Brand Positioning with Ulli Appelbaum

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Ulli is an experienced award-winning brand strategist and founder of First The Trousers Then The Shoes and the author of the brand positioning workbook.

Show Notes


In this episode, I explore positioning with Ulli Appelbaum. Ulli is an experienced award-winning brand strategist and founder of First The Trousers Then The Shoes and the author of the brand positioning workbook. 

There are different philosophies about positioning and it depends on what category you are working in as to the research that's appropriate to do. 

We might have one central brand position, and separate positions and messaging for  products we supply.  We touched on:

  • Brand purpose
  • Ideas on how you can do positioning
  • Positioning — how to create your positioning
  • How does positioning tie with differentiation
  • Creating a category — should it be part of your positioning?
  • Examples of well-known brands and their positioning

Linkedin: Ulli Appelbaum
Twitter: @FirstTheTrouser
Book: The Brand Positioning Workbook



Ulli Applebaum: But I've always looked at strategy as a creative problem solving exercise. So there is a strong, creative problem solving component to every strategic process.

Shireen Smith: Hello and welcome to the Brand Tuned, a podcast hosted by me Shireen Smith, IP lawyer, marketer, and author.. The podcast focuses on how to design brands, avoiding commoditization, and intersecting them with intellectual property during the creation process. Before the episode begins, I just want to mention the Brand Tuned Accreditation course, which is all about how to create new brands. The brochure outlining the curriculum is downloadable on the website. 

My guest today is Ulli Applebaum, an experienced award winning brand strategist who has held senior roles including an advertising agencies like BBDO and Leo Burnett. He's the founder of First The Trousers Then The Shoes, and the author of brand positioning workbook. Hello, you Ulli welcome to the Brand Tuned podcast.

Ulli Applebaum: Hello Shireen thanks for having me very excited to be here. 

Shireen Smith: Yeah, I'm really keen to discuss positioning. But first, I just wonder what the name means you know I noticed it immediately. 

Ulli Applebaum: First The Trousers Then The Shoes?

Shireen Smith: Yeah. 

Ulli Applebaum: Yeah, of course, the trousers and the shoes. Yeah, it's a when I decided to launch my own company, I was looking for a name. And I'm focused mainly on strategy. So I don't do any form of execution. But I've always looked at strategy as a creative problem solving exercise. So there is a strong, creative, problem solving component to every strategic process. So I didn't want to call it simply call myself you know, Appelbaum, brand consulting, or brand consulting, and partners, whatever. So I decided to express in the name this notion of strategy first, that's a bust. But strategy is also a creative ideation process, that that needs to be taken into account if you want to get to a better outcome. So that's where it came from. And frankly, it was fueled by a little bit of liquor and a brainstorming with a friend. But that's what came out of this brainstorm. The following day, when I woke up with a hangover, I saw the day I said, that's the one. It's it stands out. It's very distinctive. And I love it when my client introduced me, and sometimes they get it wrong. They say, you know first the shorts, that the flip flops, or all these kinds of things, but the idea is always conveyed, whatever words are being used. So I'm good with that.

Shireen Smith:  That's great. So let's start with the basics. What is positioning?

Ulli Applebaum: Well positioning, the interesting thing to him is, there are so many different definitions of positioning, right? Literally, every strategist has its own definition. And most of them are to 80%, good, I define a brand positioning as really the sum of all the associations you want to associate, you want your core consumer segment to associate with your offering. And so it's really simply a bundle of association, that your job as a marketer is to build, maintain, to nurture to evolve, etc, etc. And what I like about that definition is it as you can hear in German, I'm very pragmatic. What I like about that definition is it's actionable, because it tells me as a marketer, my job is to build associations. Everything I do as a marketing professional, whether it's a promotion, a TV campaign, a new product development, packaging, design, all these elements need to support and reinforce an association. If they don't, you're wasting money as a marketer. So, so that's really very simple, very basic, but what I like about it very actionable.

