Consultants To Management

"Our business is your success."


 Ulli Appelbaum brings 25 years of marketing and brand strategy experience having led the strategy departments of some of the best advertising agencies in the world in Europe and the U.S. including BBDO, Leo Burnett, SapientNitro and Fallon Worldwide. In 2014 he founded the brand research, strategy & innovation boutique First The Trousers Then The Shoes Inc. (FTT), which is dedicated to helping brands compete and grow in today’s always evolving attention economy. He has contributed to 7 Effie awards (awards for marketing effectiveness) and an ARF Ogilvy award for Excellence in. 

Ulli is also the creator of two set of marketing method cards created to help marketers be more effective and efficient:

The best-selling Positioning-Roulette Flashcards, available on Amazon (already in its second edition), a set of 26 exercise cards, validated by over 1200 case studies for effective brand building, created to help you explore your brand positioning options more effectively.

“Aha!, The Ultimate Insight Generation Toolkit”, a deck of 49 exercise cards designed to help you mine for and uncover insights faster (launched in April 2018). 

He is a blogger for the Huffington Post, a contributor to various trade publications in the US and Europe, a regular podcast interviewee and speaker. Last but not least, he is a member of the Practitioner Council of the American Marketing Association.

Core competencies:

  • Market research (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Brand strategy development (positioning, brand architecture, brand portfolio, etc.)
  • Customer journey development & Insight generation
  • Brand innovation
  • Workshop facilitation

Drivers/Core motivators

  • Building strong relationships
  • Always providing a fresh perspective
  • Results-driven


  • Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of First The Trousers Then The Shoes Inc.
  • Director of Brand Strategy & Customer Experience at SapientNitro LA and Minneapolis
  • Head of Account Planning & Brand Strategy at Leo Burnett Chicago
  • Global Planning Director at BBDO Chicago and Fallon Minneapolis
  • Head of Brand Strategy at BBDO Germany

Ulli Appelbaum