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Take off your brand mask

 

As the season of the witch tempts us to put on our Halloween costumes, we tempt you to think about taking off your brand mask.

Authenticity has become a big buzzword in marketing—and rightfully so!  Customers—and all of us, frankly—are tired of the airbrushing, spinning and all around smoke and mirrors that’s being used to sell us an endless bill of goods. We want the real deal. We want substance.

At a recent marketing conference, a large national bank shared how they tested their social media content to see what approaches outperformed. In the case of a recent credit card promotion, the clear winner that converted customers was the version that used a straightforward image of the card itself… not the shiny happy people who were optimizing the benefits of said piece of plastic. Hmmmm.

Using “lifestyle” to sell everything from widgets to warlocks isn’t always the way to go. Yes, people have a place in your brand story (let’s face it, stories are ALWAYS about people), but it is time to think beyond stock images. (Unless it’s one of cute kids in Halloween costumes.)

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Just the treats, no tricks

Trick-or-treating is a tried and true tradition that brings neighbors together and provides us with the perfect reason to welcome sugary snacks into our lives. But what candy will people be handing out in your neighborhood this year? Well, if this map is any indication, it depends exactly where you call home. TIME gave us a recap of the top candy for each state, and we here at Spyglass were surprised by some of the winners – what do you think of the top candy in your state? Never hurts to go raid your kid’s pillowcase stash to do a little “market research” of your own. After all, we are all now well aware of how unhealthy it is to consume too much sugar, so sparing our children from that toxic overload is the least we can do… right?

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Don’t be afraid of the dark (post)

Though the term sounds a bit ominous, “dark social” is a descriptor for social media posts that are highly targeted… and thus seen only by those who truly apply to your brand message. This is the brave, not-so-new world of paid social, where you get microscopic about your customers and leverage the heck out of analytics to reach them. Dark posts may seem to fly in the face of the “keep it real” transparency / authenticity mantra we’ve been chanting, but the fact is, for many businesses they make a ton of sense and give you useful cover for low-risk learning. What does all this darkness mean for you and your social strategy? Let’s get together and shed some light on it!

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