Shireen Smith: And is it just another aspect of differentiation? How does it tie in to differentiation?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, I think differentiation is something is one of the criterias we really need to take account into account when developing a brand positioning. I think what's valuable about this definition is that we as humans are individuals, we create perceptions by creating this association of association networks basically, right we take a piece of information and connect it with something we already known. So looking at breads as by the law of association, also takes into account the way people absorb information, process information. have this information, of course needs to stand out from the context in which you present it, which is often the competitive context. And that's what makes it sort of differentiates and is a criteria you need to respect. If you want your brand to stand out, you know, relevance is another one, obviously. But by looking at it through the lens of association, you can start to say, okay, what are the core Association my brand has, or I want to build with my brand, either irrelevant or distinctive? Do they stand out in the category? So what is that basically go to a doctor, and the doctor tells you, I have no idea how the body works, but listen to nice music, that's going to take care of your problem, you know what I mean? So understanding how consumers process this information and create a judgement based on these networks of association makes it I think, more pragmatic, more efficient. But that's just my humble opinion.

Shireen Smith: So when you first create a brand, and you think through what your vision is, what your mission is, and you know, what change you want to bring about in the world, and, you know, what do you do then? And what your purpose is effectively for setting up that business? How do you then move on to creating your positioning?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, the process is a very, I'm going to call it standard strategic process, right? So first, you need to understand who are your core consumer segments? What does your brand stand for today? So basically, if it's an established brand, so what are the associations, consumers and your desired target consumer have with your brand today? That's your starting point. And then you build into the next phase, and you think about what matters to these consumer segments. What are the associations you want to build and create for the future? So what are the ones you need to dedicate your marketing efforts against? To get there, I use this methodology, I did this analysis of over 1200 case studies of effective marketing, that basically allowed me to identify, I call them like 26 sources of brand association. So once you determine what your brand stands for what consumers associate with your brand, you can use this methodology to generate hypotheses as put it this way of what the brand should stand for in the future. And but the process itself of analysis, strategy, development, validation, and implementation is fairly standardized, standardized, the tools are used within the process is what stands out, and what makes this methodology different, which is also what is explained it in the brand brand positioning workbook.

Shireen Smith: So is positioning something that you set and you never change it like sort of the purpose you're in business, the change you want to make? Or is it something that you might change from time to time?

Ulli Applebaum: I think it's something that you would want to change maybe every three to five years or something like that, because the market conditions change, a new competitor comes into play. And it really depends also on the category you're in. So, you know, worked with a premium liquor brand, that had launched a completely unique crafted, sort of like offering, and three to four, I think it was like four or five years within the launch. A lot of competitors had flooded the market. So what they wanted to do is they wanted to reassess their positioning, understand whether it was still relevant and distinctive in this new market environment. So every three to four or five years, I'd say I would re evaluate this and think whether, you know, has the market changed? Has the consumer change? Has there been new trends that we might be missing? I new competitors in the category that I really need to pay attention to, but positioning is that something that you change every six months or every 12 months? For me that is the role of the product messaging strategy, which translates your positioning into a relevant message to your specific target audience that might evolve that might change. But the positioning itself should be stable at least for three to five years.

Shireen Smith: Okay, so it's not like the brand purpose, you know, why you do what you do that is more permanent, it will never change?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, for me, to be honest, interestingly, the brand purpose is one way to position a brand, right? So it's when I mentioned these 26 sources of brand association. One of them is the brand purpose is basically why did this entrepreneur or this founder start this company? What are his or her values? What good does he or she wants to create in the world? But this is for me, only one of 26 needs to look at a positioning statement. And there are 25 others that if you don't know, there are a lot of companies right now a lot of communication agencies that jump right onto a purpose, right purpose is sort of like this very popular, trendy, sort of like concept lately. But my approach is to say, well, if that's your choice, unless you're really a founder who started a company with a specific objective in mind, to make the world a better place. If that's the case, and you're just, let's say, a CPG, company, or big software company that thinks my solution to all the world's problems is a purpose. My reasoning is that, if that's your approach, you're leaving out 95% of the other potential options to position your brand by focusing on the product, so let's go into the doctor and say, I don't need a diagnosis, what you need is an aspirin, I don't care what your problem is, always take an aspirin, that's going to help you that's the same mentality behind a purpose development,

