Advanced Branding and Positioning

Chicago, IL

Thursday, November 7

8:00 am - 8:30 am

Registration and Hot Breakfast

We’ll kick off the day with a nice breakfast. You’ll also be provided with lunch and breaks throughout the day.

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Part 1: Context

  • What’s happening in the organization right now?
  • What’s happening in the industry right now?
  • What are the key issues, challenges and opportunities you need to consider?
  • What’s on the horizon? What does the future hold?

Part 2: Competitors/Challenges/Barriers

  • What are your key internal challenges and threats?
  • What are your key external challenges and threats?
  • What are your key competitive challenges and threats?
  • Who are your direct and indirect competitors?
  • How are they positioning themselves in the marketplace? What barriers will you have to overcome?
  • Looking to the future, how will your internal and external landscape change?
  • What barriers will you have to overcome in terms of perception, competition, awareness, education, etc.?
  • What makes you different? What sets you apart?

Part 3: Audience

  • Define your market (size, type, discipline, etc.). Who are your constituents?
  • Where are you most successful right now? Where are your biggest gaps? Where are your biggest opportunities?
  • Who are your audiences? Who’s the internal champion? Who are the influencers?
  • Prioritize audiences. What motivates your priority audiences? What barriers do you have to overcome?

Part 4: Positioning

  • For your priority audience (e.g., the champion), what is your specific value?  What problem are you solving?
  • Put this value proposition through a competitive filter. What makes you different? What sets you apart?
  • Map out the functional and emotional benefits of your offering. Prioritize.
  • What do you want to be known for? What do you not want to be known for?

Part 5: Focus

  • Based on the priorities you’ve discussed today, where are your most significant communications gaps or opportunities?
  • What do you need to stop saying? Start saying?
  • What are you doing that you should no longer do? What should you continue doing? Where do you need to dial up efforts?


Getting to the insight, creating the positioning brief and developing the messaging matrix

Friday, November 8

8:00 am - 8:30 am

Hot Breakfast

Breakfast will be waiting for you when you arrive for day two. Lunch and breaks will be provided throughout the day.

8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Part 6: Brand Expression

  • What brand elements accurately express your position?
  • What roles do your brand elements play?
  • What does your logo and tagline say about you?
  • The psychology of color?
  • Why is design and copy important?
  • Why is “ownable” so important?
  • What imagery can you use? How can you make your imagery ownable?
  • Who do you believe does this well? Why?
  • What are the attributes of photos vs. graphics?
  • How do you determine “what” to show and “how” to show it?
  • Let’s get nerdy. What does typography say about your brand?
  • How about a mnemonic?

Part 7: Brand Guidelines

  • What are brand guidelines? What are they for? What are they not for? Who are they for?
  • How are brand guidelines developed? What are the essential elements?
  • How do you design for accurate branding in an omni-channel world?
  • How often do you update your brand’s expression?
  • What can you update often? What should not be updated as often?

Part 8: Communication Plan

  • What are the appropriate channels for announcing a new brand/position?
  • How do you engage internal audiences and make brand ambassadors?
  • Speaking of internal, what is your brand’s higher purpose? What is your why?
  • How can you use that for brand building?
  • What is your timing strategy for external and internal announcement?
  • Where are your audiences and when should you communicate?
  • Examples of brand launches – the good, the bad and the ugly.

Part 9: Measurement

  • Define your metrics.
  • How do you measure success?
  • What do your leaders care about?
  • Examples for measuring brand effectiveness.


Developing brand guidelines, communication plan and measurement framework.

Next Steps

  • Discuss next steps back at the office.
  • Discuss deliverables.
  • Final questions/comments.​