Trend Forecast 2020:
The Pattern is People

The Patter Is People

Adios 2019! You were wonderful, but we are now focused on helping our clients of all stripes put the finishing touches on their 2020 plans — and there are three human-centric trends we’ve factored into their strategies. See if you’re positioned to take advantage of these themes … If not, stop by for an effervescent Spy19 and some bubbly brainstorming!

1. Spotted: The rise of the empowered employee
As certain sectors heat up, and the competition for talent gets increasingly stiff, companies are needing to get WAY more creative and proactive about wooing top performers — and keeping them happy.  This requires more than increasing benefits… which often creates more chaos and complexity.  Are you doing all you can to recruit and retain the best people?  Or just coasting and hoping?

2. Spotted: Continued interest—and investment—in wellness
With healthcare costs skyrocketing, it makes sense…. Companies are making a more explicit commitment to health and wellbeing — both internally AND as a business opportunity and differentiation strategy. Fact is, wellness is now a $4.2 TRILLION market worldwide — growing at twice the pace of the global economy. Is your business tapping into the flow?

3. Spotted: Engaged and aligned leadership teams
Since forever, many C-suite execs have been running their own shows. We’re now seeing a shift to more collaborative leadership teams who are strategically aligned and optimized as a group. Companies that take the time to clarify business and brand imperatives, crystallize shared priorities and processes and truly deepen trust are creating exponential business value.

If you’d like to talk human-centric engagement and positioning strategies, we’re here!!

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Your support: We’ll drink to that!

The Spy 19 Cocktail

If you’re reading this we consider you among the reasons we get up in the morning to do what we do. We’re grateful for your friendship and your partnership, whatever it may be. This year we’re toasting to you with our proprietary take on the classic and uber trending French 75. This delicious sipper is perfect for the celebrations that are surely crowding your December calendar — or your own private revelry.

The Spy 19
2 parts gin (we chose Duluth-made Vikre Cedar to make it local & seasonal)
1 part fresh lemon juice (we added a few squeezes of orange, because: orange!)
1 part simple syrup
3 parts prosecco
Orange peel, cranberry & conifer sprig for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, lemon juice and simple syrup. Shake about 30 seconds. Strain the precious elixir into either flutes or coupes, top with prosecco, garnish and Happy Holiday sipping!

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Hold your horses, summer cocktail time’s a coming!

Spyglass Team enjoying a cocktail

Emily and Molly enjoy a Spyglass Smash with new friends and clients Dr. Dave McLean and Ashley Hume from Emerging Therapy Solutions.

The Spyglass Minntucky Smash

It’s Triple Crown season, and while some are still celebrating the controversial Derby at their Country House, disgruntled others remain in Maximum Security, licking their wounds. Or perhaps you identified with the rambunctious Bodexpress, who ejected his jockey at the starting gate and ran barebacked around the Preakness track twice!  Whether you play the ponies or simply fancy long shots or juleps, we invite you to sample this delicious May libation—perfect for sipping on the patio or swilling by the grill!

This creative take on the classic whiskey smash pairs Kentucky bourbon with Minnesota maple syrup to sweeten the pot.

The Spyglass Minntucky Smash
3 parts Kentucky bourbon
1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 part MN maple syrup
1 bunch fresh mint

Cut lemons in half and squeeze or juice into a measuring cup. Muddle mint in shaker. Add bourbon and lemon juice in 3:1 ratio. Sweeten to taste. Fill shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into glass with ice and garnish with mint.

Raise a glass to spring!


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Take a Bow (Wow), Dogs of Spyglass

Paisley – Spyglass CCO, greeter, inciter of ideas

April is Dog Appreciation Month

While it’s unclear to us why every month is not devoted to our loyal canines, and the say April is National Dog Appreciation Month. So we are excited to oblige by honoring and highlighting The Dogs of Spyglass.


See our dogs (and our clients’ dogs!) on Facebook

For the entire month of April, the dogs of Spyglass will be featured on our Facebook page. We appreciate them for the countless ways in which they make our days better, including all the laughs. (It’s true, people who own dogs laugh more.)


Send us your pic!

We want to showcase your furry friend. Send a picture of your groovy, orange-loving, canine to, and like us on Facebook to see if your pooch is featured.

Be sure to tell us a little something, such as your dog’s name, age, breed/mix, and one or more of the following: favorite pastimes, favorite treat, favorite dog-friendly locale or maybe even your dog’s most lovable vice, be it counter surfing or hoarding stinky socks.

We’d also love to hear about your dog’s connection to Spyglass. Is your dog a creative thinker? Does your dog have a favorite orange ball, toy or outfit? Does your dog love patios? (We have a patio!)


Paisley gets the Spyglass ball rolling

To kick things off, we are featuring our very own CCO (Chief Cuteness Officer), Paisley. Orange-clad and always ready to assist in strategic development and brainstorming with her composed, yet creative and energetic presence. She may not retrieve, but as CCO, she delivers!

Age: 2 (but turns 3 next weekend!)