Shireen Smith: It's sort of ridiculous how everyone has a social purpose. But I mean, more like words that people use, like your essence, or your, you know, your core brand beliefs, I don't know the thing that is going to be true about you forever.

Ulli Applebaum: While reason for being in the company, maybe Maybe that's your vision, or your vision is like why you are in the business? What is it you're trying to achieve? And those are those stay there for much longer. So positioning would evolve to continue to obtain this vision and admission? And yes, there would be more long term. So purpose, as I said, this has been Yeah, I checked its meaning and completely misused, so.

Shireen Smith: So you can have positioning for the brand as a whole and then different positionings for products. How does it work?

Ulli Applebaum: Yeah, so there are different philosophies about that. And it depends a bit on what category you're working in. So if you have a brand, you can have a central positioning, that is true for all the brands or the products within that brand. And what you may have underneath is different messaging strategies. So what you say about the specific offering is unique, but still building into the associations you have defined as your positioning, so to say, the other brands where you have, let's say, a portfolio of brands, where you may have strong sub brands, which each require their own positioning. So it really depends on the brand architecture you have or you decide to have in your organization. And I've learned like in the field of technology, for example, software and stuff like that. These sub positionings are often referred to as messaging strategies, which is basically what is it I need to tell my different audiences to appeal to them as my with my overall offering, basically. So it's not a set rule set in stone, it depends on your portfolio and your intent, so to say,

Shireen Smith: Okay, so the starting point to work out your positioning is to understand who your potential customers are, if you don't have a brand already.

Ulli Applebaum: So that's typically the case and sometimes I have clients of mine who comment and asked me, you know, to be, they want a new positioning, or they want to develop a positioning for their brand. But they're operating in categories that are so convoluted and so complex, that the first task is really to capture and frame the actual category they're operating in, and then quantify this. Let me give you a quick example. I did, I'm working with an online fundraising platform here in the US. And when you look at the US fundraising market, I mean, it is a jungle out there, because you have everything from you know big platforms like GoFundMe, you have everything like you know, the Polar Plunge which is very popular in Minneapolis, which is you jump in a cold lake and collect raise funds in the process. So the variety of fundraising options and tools at your disposal is absolutely mind blowing. 

So they're the first assignment or task was really to define the market understand the key segments, key opportunities for this client of mine. And then based on that analysis, or that research, develop a position based on that. 

Shireen Smith: Okay.

Ulli Applebaum: Other brands, other brands might be much easier if you have a brand of cereals that is losing share where your client wants to be a cereal, so they don't want to look outside the category that you jumped right into, you know, trying to understand okay, what is the boss unique way I can talk about my brand, or the unique, most unique associations I can create for my brands within let's say, heavy cereal users or women, cereal users or children, whatever the segment is you define that from so yes, targeting is step number one, basically.

