The Craft of Outstanding Brand Positioning Platforms (Training)

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Downtown Chicago, exact venue TBD

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Our ability as marketers to take a fresh look at the abundance of available data out there and turn this information into insightful and compelling brand positioning platforms, value propositions, messaging strategies or product concepts is one of the last sources of unfair competitive advantage we can give our brands. Sure you can always out-execute or outspend a competitor but without a strong and arresting strategic idea, most media spent will be ineffective.

Unfortunately, this type of skills and know-how can only be acquired through decades of actual experience. And most available “brand positioning” training courses out there only focus on the basics, the key frameworks and the 101s of brand positioning. They don’t help participants develop the advanced skills required to actually create outstanding and original strategic ideas. Until now.

First-The-Trousers is introducing the “The Craft of Outstanding Brand Positioning Platforms” masterclass, a one-day training session that will teach participants how to develop, craft and recognize truly original, distinctive and yet always relevant positioning platforms, messaging strategies and product concepts.

What participants can expect?

1. Participants will become familiar with the 26 universal positioning triggers identified through the analysis of over 1200 case studies of effective marketing. These triggers are so effective and powerful because they are rooted in the way people think, feel, learn, do, choose, and behave. They include:

  • The 10 ways to “frame” a brand for more appeal
  • The 9 sources of compelling product and service truth
  • The 7 Ways to create a connection with consumers

2. Participants will also learn how to use and combine those “triggers” to inspire and create truly unique and distinctive, yet always relevant strategic ideas and positioning platforms. This type of knowledge usually only comes with decades of successful marketing experience and working on dozens if not hundreds of brands.

3. Participants will learn how to uncover and identify fresh insights and perspectives on how to position a brand by looking at the assignment from every possible angle and by identifying every single positioning option available to their brand. No other methodology provides this type of rigor.

4. In the process, Participants will learn how to overcome the natural mental biases we all have and that prevent us from generating truly innovative and distinctive strategic ideas.

5. Ultimately, participants will become more mentally agile, more rigorous, more efficient and more creative -basically, better strategic problem-solvers- in developing innovative strategic ideas that can be applied to brand positioning platforms, new product concepts, value propositions, and communication/messaging platforms.

6. Last but not least, the workshop focuses on interaction, group exercises and fun rather than passive listening and "lecturing".

A unique, yet proven approach

The foundation of the course is the “Positioning-Roulette” methodology. Behind this playful name is a very rigorous analysis of over 1200 case studies of effective brand building which identified the 26 universal triggers to successful brand positioning platforms. This methodology is already being used through workshops and consulting engagements by companies such as Siemens, Land O Lakes, Post Consumer Brands, Outlaw Energy Drink, Angel’s Envy, etc. and by thousands of marketing professionals around the world. The Positioning-Roulette method cards have been a best-seller on Amazon for the last 4 years and are an "Amazon Choice" product.

Who is the class for?

The masterclass is ideal for everyone involved in the management of brands including brand managers, strategists, consultants, market researchers, data analysts, account people and communication experts (PR, design, etc.). It doesn’t require any prior knowledge.

The one day workshop will be held in downtown Chicago either on Wednesday 9/18 or Thursday 9/19 (exact dates and location to be confirmed).

The workshop will start at 8:30 am and end at 5-ish pm.

Lunch will be provided.

We reserve the right to cancel the workshop. In that case, the fee will be fully refunded.

What participants have said:

Amongst participants of previous training sessions by Ulli Appelbaum, 76.47% were "very likely" to recommend the training while 23.53% very "likely" to recommend it.

Furthermore, 75% of previous participants rated the quality of the information shared during the workshop as "excellent" while 25% rated it as "good".

Workshop organizer and facilitator

The course will be taught by Ulli Appelbaum, an award-winning marketing and brand strategy consultant with more than 20 years of experience. He has held senior strategy roles at some of the largest advertising agencies in the world including BBDO, Leo Burnett, Fallon Worldwide, and SapientNitro, working on such brands as Wrigley, Harley Davidson, Hallmark, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, and Chrysler.

In 2014, he launched First-The-Trousers-Then-The-Shoes Inc. (FTT), a brand research, strategy, and innovation boutique with such clients as Siemens, Land O Lakes, Post Consumer brands, Flexera Software and Outlaw Energy Drinks, Angel's Envy, various state lotteries, etc. FTT is based in Minneapolis but operates globally.

He’s contributed to 7 Effies and an ARF (Advertising Research Federation) Ogilvy award for Excellence in Research and his insights and strategies for Wrigley, Harley Davidson, Hallmark, Nestle, Procter & Gamble, Chrysler, and others have helped build these brands in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and the US.

He is a member of the AMA practitioner council and a regular contributor to the trade press in the US and abroad.


What's the cancelation policy?

If a ticket is canceled one month prior to the workshop date, the fee will be fully refunded. Between 4 and 2 weeks prior to the workshop, we'll refund 50% or provide the option to attend a future training session. No refund will be provided for cancellations within 2 weeks of the workshop. However, the ticket is always transferable or can be used for a future training session.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes, the ticket is transferable. Just let us know before the workshop.

Where will the workshop take place?

The exact location in downtown Chicago is still TBD and will depend on the final number of participants.

At what exact date will the workshop take place?

The exact date is still TBD and will depend on the number of participants. We may also offer two days to choose from as we want to keep the number of attendees per session small enough to allow for a more fun and efficient learning experience.

Can I just show up the day of?

Sorry, tickets must be purchased online and ahead of time.

How much does it cost?

The regular price for a ticket will be $750 but we offer an early bird price of $550, so don't wait too long and book your participation today.

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