in.

And it’s all centred around The Team 17 Community.

Here’s a video about it and more:

Always Wear Red.

My clothing brand.

Is making The Best Hand Knits in the World.

But I want to achieve much more than that.

I want to change your life.

What Always Wear Red is Really About.

Our slogan is, ‘For The Rest of Your Life.’

(Our hand knits last decades).

But I’m also encouraging you to take actual rest.

We’re hand knits that hug you.

Self-care you wear.

For your downtime.

We’re your Permission to Pause.

Because the times you do nothing – mean everything.


We not only know what we do.

(The hand knitting bit).

We know what we are for, too.

We’re for ‘You Time’.

I want people that buy Always Wear Red.

To wear Always Wear Red.

And when they wear Always Wear Red I want them to be reminded to rest.

Phone off.

So they re-energise.

And recharge.

So when they go back to doing.

They do the best work of their lives.

Because ‘You Time’ should not be that thing you try to squash into your life.

‘You Time’ IS your life.

And everything else should fit around that.

You Time.

So stop living life the wrong way round.

Try it.

In this life.

Try making ‘You Time’ the focus.

Put ‘You Time’ – first.

And if you don’t like it.

You can switch back to squashing ‘You Time’ into what you think your actual life is, in your next life OK?


‘Sounds like a plan.

Tim Stiefler interviewed George Tannenbaum and Cindy Gallop. And then asked to interview me.

So I thought he either hasn’t got a fucking clue.

(Mixing the likes of me in with those icons).

Or he’s confusing me with someone else.

Anyhow, it turns out that neither of these things is true.

And I learned these 2 things from podcasting with Tim.


1. 50odd, this blog that is read all over the world now, is helping me to reach and have my thinking explored alongside some of my heroes.

2. Tim is the most interesting and layered communicator I’ve met in ages.

And a contradiction.

Because he genuinely is producing for himself (and for his clients as well I’d imagine) some of the bravest, punch-in-the-face-memorable content I’ve seen.

Yet he is also humble, likeable, clever, calm, interested and interesting.

Here’s what happened.

Look out for the misfits.

The weirdos.

The oddballs.

The ‘why-notters?’

And the left-field thinkers.

They’re the ones that  can change everything.


Business is boring.


Because whilst it is important to learn rules.

It is just as important to know when to break them.

Because when you do.

You stand out.

Which gets you noticed.

And remembered.

And chosen.

And the best people to help you to achieve all of that?

It’s the misfits.


Look out for the misfits.

The weirdos.

The oddballs.

The ‘why-notters?’

And the left-field thinkers.

They’re the ones that  can change everything.

As a general rule.

Tech Startups can’t build brands.

And the reason that Tech Startups can’t build brands.

I think.

Is because they are really good at building software.

Software and Trust.

There is a big difference between:

Building a piece of software that delivers on the promise it is making.


Building a piece of software that audiences trust will deliver on the promise it is making.


Good Tech Startups focus on getting the first bit right.

They make software ‘work’.

But they are generally really crap at the second bit.

The building brand and building trust bit.

So they never, ever maximise.

In terms of value, user take-up and long term growth.

Brand Building. 

My comments are.

Of course.

General comments about brand building in any sector.

But it’s particularly bad in the world of Tech Startups.

Hence the focus of this story.

Tech Startups think that getting the software right is all they have to do.

And they’re completely wrong.

The solution?

The solution?

Get your team mix right – from the start.

Or get someone like me in to sort it out.

The worst kinds of consultants tend to talk almost exclusively about two things.

Dead people.

And tomorrow.

Dead People and Tomorrow.

Dead people can’t answer back when a consultant comments about them.

And tomorrow hasn’t happened yet.

So consultants that only ever chat about dead people.

And consultants that only ever chat about tomorrow.

They don’t get challenged.

And that’s why crappy consultants tend to hide inside talking almost exclusively about these two things.


I get paid by brands to help them to get noticed.


And chosen.

I write for them also.

(If you think I might be able to help you, by the way.


And I’ll call you.

Almost 10,000 people read what I write here each day.

So whatever this thing I do is called.

It works).

But I have never really liked the word ‘consultant’.

‘Still don’t.

And I think that one of the reasons is because of what I say.

So may consultants talk almost exclusively about dead people and tomorrow.

And whilst I most certainly reference both.

I am just as interested in the living.

And yesterday.

The Living. 

Mark Ritson.

A richly experienced, clever and clear-minded man.

A man I agree wholeheartedly with that (for example) Marketing Orientation is one of the most weakly executed areas of marketing.

Mark Ritson is also a man I disagree with wholeheartedly in the way that he very often dismisses the power and relevance of purpose.

Because I believe that a fundamental purpose-driven approach to brand is relevant right now.

And certainly in the coming years.

In very many markets.


And I am just as interested in talking about yesterday as I am exploring what might happen tomorrow.

With Always Wear Red, for example.

My clothing brand.

I’ve fucked up terribly in some areas.

And I do talk about this.

But I still intend to deliver the best hand knits in the world.

Even though it’s taken me years longer.

And tens of thousands of pounds more than it should have.

Dead. Alive. Yesterday. Tomorrow.

I’m learning all the time.

From the dead.

The living.

From yesterday.

And from what might happen tomorrow.

And it is important to explore all.

That’s why I believe that the worst kinds of consultants tend to talk almost exclusively about two things.

Dead people.

And tomorrow.

Always Wear Red is relaunching in September 2020.

Here’s a blog story from the Always Wear Red website.

It’s called ‘Hate’.

And if you want to see the photo I am referring to in the first sentence.

Go here:


‘See this 100% Merino wool.

It’s one of the best 100% Merinos in the world.

And I hate it.

Merino Wool.

I hate this 100% Merino wool even though it took months to find.

I hate it even though it looks amazing.

I hate it even though it feels so good when worn.

I hate it even though it’s the 100% Merino wool that became the foundation of the entire Always Wear Red business.

For 2 years.

And the reason I hate it is not even the wool’s fault.

It’s mine.


In late 2019.

Just as I was preparing to storytell Always Wear Red’s journey creating The Best Hand Knits in the World.

Something really fucking annoying happened.

I found a better wool.

A Better Wool.

And not just a bit better.

This new 100% Merino knitted better.

It held its shape better.

The colour was better.

It knitted heavier and was still wearable.

And it pilled less.

So we switched.

We delayed the relaunch of Always Wear Red for a year.

And we revisited every pattern.

We revisited the tensioning.

And we revisited the gender neutral shape we’d developed.

We had to.

And the best got better.


I don’t really hate 2019’s wool of course.

I don’t hate anything.

This is part of my journey.

But this chapter did teach me two things.

The first thing it taught me is that world class goals are really hard to realise.

And the second?

I learned that.

For me.

World Class goals are the only ones I care about.