Shireen Smith: Okay, so when HubSpot went into outbound marketing they created is that a sort of their own category? Is that something you'd do as part of positioning? Or is it just different?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, so that especially in technology, that's interesting, right? Because the competitive space is usually comprised of many frenemies. So which means that companies you cooperate with technology firms, but you compete with them in the same time at the other often sort of like characteristic of technology firms, or the technology environment is the market changes very quickly, right. So let's say with a lot of these technology services, you have all of a sudden, Amazon that decides whether you know, AWS, Amazon Web Services to provide a new feature that creates massive waves in many different segments. So what I've learned is, especially in the field of technology, what you want to do is focus on customers need states, and really understand what are the pain points, the CTO of a large potential customers really faces every day? That's number one. And number two, is how do you speak about that pain point in a way that is relevant to the executive board. Because that's the other thing with these large companies is, you know, they set strategic priorities. And if your offering doesn't tie into these strategic priorities, because you don't understand them, then good luck trying to sell your service. If on the other hand, it's something that the CTO can bring to the board and say, that's a really issue, important service that will help us deliver against our strategic objectives for the next two years, and it really solve some of our pain points, then you have an almost winning formula. So that's where you would look at, at your source of positioning and how and then you would elevate that to refer to a positioning statement, so to say, so it will change a little bit by category, but the principle is to say we focus on your customer, and what is important to them, and their customer, which in that case, would be the executive board.

Shireen Smith: So what's the starting point to discover? You know, the most, the most likely segment?

Ulli Applebaum: You really start with understanding your category at the market. And so this can be anything from in the CPG world do a customer segmentation study or your secure attitude study. In the IT world, it's really trying to identify what are the potential customers that have the pain points that my product could best solve. So how you approach it can be proprietary research, looking at, you know, customer segments out there based on existing data, but you really try to find a sweet spot that would, where your where your service, or your product could satisfy the biggest beat, so to say, and it is a bit different than than the rest of the world, simply because of the nature of it. But they would really look at what are the pain points potential customers are facing? And how do I solve this pain point? And therefore how do I need to speak about this pain point?

Shireen Smith: Okay, if you can't afford to do your own segmentation, is there a way of buying into existing studies that have been done or how to?

Ulli Applebaum: You can buy into existing studies, but the problem is, a lot of them are really expensive, you know, depends on what your audience is. So let's say if you want to reach out to IT executives, they are very expensive to recruit. It's possible but they're very expensive to recruit. If you want to talk to consumers that use mass market brands like big CPG, grocery store brands, etc, etc, then you can really do for very cheap, online surveys for a few $1,000 that gives you the basic information you need to get so there are many different ways to do that. And it's all a question of budget. So I've literally done you know, hired marketing students to do point of sale research for a premium vodka brand like the exit research on, you know, why they bought, what they bought and what drove them and why they came, etc. to literally go OBO tracking studies in the IP segment that that cost a couple of $100,000. So you really can, can play with both? And it really depends on what appetite for information do you have? What's your budget? What's your timeline, so you can be very flexible.

Shireen Smith: Okay, so assuming you know which segment you want to target, how is your process? How would you go about working out, get having ideas about how to position?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, number one would be really understand them understands what drives them, et cetera, et cetera. And then number two is basically start generating hypotheses on what the solution could be. So part of your discovery, obviously, would be also understanding your competitive environment, your competitive frame of reference, so you know, who are the players you are playing against, in a sense. And then what you do is that you use this methodology to really explore potential hypotheses of what the positioning platform could be these hypotheses is at. So every process has what I call a divergent phase, and then a convergent phase. And the diversion phase is where most processes I think, fall short, because what here what you're trying to do is really look at the largest potential number of ideas that are different to solve your problem. Right? Many companies, unfortunately, only then focus on the consumer and say, Okay, what do the consumer want? If it's a food, right? Well, they want you know, healthy food that tastes great. And increasingly, that is sustainable, well, healthy, sustainable and great taste is a very generic platform in the food category. 

So then you look at ways on how to talk about these benefits in a different way and that can be based on the context you place them in, you know, if I take a drink, for example, if I positioned it as a, as an energy drink, consumers will have very different association that if I associate this with as a thirst, quencher, or as a fruit juice, or as a natural drink, so depending on the category, you can start to explore, what does my brand do differently within that segment I've explored basically, so what association do I need to create to stand out as a fruit juice or as an energy drink. So that's number two. 

