It simply made sense.
That is why the owners of two downtown Wheeling businesses have decided to merge Redbeard Communication and Neue into a new branding management firm named “Chiselbox.”
Nathan Blake, Matt Myles, and Caleb Filburn are now partners after working together for months. The three gentlemen have been first-floor tenants of The Professional Building for several months and they decided that the combined services of Chiselbox would appeal more to long-term clients instead of being a one-time customer.
“Both Redbeard Communications and Neue were both doing marketing, but what we found is that we had different specializations,” explained Blake. “One day we started discussing the possibilities about collaborating, and this is what we’ve come up with.
“That’s how Chiselbox was born,” he said. “The idea behind the name “Chiselbox” is simple; we wanted to come up with a name that spoke to the past and the future, and to blue-collar ideals, and fine-tuned craftsmanship. There are a lot of people in Wheeling doing marketing, and they do a great job, but what we will specialize in is brand-building and brand management.”
Myles is excited about the merger because it will free him up to get more involved with tasks he prefers.
“Caleb and I were thinking about getting into more handcrafted projects,” Myles said. “We’ve wanted to do more hands-on projects, and this is a move that will allow all of us to do that. Our industry is constantly evolving, so there are new things to learn all the time. You have to stay relevant in this business, and we have the abilities to do that under this business model.
“Plus, we’ve always wanted to get more retainer clients, but working with design didn’t allow us to do a lot of that. But with what Nathan is capable of, those retainer clients will become more of a reality for all of us, and that will allow us to grow our business into something much bigger than what it is today.”
Filburn agrees the merger will allow Chiselbox to expand far past what Redbeard and Neue were capable of accomplishing as separate entities.
“This is a positive change all the way around because any way you look at it, you will see growth of a business in Wheeling-based businesses,” Filburn said. “This broadens our capabilities with more services, and that will add value to our current clients and anyone else contemplating doing business with us.
“This is about growth. There was something missing before with Neue and with Redbeard Communications, but now those voids have been filled with this partnership,” he said. “Since we started doing business, we would do a website, but then that would be it, but now we are going to be concentrating on building something with our clients.”
But will business in the Upper Ohio Valley take notice of their available services? Along with marketing, the new firm will offer guidance concerning the use of social media, reputation management, and all other aspects associated with branding.
“We want to take clients on who want long-term relationships and who want to really step out and figure out who they are and what separates them,” Blake said. “We believe the people in Wheeling area are ready for what we want to do, and that is to grow with the companies that retain us.
“We want the brands that we produce for local companies to be relevant today, and the same branding to be relevant 15 years from now. That way these companies do not have to re-brand as often as what we see them doing now,” Blake said. “We use the term ‘brand craftsmanship,’ and that’s because every client is different.
“We’re not going to advise everyone to do the same thing, and that’s because some things work for some, and other things work for others. Your brand is your baby. That should be something of a family heirloom,” he said. “It should be something that you should be able to hand down to your children.”
Blake explained his research shows that Wheeling area businesses have traditionally adopted advertising slogans that have been temporary in nature, causing those companies to spend more in the long run. However, he said some of the most successful national advertising campaigns have involved slogans that have proven generational.
“Why create something if it’s not lofty? Wheeling has to be ready for this because if Wheeling is not ready for lofty goals, then this whole reinvention isn’t going to work,” Blake insisted. “What we all found out from working on some projects together is that we have similar philosophies and goals for clients. As we continued working with each other, this move just made sense to all of us.
“We all have the same focus, and we want accomplish the same things in our community,” he continued. “Right now most of the websites that are owned by Wheeling businesses are ‘brochure’ websites, but we can change that with our content-driven material.”
Filburn and Myles did not know what to expect when they first opened their marketing firm in downtown Wheeling, but they have since discovered the atmosphere is far better than what they were told to expect. Blake, a Weirton native, simply sees opportunity in the Friendly City.
“There’s no reason why Wheeling should not be a regional thought leader. It’s our opinion that Pittsburgh companies should be coming to us in Wheeling instead of so many Wheeling businesses going there,” Blake said. “The only way we accomplish that is to think big. I use the term, ‘breaking the system’ all the time and that’s because if you’re not willing to break the system these days, you’re likely not going to be successful.
“We have a grilled-cheese truck in downtown Wheeling; no one has ever done that before, and it’s been hugely successful,” he continued. “It seems to us that the people in Wheeling are finally willing to lead the charge, and that’s very exciting for us. We have Cleveland and Pittsburgh and Columbus, and there’s no reason why Wheeling couldn’t be the epicenter.
“I do not believe there’s a reason why this area couldn’t be an area known for leading the charge as far as thinking outside of that box and doing great work,” Blake said. “This could be a place people come because thinking out of the box is accepted, and I hope Chiselbox is one of those things.
Chiselbox is a product of the energy and movement taking place in Wheeling right now, especially within the municipality’s downtown district, Blake explained.
“As Wheeling reinvents itself, the definition of what marketing and branding has to be is now changing,” Blake said. “Wheeling is just now coming around to social media and what’s possible on those platforms, and when it works, people are generally surprised. That’s OK. That’s progress. So now it’s time to show even more people what’s possible.
“Our approach with clients will be getting to know them and their core values before suggesting how they should go about their marketing and branding campaigns because no longer is anything pre-determined,” he said. “We plan to talk with those people extensively so we know exactly what they wish to accomplish and whom they want to reach. We want to find out what they are building their business on. From there the construction begins, and that’s how we’ll determine what platforms a business should be on.”