White space: The final (uncluttered) frontier for websites

Speaking of space… Everyone has heard it before. “More White Space!” is the “More Cowbell!” of web design. Everybody wants it, aspires to it and knows deep down that the old “less is more” is the new Zen of design. If you’ve been down this path already, you know it’s easier said than done. The urge to stuff 10-lbs of content into a 5-lb web page is hard to resist. But what exactly does “White Space” mean and why is it so powerful? And how do you make sure you have some? Here’s a quick overview.

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Apocalypse now: A video treat for your day

If you put a new hire in an odd office space, what could possibly go wrong? Apple delivers the answer in this cinematic-quality salute to the little things we rely on in today’s super digital world, and reveals the importance of the juice that keeps them jumping. Also, this website is a great resource for creative inspiration. It’s one that we’ve mentioned before, but they’ve recently revamped the site in a thoroughly modern way. Poke around after you watch the video. It’s also a nice example of a good use of white space, if we do say so ourselves. Enjoy!

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The Spyglass Experience: Intern McKenna Knapp offers a personal perspective

For the past two weeks, I have had the opportunity to intern at Spyglass for my Senior May Term project. A May Term is where graduating high school seniors have the ability to take control of their learning by doing community service or exploring a possible career path. Being at Spyglass has been a dream come true as I learned a lot – from sitting in on meetings for big projects, and using my very own Spyglass email!

Having never been to the office before, I was taken aback on my first day as I was greeted with a sea of orange (which I soon learned was the color of creativity). I walked around in awe the whole first week, as I continually discovered little surprises such as the disco ball, super hero posters, and creative surprises almost everywhere I looked. I was impressed at how the office seamlessly balanced a fun and professional work atmosphere. This was evident in not only the decor but within the interactions I had with the Spyglass team. They managed to get their work done and be absolutely hilarious at the exact same time. I’m still not exactly sure how some of them do it.

I had the chance to interview many of them about their careers, their time at Spyglass and their path to get here. The way they think about the world and the experiences they have had, have inspired me. They taught me to not be afraid of being an individual or starting something new. They taught me that I want to create, I don’t know how or what that means yet, but I know I’ll figure it out. As I start college this fall, I will look to them as my role models in this process.

Throughout my time at Spyglass, I realized that they have created their own Spyglass family. A family in which they make nachos to share at lunchtime, share inside jokes I can’t even begin to understand (although I did make some of my own during my time here), and in which they always have each other’s backs. This family even extends outside of the office to all of their clients, creating a dynamic that I was very proud to be a part of. Although my Spyglass internship has sadly come to an end, I will carry the lessons I have learned with me to my next adventure and hopefully I’ll even be back for more.

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What is a “lifestyle brand” anyway? What it means, and a few who do it well

It’s not a new idea, but lifestyle branding is currently the cat’s meow. Meaning, it’s time to forget the business jargon and corporate lingo and start living alongside your customers—instead of in front of them. And it’s not just for B2C brands anymore. B2B brands are evolving from pragmatic to personable, and expressing something a little less tangible—a feeling that matches how people think and who they aspire to be.

Here’s a quick primer and a few short, sweet examples of brands that have connected with our collective consciousness by using lifestyle marketing principles.

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Higher sales per pixel: 8 ROI-y reasons to use video in your marketing

If you happen to be the one at the meeting who suggests a video to support your next marketing or branding effort, there is now a way to prove you are the brightest person in the room. Videos are increasingly becoming the preferred consumer interaction on mobile and desktop at a record setting pace. There’s no question that the moving images and the sights and sounds that take you along for a ride pack more bang for the buck than most other mediums. Hands down, videos convert more prospects and capture more attention. Even the most complex offering can be made simple and engaging through the magic of motion and sound. Whether fast-paced infographic-inspired explanations, or animation and live action, there are plenty of approaches that work. And the results are impressive.

Here are a few smart ways to justify the funds you’ll need to succeed

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Breakthrough brands! See who’s winning the battle of 2017 (and how)

A bright bunch of people with deep pockets, good reasons and a sound methodology took a close look at the breakthrough brands of 2017 and why they are capturing customers at an unprecedented rate. This group interviewed thousands of people, went through a massive list by industry, category, and age to come up with their 10 best based on how they resonate with consumers – and how they sit side-by-side with Apple, Coca-Cola, Disney, and other mature brands, despite being mere babes in the woods.

Check out this short video and a few snappy synopses that explain how these brands are hitting a proverbial home run.

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Spyglass takeaways from the AMA’s recent “Finding Your Brand’s Purpose” event

The AMA’s (American Marketing Association) most recent event was a winner, thanks to Spyglass’ own Paige DeRoma, an AMA board member, and the rest of the event team. The focus was on Brand Purpose, an important marketing mantra for today’s B2C and B2B companies in search of a more authentic story to tell. Consumers and businesses are increasingly interested in knowing if the brands they choose to support have a larger mission that aligns with their own values, or if these companies are just trying to boost their own bottom line. Not only that, defining brand purpose has become one of most important ways to rally your internal team. The secret, of course, is discovering what is authentic about your brand. It’s something that has to be real and able to be supported and sustained, not contrived. The event featured three speakers of brands that did an excellent job of showcasing how it’s done.