And what you do in this divergent phase two really come up with as many ideas as you possibly can. And then boil them down by themes, right? So you can see some have always to do with the country of origin, or other territories have to do with what they do to your body, etc, etc. Or third area could be, you know, endorses like third party experts endorsing your specific offering. And then when to boil down this audit, typically, in the process like that, we come up with 60 to 70, potential ideas of what the positioning territory could be. And then we boil it down to 810, maybe even six or less. And then you go into a validation phase right through research, again, either qualitative research, quantitative research, until you narrow down your six or eight themes or territories into one that you think is really going to resonate with your audience. And then once you have validated that, then you can execute against it. So for someone who experienced in marketing strategy development is a very traditional process, the difference is really, the depth of ideas that you are able to come up with is in this divergent phase. Because that gives you the truly innovative idea, so to say, because, you know, if you and I brainstorm, for 10 minutes, we'll come up with maybe 12 ideas. And I would say most of them are going to be, you know, expected and generic. If 10 of us start to ideate for you know, six hours using this methodology, who will come up with 40, 50 ideas that will be way more diverse and different than the 10 ideas the two of us would come up with. So that's really the quality of the input determines the output very simple.

Shireen Smith: And how does your workbook help in this arena?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, what the workbook does, it really maps out very clearly the process on how to come up with idea with this idea so it describes the 26 territories in details. That only tells you what the territory is but gives you like anywhere from four to 10 questions to inspire you to look at your brand aside, but from that perspective, so it gives you like these tools, but it also raises awareness on, you know, all the biases that we naturally have. And, you know, well, we all love the notion of oh, we're hyper creative creativity is a value we all cherish and stuff like that. The truth is, our brain is not wired to be creative, our brain is wired to be to seek the familiar to seek the comfort to seek the, you know, the low risk type of approach. And the truth is an innovative idea is takes you out of your comfort zone. You know, there is a risk element, if you go to your CEO and say, Hey, DSC, oh, I have a really cool idea. We've never done that before. I'm not 100% Sure, it's going to work. But I did $20 billion to execute it, you know, no, person sane person would would do that. And yet, we value this. So it, the book describes some of the biases we have that you can easily overcome once you become aware of them. So it really, it's not a book about sort of like a new philosophy on branding, what is a brand? So it's not like the next bread purpose ideology. It's really a guide on what are the things you can do to come up with as many ideas as possible? And what can you then do to select those ideas to identify the most relevant one for your specific situation? Your specific product in your specific market? So it's a workbook? It's a bedroll? It's a tool. Yes.

Shireen Smith: So you also need to work out what position other competitors in your category already own?

Ulli Applebaum: Absolutely. So you need to clearly understand their competitors. But the trick is what I've noticed. So these territories can be divided into three sections. One is the frame of reference or the context. And all too often, marketers just focus on the immediate competition. So if I sell cereals, I focus on other cereal brands. But there are other ways to look at it, it could be where is your brand being consumed? Are there rituals you can tie your brand to is there a gold standard is the category that you can connect yourself with? You know, there are many different ways to look at your frame of reference outside your immediate competitor. And that's usually where the growth opportunities come from, in my experience, and the really innovative positionings. And then the second bucket has to do with the consumer, how do I connect with my consumer, and typically we talk about, you know, an emotional functional benefit, maybe a psychological benefit. But that's where a purpose can come in, or shared values, you know, if you identify the values that your consumer segment aspires to, and associate yourself with those values, that's a powerful way to connect with your audience. And the third bucket is really the brand or the product, or the company itself, where you really scan everything, look at everything from how it's made, where it comes from, what are the ingredients who endorses them. So that's the third bucket. So as you explore your positioning options, you look at these three buckets frame of reference both immediate competitors and broader one ways to connect with by audience. And then what you typically want to do is you want to find a way to connect with your audience that your competitors don't use. And what you see, typically, you know, if everyone talks about their brand benefit in a highly emotional way, and you stand out and focus on a really rational benefit for why consumers should use your brand, you differentiate yourself immediately from your competitive set. And the third one is simply you know, what is what part of your brand, your product allows you to sustain the benefits proposition you make in the competitive environment. So it's what's often described, and you'll see that in beautiful process, like looks like a linear process, you know, where you're from A plus B equals C and a D. And the reality is, it's an ideation process. So it's an organic, periodic process that is very rigorous, and that at the end comes out with a clear answer, but it's a messy, messy process where you jump from competition analysis to consumer understanding, to frame of reference, etc, etc.

