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Well… what are you going to do about it?

Wellness is going big. Over the past five years, the global wellness industry has exploded and is now approaching $4 trillion annually —making it one of the world’s fastest-growing, most resilient markets.

Fact is, unwell workers are a massive drain on corporate profits, and U.S. healthcare costs are continuing to rise 5% to 10% a year. Ugh! So what’s a company to do? Well, you can expect more businesses to jump into the arena with both workplace solutions (like our pioneering behavioral health client, AiRCare), and offerings that appeal to the increasing number of Americans who are embracing and prioritizing well-being as an antidote to our increasingly hectic, over-connected lives.

It’s no surprise that the chaos and pace of modern society is directly responsible for some of the biggest wellness trends right now. Here are three worth watching, courtesy of the Global Wellness Institute.

1. Mind over matter. Wellness culture has historically focused more on “body” than “mind.” Now a slew of mental wellness approaches are trending: from sleep health to meditation mainstreaming and apps that use neuroscience to track mental wellness and stress.  Have you gotten into a good HeadSpace lately?

2. You: Unplugged. In a time of 24/7 connectivity and noxious news, more businesses and wellness destinations will take a radical new approach: absolute silence and disconnection. Look for new “silent spas,” “wellness monasteries” and hotels (and workplaces) with “quiet rooms.” Even silent restaurants, gyms, hair salons, stores and airports are appearing. Shhhhhh.

3. Wellness for all. Forget the $300 yoga pants; look for a wave of wellness products and services at lower price-points: new affordable healthy grocery stores, fast food chains and more accessible sliding-scale classes that are priced based on income. In other words, no more excuses!

 

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Tracking and hacking the days of our lives

At a recent event we hosted with a client, the topic of death clocks came up. In case you haven’t heard, these are online calculators that use algorithms and predictive modeling to estimate precisely how many years/days/minutes you can expect to live based on demographic and health data you provide – to the second.

While some may find this gimmicky or morose, the fact of our impending death is frankly the only thing that’s certain in life. Furthermore, many experts believe that living with a sense of mortality can help us bring more mindfulness and meaning to each moment we’re alive, giving us a greater sense of appreciation and purpose. Indeed, some of the death clock apps are designed to do exactly that.

Of course prioritizing wellness and making healthy lifestyle choices can demonstrably prolong one’s life, and improve the quality of the days/minutes/years we have left. Here at Spyglass, we’ve been trying some of these health hacks — like drinking more water, eating more fruit… (oranges, of course) and soaking up more sunshine. Which means we are heading outside for a walking meeting right now … and so should you!

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Does your brand need a cleanse?

Just like people who get in sluggish ruts (yes, Virginia, it was a long winter here in the Northland!), many businesses are on autopilot with their marketing efforts. For humans, scientific evidence suggests that periodic cleanses and intermittent fasting can help. For companies, Spyglass prescribes this painless assessment — followed by a proven protocol of creative interventions.

Could your brand use a healthy reset or a jumpstart?

Take the quiz.

  1. You’re stuck in a routine. You keep doing the same marketing tactics without clear results. Yet you’re hesitant to change.
  2. You’re in denial. Deep down you know things could be better but you mostly ignore that fact.
  3. You’re busy. You know your brand needs a makeover but you’re too overwhelmed to start.
  4. You’re DIY. You had professional help at one point, but now you’re doing your best to handle matters internally — with mixed results.
  5. You’ve lost perspective. You’re honestly not sure if your brand is still relevant or you’re keeping up with the competition.

 

If two or more of these boxes apply to you, let’s talk! Spyglass is here to help you reinvigorate your brand marketing and dial up your image and impact.

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Wonder why your resolutions never stick?

December brings a predictable wave of reflection. We ponder the year that has just passed, and vow to make changes (behavior, lifestyle, business) designed to bring us closer to the level of success and happiness we seek. Problem is, these “sensible” assessments and resolutions rarely lead to sustained change. Why?

One savvy and fascinating gentleman we met in Jackson Hole this summer has built his entire academic career on answering this question. Over decades of research, Dan Ariely has found that human beings simply don’t behave in rational ways. Whether it’s losing weight, buying a house or choosing a romantic partner, we consistently procrastinate, overpay and underestimate. Yet these misguided behaviors are also systematic and predictable—making us “predictably irrational.” His goal is to help us see patterns so that we can His goal is to help us see patterns so that we can make smarter choices.

Dan is the real deal… He’s a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and has given a number of inspiring talks and written bestselling books, including Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions and The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty. Dan’s latest book is Dollars and Sense: How We Mis-think Money and How to Spend Smarter, which explains how our irrational behavior often interferes with our best intentions when it comes to managing our finances.

If one of your resolutions or goals for 2018 is financial, we predict this book will be a brilliant investment (or a practical gift for the spendthrift in your life).

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Alexa, does my brand need a voice?

Here at Spyglass, we talk a lot about brand voice. Usually, we’re referring to the tone of your communication, and your point of view as a brand. But now that we’ve entered the age of “Hey Siri”, “Ok Google,” and “Alexa,” the term “brand voice” just might be literally referring to your brand’s actual voice.

Not that long ago, talking computers only existed in science fiction. Today, effective verbal interfaces and meaningful voice recognition experiences are here… in our phones, our watches, our appliances, our everything. Voice control is weaving its way into the fabric of our lives. And perhaps even onto your holiday gift wish list!

Verbal interfaces have the potential for saving time, enhancing experiences, and enriching lives. Industry leaders such as Apple, Google, and Amazon have embraced voice control. World-class brands like Honeywell, Samsung, and Whirlpool are already shipping products with advanced verbal interfaces.

But before you jump into this new and exciting direction for your business, you should start with the most important question: Is voice control a fit? Should your brand have a verbal interface? Would your customers/users benefit from a voice-controlled app or product?

What questions should you be asking? What challenges will any company encounter when integrating voice recognition into their products, applications, and brands. We recommend this article from Telepathy as a great primer.

For some brands, the answer will be an enthusiastic yes. For others, it might not be the right time. For everyone, it’s something to keep an eye (or ear) on in the coming months and years.

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2018 marketing predictions from the C-suite

Forbes recently interviewed top CEOs, CMOs, authors and other experts from a variety of industries on their marketing predictions for 2018. Here are a few we found interesting:

  1. 2018 will be the year of AI: Actual Intelligence, not Artificial Intelligence (yet)
  2. Traditional marketing campaigns will die as marketers move to modular marketing
  3. Employees will be the new influencers
  4. Move Over, Millennials: 2018 will be the year of Gen Z for marketers
  5. Companies will voice social and environmental issues

 

Read more about the C-Suite’s predictions for 2018 at Forbes.

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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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Gather ’round, it’s story time.

Man looking at his laptop

For ages, stories have brought people together and made us feel connected and part of a tribe.

Stories bring meaning and passion to ordinary life, and the most powerful ones shift thinking and change beliefs. (Exactly what you’re hoping your next marketing and social media campaign will do, right?)

But how do you tell your story in a marketplace filled with clamoring voices and competing claims? How can you be authentic and deliver something that people actually want to hear?

At Spyglass, we’re big believers in story bites: compelling nuggets that give your audience a taste of who you are and why they should care. A good story is told through many touchpoints, using many mediums and a variety of emotional and informational bites. The result? You rely less on paid advertising and generate more memorable, organic mindshare.

To spark your thinking, read this article that shines light on the power of stories and “emotional branding”—both are especially relevant for social media.

And when you want to talk story, we’re ready to listen!

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