The event was hosted by Nicole Nye, SVP Marketing, ICF Olson and panelists included Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand & Communications Officer at Deluxe; Kristin Prestegaard, Chief Engagement Officer at the Minneapolis Institute of Art; and Remi Kent, Global Brand and Strategy Leader at 3M.

What we learned and what we liked:

  • Deluxe used a contest and reality TV series to build awareness
    Only 1% of people knew that Deluxe did more than just make checks. They have an entire suite of small business services—but virtually no one had a clue. To change that misperception, they created their own reality show to increase awareness. They had viewers vote on their favorite small town—the winner received $500,000 to help market their small town and to aid their niche local businesses. Deluxe wanted a non-overt strategy that was authentic and organic and “Didn’t smell like traditional advertising,” and they found it. Their show, “Small Business Revolution” is now the #1 rated lifestyle program on Hulu.

Deluxe: The Show

  • The Minneapolis Institute of Art didn’t want to be an “Institute”
    The Minneapolis Institute of Art has been around for well over one hundred years and is ranked among the most notable and appreciated art galleries in the world. But, as MIA their brand was hesitant, muted and disjointed. After doing their homework and identifying their strengths, they landed on their brand purpose: To be the peoples’ museum. In short, they saw virtue in branding themselves as friendly, inviting and inclusive to all. They evolved to become Mia. Rather than an acronym, they became something infinitely friendlier and even went the distance to show this by making improvements to everything from the museum entrance, to guard uniforms, museum swag, signage and advertising in an effort to appear welcoming. Like their art, they wanted to reflect a culture of diversity and inclusiveness and their new brand does exactly that.

Mia: The New Brand

  • 3M Post-It Notes are a cultural phenomenon with a very personal story underneath
    3M Post-It Notes have become part of our cultural zeitgeist. People use them to do everything from play games to solve business problems to record their hopes and dreams. One study says that people are 42% more likely to complete a task they’ve handwritten down. Knowing this, Post-It launched a very personal campaign based on their brand purpose: To help people put ideas on paper that will change the world. Among their brand purpose-fueled strategy tactics were a SXSW “Idea Station”, a video showing one young women’s journey to success using Post-It Notes, and a complete revamping of their social strategy by sharing user-generated content around the world. They wanted to develop a strategy that harnessed the innate power and ubiquitous nature of their product and they were able to identify several hip, modern ways to do it.

Post-Its: The Phenomenon

Thanks to all three companies for sharing their authentic brand purpose.

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New school rules: Key considerations when designing a modern logo

We’ve done more than our fair share of logos over time. The challenge to create something original and eye-catching has only increased with the virtually unlimited number of brands and the constant influx of newcomers. Now there are a whole host of new considerations. It used to be that if you wanted to “look” like a modern, digital company there was a certain feel that you went after (orbits, swirls, digitized type, etc.). But today, every company is a “digital” company. So trying to “look” digital and modern is actually a bit of an old-fashioned notion.

However, most logos are still designed to be static, highly regulated symbols of a company that come with a book of rules and strict dos and don’ts. An approach that came from the days when the use of a logo was mostly print. But the simple truth is, how customers and prospects interact with any given logo is probably 90% electronic i.e. via email, websites, TV and social media. Which begs the question: How can a logo move from “looking” digital to actually “being” digital?

The bottom line is, we are in a design era for logos where anything is possible, and it’s time to rethink the traditional static logo. Logos need to be “living things” that evolve to meet changing brand needs and match the challenges of our digital world.

With that said, here is smart post to give you a quick overview of what to consider in today’s logo landscape. Number 9 may provide a glimpse into the future of branding.

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Why success is habit forming: 9 tips for outperforming the also-rans

In today’s business world, everyone needs to be a leader in one way or another. Some people call it thinking like an intrepeneur (yes, it’s a term). It roughly equates to making sure you always look at the world like a business owner—no matter where you happen to be in the employee food chain. That means bucking the workday malaise, taking risks, having an opinion, and not being afraid to go out of your way to get things done that benefit your company and its customers. To help you get there, allow us to present a quick primer on the simple habits that effective leaders rely on to stay two steps ahead of the competition.

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You need a super cute pet video, am I right?

Enough business stuff for today, eh? It’s viral video time! It’s the one medium that seems to depend more on serendipity, slip-ups and injury than any hard and fast rules. Well, other than the fact that having a cute animal exponentially increases your odds of racking up more views. Take these gems for example. Dog lover? Cat lover? We’ve got you covered. Now finish up, get out there and enjoy the spring weather.

For Cat Lovers

For Dog Lovers (Spyglass’ own power pooch, Paisley Mae)

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