Shireen Smith: Right. So, you do that how do you then control what people actually do perceive your brand? To be if say, you, you decide on a word that you want to be associated with you? What do you need to do to ensure that word is lands if you like that your message lands with people?


Ulli Applebaum: Well, then it's really about taking every single element of your marketing mix and you deploy RSS feeds. And that can be through distribution channel through product through advertising and promotion, etc, etc, through pricing. Everything you do needs to support and reinforce this association, or at the very least, not contradicted. So, to give you a simple example is, I remember a few years ago, I read the case study about Pellegrino is Italian sparkling water. And I think one of their launch strategy here in the US was to be distributed exclusively in Italian restaurants. So, here's a way on how you build an association of Italian minute water. How, by only showing up in Italian eateries, you know, which creates a natural association. But that also, once you have determined what is that core Association you want to focus on, then you can look at is by advertising campaigns supporting that association, you know, if I'm an exclusive brand, is my price point, supporting that association, etc, etc, etc. So what I like about this definition around bundles of association is also it gives you a very clear benchmark on our criteria to judge everything you do that over partner, another company comes to you and wants to cooperate and do a joint promotion, you can use that framework again, just to ask yourself, Is that the right partner? Does the partner help us support this association? or expand it in a meaningful way? Or does this other partner contradict our association we're trying to build or is a dissident separate? So it becomes very simple without being simplistic.

Shireen Smith: Right? And what do you actually share internally and externally in terms of if you're trying to be associated, you know, people's minds in a certain way, presumably, some of that you share internally with your staff in terms of what they do. So what would you actually share externally about your positioning?

Ulli Applebaum: While externally your positioning would translate much simpler form is like, you know, a website that would express your your brand positioning, other associations you're trying to create would be a social media presence, you would, you would build in such a way that it builds your associations. And then you can depending on your budget, you know, new product development products, only that fits. So if you if you're all about safety, you would all products to develop within that concept would have somehow to do with safety in a way or another can be safety for another audience, but it will be around the notion of safety. Internally, what I've learned is, while you develop the positioning, you really need to align, you really need to align the key stakeholders in inside the organization. So I like to involve, you know, sales director, R&D director, marketing director, CIO, CTO, because those are the people who ultimately need to embrace the positioning and implement it and execute against this. And then furthermore, creative point of view, you know, you can socialize a brand positioning through a little video through all these kinds of different things that allow you to, to make sure that everyone clearly understand what is our brand, and clearly understand, what role do I play in my department to support that brand in general? So it can do that, you know, internal communication, videos usually work great, because they have a strong emotional component. And what do they have is, but it's clear what you want to stand for and what the two or three or four associations are you want to associate with your brand. Then there is clarity about that, that finding ideas and how to execute it is very, very straightforward.

Shireen Smith: So have you got examples of well known brands positioning, like Amazon is known for its customer centric sort of approach, but what's its positioning? How would you describe it? position?

