Simple Brand Positioning with Ulli Appelbaum

ulli appelbaum on brand

Ulli Appelbaum has held senior strategy and account planning roles at some of the largest advertising agencies in the world, working with brands like Wrigley, Hallmark, Nestle, and Chrysler along the way. His latest book is The Brand Positioning Workbook, which we discussed this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Ulli Appelbaum

Born in Germany, raised in Africa and Belgium, and now living in the US, Ulli Appelbaum has held senior strategy and account planning roles at some of the largest advertising agencies in the world including BBDO Germany and Chicago, Leo Burnett Budapest, Frankfurt & Chicago, Fallon Worldwide in Minneapolis, and SapientNitro in Chicago, L.A., and Minneapolis. His insights and strategies have helped brands such as Wrigley, Nestle Purina, Harley Davidson, Hallmark, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Chrysler, and many more.

In 2014, he launched First The Trousers Then The Shoes Inc. a brand research and strategy consultancy based here in Minneapolis working for clients including Siemens, Outlaw Energy Drinks, Post Consumer Brands, Angel’s Envy/Bacardi, Flexera, Anchore, Double Good, Verve Credit Union and a few more.

Ulli is the author of The Brand Positioning Workbook: A Simple How-To Guide To More Compelling Brand Positionings, Faster, the best-selling Positioning Development Method Cards, Aha!, The Ultimate Insight Generation Toolkit, and 26 Popular Children Games from Around The World, a set of game cards created to help promote cultural understanding and tolerance among children through play.

Episode Highlights

The strategy on the shelf. After a quick laugh up front, Ulli and I opened the show with a conversation about strategy. Often, when digging deeper with clients, Ulli found an old strategy “on the shelf” that no one was really using.

How can you make strategy more actionable? This, like many things, comes to better understanding your customer. Ulli shared a recent client experience that reinforced the need for better insights and research.

A workbook for the work of brand positioning. When Ulli embarked on his latest book, he found no shortage of existing books on positioning. However, as a seasoned brand builder, Ulli knows that positioning is a lot of work. That’s why he set out to create not an encyclopedia of brand positioning but rather a simple workbook for setting this critical process in motion—The Brand Positioning Workbook.

What brand has made Ulli smile recently? Ulli shared the latest work from McDonald’s UK, where the brand has made the bold move of not showing the restaurants or food but rather their iconic (golden) arches as eyebrows.

To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or check out his website for First The Trousers Then The Shoes

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!