Breed/Mix: Cavalier King Charles/Poodle mix

Favorite pastime/activity:
Dog: Taking advantage of any and every opportunity to play with other dogs.
Human: Discovering my next travel destination – and local patio or rooftop that will be deemed my new favorite.

Favorite treat:
Dog: A puppachino followed by a car ride with my head out the window.
Human: Izzy’s Ice Cream – fantastic ice cream, plus the Izzy’s scoop – it’s genius!

Favorite dog-friendly locale:
Able Seedhouse + Brewery in Northeast Minneapolis – they have great dog treats, are dog friendly inside and outside, and have an amazing patio in the summer – all with the added benefit of a rotating beer selection!

Paisley’s vice?:
A constant need for love and attention – which everyone always quickly caves and gives her, making this habit a vicious cycle.

What makes Paisely a Spyglass-er?:
As CCO of Spyglass, she knows and loves all things orange. Everything from rocking Spyglass-branded gear – to knowing that greeting guests at the office is her #1 priority – she is a Spyglass-er through and through.

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There’s Only One Cure

Heads up Darlings, it’s the Spyglass Shack Nasty

The Spyglass Shack Nasty
2 parts whiskey
2 parts cherry juice
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part Fernet Branca
1 orange wedge squeezed (for vitamin C)
3 drops Joy Juice (because Joy)

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake until your arm hurts. Strain and pour into shot glasses and administer ASAP! Continue doses until symptoms subside. Yes, it tastes kind of like cough syrup. That’s how you know it’s good for you!

Thank you Forbears

Here on the tundra it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter. Snow is piling high. Patience is wearing thin. Light & vitamin D deprivation is taking its toll. There is only one word for this miserable condition, and only one cure. Shack Nasty!

Shack Nasty is an apt description of our forebears who were stankily stuck in their sod houses all winter. And it’s the name of this nifty medicinal concoction we’ve created as a modern antidote. So if you’ve got a case of cabin—or spring—fever, mix up a batch and give yourself a shot!


Enjoy with good friends, and clients!

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Orange is the New…

Man in orange suit

…“IT” color. FINALLY!

No surprise here. Spyglass embraced the supremacy of orange at our inception in 2001. Why? Because orange is the color of creativity. And it’s associated with change, energy and success—which we channel directly to our clients.

50 Shades of Orange (give or take)
It’s about time that orange, with all its juicy hues and shades, gets the recognition it deserves.

Pantone named Living Coral (a beguiling member of the orange family) their 2019 Color of the Year. Grab your roller and paint that accent wall now!

According to Etsy Burnt Orange is what you should be wearing—and accessorizing with—if you want to get ahead of the trend. Go ahead, blaze your trail in Burnt Orange.

And Elle predicts that Fiery Orange-Red is one of this year’s hair top color trends.  While we haven’t seen this look on the streets of Minneapolis yet, we fully support it. (But maybe ask your hairdresser for a second opinion).

Get Your Orange On!
Friends, the trend indicators are aligned. The opportunity is now. It’s time to go all in on orange!  And we can help!  If you swing by our office, we will happily outfit you in groovy orange-colored glasses or a fuzzy orange shlanket—and maybe even serve you an intoxicating orange elixir.

Orange you glad you know us?  ;  )

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You Are Wonderful!

As the year winds down we’re reflecting on the events and experiences of 2018 and feeling beyond grateful for your presence in our world.

The projects we do (and the parties we throw!) are really just an elaborate excuse to spend time with you . . . which makes everything worthwhile! We wish you a season of merriment and meaning, and we look forward to more planned and random encounters in 2019.

The Big Orange Yeti was last seen dancing his pants off at Wonderland, our recent holiday party. Were you? Check out the festivities and the footage here!!


Need more holiday fun? Party Photos | Slow-Mo Videos

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What’s in the (spy) glass?

Introducing the Spyglass Cranhattan:

A seasonal, Spy-inspired take on the classic Manhattan—perfect for impressing your father-in-law before the family gathering or raising guests’ spirits at your next Friendsgiving. (Caveat: One too many of these could turn you into an obnoxious turkey!)

3 parts bourbon (or designer rye, if you’re so inclined)
1 part Cocchi di Torino (our your own favorite sweet vermouth)
1 handful fresh cranberries (tis the season!)
Some sweetness, to taste (we used Dram Pine Syrup)
Some bitterness, to taste (we used Dram Wild Mountain Sage & Fee Brothers Orange)

Put cranberries in a cocktail shaker; muddle/crush into small bits. Add bourbon and vermouth, a splash of syrup and a few dashes of bitters. Stir to mix all ingredients. Strain and pour into a lowball with ice. Garnish with whole cranberries & be grateful!

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I Spyed TEDx… in Edina!


Youth sports. Islamic women. Opioids. Oh my! These are just a few of the meaty topics that were tackled at TEDxEdina, one of our favorite events—and pro-bono projects—of the year.

On a sunny Saturday earlier this month we had the pleasure of soaking up a series of inspiring presentations from a wildly diverse line-up of local and international speakers. This year’s theme was “Ideas, connection and curiosity,” and the 14 individuals who took the stage certainly sparked all of the above for us.