Ulli Applebaum: Well, I think Amazon so the interesting thing about Amazon is its sheer scale. And it's here. A customer centricity, right? And I would argue that the competitive advantage of Amazon has to do with its logistics capability, the ability to literally deliver a product to your door between two hours and two days, which is absolutely mind blowing. And the fact that it literally has everything available, I think I saw the stat here the US that 40% off All product searches online start on Amazon. So what I would say is Amazon, what is really distinctive about them is their logistics capabilities, their extreme consumer centricity. And frankly, the third element is the lower price. So they naturally create a push on pricing that I've noticed in most cases, you find cheaper options on Amazon than anywhere else out there. So that is, for me, really the three core associations you want to build with Amazon, you experience that right simply by, by by using their platform, that's how you experience them. Everything you need, you can find, delivered extremely quickly because of their logistics, and at a price that is offered more competitive than anything that is out there. And then, with this consumer centricity, you remove any sort of like fear or barrier with all the consumer reviews, and all these kind of things. So I wouldn't I wouldn't call the positioning of Amazon, you know, like liberates shoppers around the world to express themselves, though it's very driven by the experience Amazon provides.

Shireen Smith: Okay, is there any other brands, you could give us an example of how they manifest their positioning and where they are?

Ulli Applebaum: So one that I absolutely adore is premium watchmaker called Patek Philippe, Swiss brand. And when you think about the luxury watch market, you have the Rolex, Rolex is all about status symbol, I made it I have a lot of money. You have other brands like Breitling, Breitling, that is all about, you know, the adventurer aviator lifestyle. So even if I, if I just have a boring, well paid office job, if I wear a bracelet, I convey the feeling maybe I have a boat somewhere or I have a really cool, adventurous lifestyle. So, but there's a third branch in there. It's called Patek Philippe. And what they noticed is that what really matters to their customers is our core values like family, and tradition. And they realize that that is really what those people cherish and value and are willing to pay a lot of money for. So the positioning they came up with is all around this, these two values. And I said earlier, it's like an aspirational value, right? So I aspire to live up to my family and tradition. And they came up with this beautiful language about a get wrong, obviously. But it's this whole notion of you never own Patek Philippe, you're barely the keeper for the next generation, which I think is an absolutely brilliant way to tap into these two values. And a way to differentiate yourself from the Rolexes. And the bright LEDs that are all about blink, blink. extremely expensive watches. But it says, You know what there is about tradition, that's about my family. It's a watch, I'm going to wear for the next 15 years. But then I want to hand it over to my children, or to the next generation, which is a powerful driver for these people. So that for me would be an example of a really fantastic positioning that we don't maybe hear too often about. But that would be an example for example.

Shireen Smith: Great, that's been really useful. So apart from your own book, and positioning, a battle, the battle for the mind, or which was ages ago, are there any other resources books that you'd recommend?

Ulli Applebaum: So it's gonna sound silly, right? So there are a lot of positioning books out there. I think at Google, when I wrote the book and electronic 68 books hat pop out when you research brand positioning about Amazon, a lot of them absolutely useless, in my opinion. What I am, what I really prefer are books that are not directly marketing books, but that are books that focus on understanding the human behavior. And there is one written by Cialdini to put out it was like the Principles of Persuasion. I'm not sure that's the title, but it's the content of the book is basically how to influence people. You know, even Dale Carnegie book that is like 180 years old on How to Win Friends and Influence People. Those are books that focus on humans, how they take how they behave, which I find way more interesting than book 269 on how to develop a brand positioning except for my book of course, which that out in the category but so those are both the things that I'm very inspired by and you learn from you know, So the that's what I would encourage or one thing I encourage also your best strategies to always do is just talk to people get away from Google search and talk to people in the grocery store in at the gas station. Don't make it creepy, but learn from them, you know, understand you know what, what's important to them why they're here why they, you know, chose the route this brand of car Oh, just talk to people. That's the simple, simplest, most effective way to to become good at what we do.

Shireen Smith: Great. That's been really useful. Thank you so much. 

Ulli Applebaum: No, thank you. 

Shireen Smith: Bye. 

Ulli Applebaum: Bye, have a good day. Thanks for having me.

Shireen Smith: If you're interested in creating better brands, be sure to subscribe to the Brand Tuned newsletter and get weekly updates including notifications when new episodes drop.