Announcing “AURA” Our 2013 Holiday Party Theme

Aura, everyone’s got one. A field of luminous radiation. Life energy. Style. Presence. Grivatas. Swagger. It comes in colors. No matter what color yours is, we’ll be recharging it and getting our spirits all aglow at the 13th annual Spyglass Holiday Party.

Just to get you all goosed up here’s last year’s highlight reel.


View last year’s video

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Global expansion expert selects Spyglass to help move its business to the next level


Spyglass Brand Marketing announced that Global Resource Associates (GRA) has selected the agency to help them prepare for growth in the online marketplace. St. Paul-based GRA provides FasTrack™ Global Expansion Business System technology to its customers, enabling companies around the world to capitalize on global expansion opportunities and accelerate their success in world markets. GRA is extending and converting its FasTrack™ system to a SaaS-based online tool.

“According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, exports to foreign countries account for more than $31 billion in revenue annually and tens of thousands of jobs in Minnesota,” said Molly Rice, president and founding partner of Spyglass. “The extension of the FasTrack™ Global Expansion Business System technology can help both local and international companies continue to expand in the global market. We are thrilled to be taking Global Resource Associates through our Brand FastForward™ process that will help them solidify their leadership position in the export marketplace.”

Through the Brand FastForward™ process, Spyglass will develop GRA’s brand story in anticipation of additional investment, including strategies for eventual growth into new and existing markets.

“We chose Spyglass Brand Marketing because their team has done this before with proven results, and they truly understand our need for goal-driven strategies and fast turnaround,” said Sandra L. Renner, president of GRA. “We’ve created an export process that has a proven, systematic approach to global expansion, and we’re confident that Spyglass will help us achieve our growth and expansion goals with current and future clients.”

Read entire article on MNPR Blog.

Tags: Brand FastForward, Branding, GRA
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Spyglass Hires Laura Krinke as Account Executive

Laura Headshot

Laura Krinke has been named account executive at Minneapolis agency Spyglass Brand Marketing. Krinke will focus on client services and public relations.

Prior to joining Spyglass, Krinke worked as an account executive for a public relations firm in Milwaukee, Wis., serving a variety of industries including agriculture, education, banking/finance and consumer products. During her time in Milwaukee, Krinke received industry awards for her work with a national restaurant chain and a Wisconsin tourist attraction.

“Laura brings a diverse skillset to her new role, and we’re thrilled to welcome her to our company,” said Molly Rice, president of Spyglass. “She will be a great addition to our team and will help further fuel our clients’ success.”

Krinke joins a team led by founding partners Molly Rice and Andy Slothower as well as CEO Jeff Busch. Since its founding in 2001, Spyglass has continued on a rapid growth track and has served more than 150 companies in the retail, commercial, technology, health care, medical and financial services markets.

Krinke, who has a degree in communication studies from the University of Iowa, recently served as a board member for the Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of Public Relations Society of America and an advisor for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America.


Founded in 2001, Minneapolis‐based Spyglass provides brand-consulting and marketing services for companies nationwide that want to redefine, reposition or relaunch themselves in the marketplace. The agency’s acclaimed Brand FastForward ™ method allows it to assess, develop and deliver a brand strategy that includes a full complement of brand-building tools quickly and effectively. For more information, visit

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2012 Spyglass Holiday Party Video

Spyglass Creative Holiday Party 2012 – Enlighten from YATTA! on Vimeo.

Took us a bit, but we finally got around to editing and posting the 2012 Spyglass Holiday Party video. And yes, you look marvelous. And whether you made it this year, or not-thank you. Thanks also to our own Spy crew and the myriad of entertainers who helped us weave a new level of wow into our Holiday Party.

P.S. With Spring edging ever closer to springing, we cordially remind you to stop and smell the roses. Keep the petal to the metal. And when you’re ready to put some style into your brand’s sizzling spring wardrobe, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We have some Enlightenmints with your name on them.

Tags: Enlighten, Holiday Party
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eLumen chooses Spyglass Brand Marketing

eLumen selects Spyglass Brand Marketing

Spyglass Brand Marketing to help higher-education software

Spyglass Brand Marketing announced today that eLumen has selected the agency to help them prepare for significant growth in the marketplace. Minneapolis-based eLumen is a software company that has developed a best-in-class platform that helps colleges and universities track and assess actual student outcomes across courses and programs in real time, as well as helps them meet accreditation requirements.  eLumen is looking to clarify its position in the marketplace, grow exponentially, and have a major impact on the entire higher-education community over the next 2 to 3 years.

“This is an incredible time in higher education. The Student Learning Outcomes conversation is everywhere and eLumen is perfectly poised to lead the revolution in helping colleges and universities track what students actually learn.  We are thrilled to be taking eLumen through our Brand FastForward™ process that will help them solidify their position in higher ed.”

In addition to building the brand story, developing marketing materials and the marketing plan, the Brand FastForward™ process will also include aligning and engaging employees and key stakeholders, designing the user experience, and aligning all client touch points to ensure consistent delivery of the eLumen brand promise.

“We chose Spyglass Brand Marketing because their team has done this before with proven results, and they truly understand our need for goal-driven strategies and fast turnaround,” says David Shupe, CEO, and co-founder of eLumen. “We’ve made great strides over the past several years, and we’re confident that Spyglass will help take us to the next level.”

