Positioning Training

1-Day Brand Positioning Training Course

Since I launched the now award-winning Brand Positioning Workbook, I’ve had several requests for corporate training from both agencies and brands, prompting me to formalize this offering in a 1-day positioning training course.

The purpose of the course is to teach participants how to develop truly innovative and relevant brand positioning platforms that strike a chord with consumers, differentiate the brand from competitors and leverage the brand’s core assets and points of differentiation. Unlike other courses that focus on the “theory” of positioning and explaining frameworks and how to fill them out (focus on learning by listening), this course teaches participants hands-on how to create compelling brand positioning platforms on their own (focus on learning by doing).

The course is based on our methodology described in the best-selling “Brand Positioning Workbook: A Simple How-To Guide To More Compelling Brand Positionings, Faster” and the best-selling Brand Positioning Method Cards. The methodology is extensively covered in the press and on various marketing podcasts around the world and is already used by thousands of marketing practitioners worldwide.

What makes this approach unique and better?

  • It takes into account the natural biases that influence our thought processes and limit our ability to develop truly innovative positioning solutions, typically leading to generic and expected solutions, and incorporates techniques to overcome those biases.
  • It doesn’t focus primarily on templates and frameworks. Instead, it considers and focuses on how brands are formed in the minds and hearts of consumers (association networks) to create relevant positioning platforms. The templates are then used to formalize the thought process, not guide it.
  • The insights and learnings are inspired by the analysis of over 1200 case studies of effective brand positioning and building and 25 years of experience building successful brand positioning platforms across categories around the world.

The course is intense, fun, and interactive, emphasizing learning by doing and constructive feedback sessions over theoretical and passive learning.


The course will benefit brand marketing managers as well as communication strategists and experts (including creatives) of all seniority levels who’d rather build a juice cleanse stand than a lemonade stand.  

Course content

During the course, participants will: 

  • How brands are formed in the mind of the consumers and why this matters
  • Understand the basics of a great brand positioning platform
  • Become familiar with the 26 sources of brand associations and how to use them
    • Understand how to frame and contextualize a brand to the brand’s advantage    
    • Learn the seven ways to create a meaningful connection between the brand and its consumers
    • Learn how to uncover the brand’s most differentiating assets
  • Learn tricks and techniques to overcome their normal mental blocks and biases
  • Learn techniques to stimulate their own creativity and original thinking
  • Understand the essential steps of a creative problem-solving process and how to apply them to their brand
  • Understand & recognize the most common mistakes when creating a positioning
  • Recognize and determine the difference between an average and a great positioning

Ultimately, the course will give participants the tools to outsmart competition and create truly differentiating and compelling brand positioning platforms.

Location & length

We typically run the course in your offices over the course of a day. Upon request, we can also book external venues. The training is available in the US, Canada, and Europe.

Some clients have asked us to extend the training by a few days to work on specific brand assignments with the respective brand teams.  


  • Brand positioning & re-positioning
  • Communication strategies
  • Product concepts
  • Creative ideas


Please reach out to find out which organizations have already booked the course.

Course facilitator

The course is facilitated by Ulli Appelbaum, an award-winning brand strategist with over 20 years of brand-building experience around the world. Ulli has held lead strategy roles at some of the leading advertising agencies in Europe and the US (including BBDO, Leo Burnett, Fallon Worldwide), and has contributed to 7 Effies and an Ogilvy award for research excellence.

In 2014, he launched brand research, strategy, and now training firm First The Trousers Then The Shoes Inc. (www.First-The-Trousers.com) in Minneapolis, MN. 

He is the author of the award-winning “Brand Positioning Workbook: A simple how-to guide to more compelling brand positionings, faster”, the best-selling Brand Positioning Development Method Cards, and the best-selling Insight Generation Method cards.

He is a member of the Forbes Business Council, a regular guest on podcasts, and a regular contributor to various international trade publications.   


For more information, please contact me at Ulli@first-the-trousers.com