While most of us have watched TED Talk videos on our phones or computer, there is nothing like connecting with the experience in real-time, in a room filled with other people who are also dedicated to expanding their understanding of the world and driven to use that information and perspective for the greater good.

We invited Cheryl Gunness, Lead Organizer for the event, to comment on our involvement and we’re humbled by her response: “Spyglass has been an instrumental partner and contributor to TEDxEdina since our inaugural event in 2015. Their financial, strategic and creative support provided the initial boost we needed to get it off the ground, and their continued involvement has helped us grow this event into an emotional and intellectual highlight of the year for our community.”

The TEDx program is such a simple way to share powerful stories with the rest of the world, and this year’s event sparked us to think even more deeply about how we can contribute to the movement, both personally and in collaboration with our clients.

Cheryl continued: “Spyglass is helping us build connection, collaboration and community beyond a one-day event. Our goal, with support like theirs, is to keep the TEDxEdina momentum alive throughout the year to spur meaningful action and change in our community.”

While TEDxEdina won’t be back for another year, there’s plenty we can all do to take action in our communities in the meantime. And who knows, maybe next year a Big Orange Yeti will take the stage!

Got an itch for some TEDxEdina talks now? The 2018 talks will be available soon, but until then you can watch the full line-up from 2017.

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What’s the value of a strong brand position? The bajillion dollar question. Answered.

At Spyglass we like our brands like we like our adult beverages: bold and distinctive. Yet, establishing a strong brand and market position requires a significant investment of money, energy and time. Is it possible to quantify the impact and payoff?

The recent acquisitions of two Spyglass clients gave us the perfect opportunity to answer this question—with more confidence and clarity than ever.

Earlier this year Reeher was bought for $43 million by Blackbaud Inc. Founder Andy Reeher remains with the company and reports: “I am thrilled to take this impact to the next level by joining with the world’s leading cloud software company to power social good.”

Meanwhile, Lee Jones, CEO and co-founder of Rebiotix, sold her company to global biopharmaceutical Ferring for an undisclosed price. The Rebiotix Microbiota Restoration Therapy platform is a proprietary system of delivering live, human-derived microbes into a patient’s intestinal tract to treat a range of infectious, metabolic, liver, inflammatory and neurological diseases. (Hence the “We’re #2!) Jones says: “My personal belief is that I think it could change the face of medicine.”

We reached out to both CEOs for their perspective on how the strategic branding process with Spyglass added to the value—and valuation—of their companies.

Here’s what they had to say:

1. You can create a new category—and own it . . .

Andy: “The challenge we had at Reeher was how to describe a completely new thing—a product category that didn’t exist. Spyglass’ deep upfront process of interviews and landscape analysis gave them the insight to clearly and simply articulate our offering in a way that resonated with clients. While we were enamored with our technology, they kept the focus on the customer benefits: the ease and speed to results.”

Lee: “This was a challenge—an entirely new area in medicine. There was no precedent and no real competitors. And the product—extracted from fecal material—was inherently tricky to describe. Spyglass helped us explore all the possibilities and find the best possible way forward, which was to create an entirely new category called rebiotics – and then position ourselves as the leader in the category (oh, and they coached us to rename the company to Rebiotix). It was genius.”

2. You can better equip your sales team with a more compelling pitch and story…

Andy: “Our product created tremendous improvement in performance for our customers, but we had to succinctly explain how. Spyglass created a visual explanation, as well as a compelling metaphor that helped our sales team launch hundreds of new conversations that led to rapid growth.”

Lee: “I had been struggling with the fact that my board wasn’t clear on the value of branding for our business. Spyglass came to the table with some very big strategic thinking that was ultimately very convincing – and they were right.”

3. You can engage stakeholders with a bigger vision…

Andy: “The brand plan became part of our website, as well as our sales pitch, and prospect journey to becoming a customer. Our visual explanation also was instrumental in helping customers understand the value of what they had purchased, keeping them engaged in our customer community. The more customers we had, the more success stories we could build.”

Lee: “Spyglass gave us the aspirational vision. They elevated our conversations to a higher level and convinced us that this product really represented a shift in how medicine was practiced. Spyglass helped create that picture of who we wanted to be… and that was pivotal.”

4. You can create more value and earn a higher valuation…

Andy: “The Spyglass work helped fuel the rapid growth and large customer base that bolstered our reputation and ROI—which caught the attention of Blackbaud, the market leader in the space. Reeher received a very strong valuation, and now our work is being applied in a billion-dollar enterprise.”

Lee: “Spyglass created a distinctive brand and we ran with it and executed on it consistently—which enabled us to secure the funding necessary to finance FDA testing and approval. The Rebiotix brand is the clear leader in this new category (that Spyglass helped define and create!) and is recognized worldwide. Without the brand, we certainly wouldn’t have the credibility and level of recognition that we have, which was part of what made us attractive to Ferring.”

So there you have it—words of wisdom and inspiration from two successful business executives and entrepreneurs in highly competitive technology and pharmaceutical markets. Will hiring Spyglass better position YOUR business for acquisition or ratchet up your stock price? Let’s get together and find out!

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