Read the entire article on MNPR

Tags: Brand FastForward, Branding, marketing
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2013 Fair Vote Minnesota Event

David Gergen and Spyglass Brand Marketing

Spyglass was proud to sponsor the Feb. 7, 2013 Fair Vote Minnesota Event featuring former presidential advisor and current CNN politico David Gergen. Thanks to hosts Fredrikson & Byron and Marilyn Carlson Nelson for an amazing evening dedicated to understanding the big issues confronting our fractured political system and the importance of Ranked Choice Voting.

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Movers & Shakers



Newly named CEO Jeff Busch is aiming to drive growth by putting Minneapolis agency Spyglass Brand Marketing in the spotlight.

With Spyglass poised for greatness, Busch said, his primary role is to spread the word about the cutting-edge work he said the 12-year-old agency long has been producing for its many repeat clients.

“We’re different from most other agencies in town, with deep strategic thinking tied to brilliant creative,” Busch said. “The more I can help increase the visibility to potential clients out there, a broader range of clients, the growth will take care of itself.”

Busch arrived at Spyglass in June as a consultant and was named CEO and managing director in early December. He joins founding partners Molly Rice, president, and Andy Slothower, strategic lead, in leading the agency, which has 12 employees. Spyglass has worked with more than 150 companies in the retail, commercial, technology, health care, medical and financial services markets.

Busch has nearly 30 years of advertising, branding and creative experience. He spent 16 years as president/creative director of his Seattle-based ad agency, Busch & Co. He also has worked as chief marketing officer of a global retail software firm in San Diego and as vice president of marketing for a Minneapolis-based software developer.

The Spyglass approach to tying creative work to strategy aligns with the philosophy by which he ran his agency, Busch said, and with what he learned in his first job, at John Brown & Partners, the Seattle agency that originated the Nike global brand and produced its early award-winning ads.

Read the entire interview on StarTribune.

Tags: Jeff Busch
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People on the Move


Jeff Busch has been named CEO and managing director at Minneapolis agency Spyglass Brand Marketing . Prior to joining Spyglass last June, Mr. Busch led Seattle-based ad agency Busch & Company as president-creative director for 16 years, serving a variety of industries including health care, software and web applications, retail/chain stores, hospitality, packaged foods and manufacturing. Throughout his 30-year career, Mr. Busch has held an equal balance of client-side positions as well, including chief marketing officer for a global retail software firm in San Diego, and VP-marketing for a Minneapolis-based software developer. His first agency job was at Seattle-based John Brown & Partners, originators of the NIKE global brand and early award-winning advertising.

Read the entire article at Advertising Age

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Spyglass Announces “Enlighten” 2012 Holiday Party

Mayan-themed party promises to be a mind-bending spectacle of sights, sounds and tastes — and quite possibly the most interesting corporate holiday party in the world.

Last Year’s Party Video

Tags: Holiday Party
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Spyglass client Cretex Medical discusses their agency selection



Whether launching a new brand, repositioning an existing one or entering a new market, b2b marketers say they want their agency partners to understand their business and help formulate sound marketing strategies.

Marketers say their top criteria in selecting agency partners include solid b2b experience, knowledge of the client’s industry and business, responsiveness to the client’s needs and good chemistry (see box, previous page).

However, the processes marketers use to select agencies, the types of services they’re looking for and the people involved in their reviews vary widely.

“Agency searches tend to get tied to how the client is internally structured to handle agency relationships,” said David Beals, president-CEO of R3:JLB.

“If a client has a fairly robust marketing department with specialized expertise, and has bigger budgets to hire internal people and multiple agencies, those companies are much more likely to be looking at multiple agency relationships and specialized agency services. They may have one roster of agencies doing traditional work and other agencies handling social media and other specialized services.”

Beals added: “On the other side, marketers with smaller staffs and budgets are more likely to look for one agency or a small handful of agencies to provide multiple services and multiple areas of expertise.”

Cretex Cos., a 95-year-old diversified manufacturing company, is in the latter category, with a small marketing staff and limited advertising.

Last year, Cretex started looking for an agency partner to help it reposition its Cretex Medical division, which had recently acquired four companies in the medical device manufacturing space: Juno Inc., Meier Tool & Engineering, Pacific Plastics & Engineering and RMS Machining.

“No one recognized us as a big player because the individual companies went to market independently. There was no visual consistency and nothing connected the subbrands. We needed to have a brand story we could go to market with,” said Steve Ragaller, VP-CFO at Cretex, which does not have a corporate marketing executive.

“I’m a finance guy. We have a COO-operations guy, and our CEO is not a marketing guy either. We are not marketing experts. We were looking for someone to help us think through our brand strategy.”

Cretex, based near Minneapolis in Elk River, Minn., did not have a previous agency of record at the corporate level. Its individual business units hired agencies for specific assignments, primarily for marketing collateral, Ragaller said. The company historically has not done much advertising.

Ragaller, who headed up the review process, did some research on local branding and marketing agencies to come up with a short list of potential candidates. “Having someone local was important,” Ragaller said.

But the most important factor in the review process was finding an agency that understood Cretex’s business and its target market of OEMs in the medical industry.

“We are manufacturers. We are not flashy. Sexy is not in our vocabulary,” Ragaller said. “We were looking for people who understand what we do.”

Cretex selected Minneapolis-based Spyglass Creative to handle brand strategy for the Cretex Medical brand, as well as some other brands in the Cretex portfolio.

“What ended up winning the day was that they spent a lot of time asking questions, and listening and trying to figure out what we were trying to accomplish,” Ragaller said. “Other firms tried to sell to us, and that approach did not seem appropriate for the unique requirements of our business.”

Read entire article on BtoB

Tags: Agency, Brand FastForward, Branding
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