Sharique Ansari moved back to Buffalo in the early 1990s to help manage a printing company.
But as that company faded away, he embarked on a different venture.
The realization of his vision is Chakra Communications, which was formally founded in 2007 with the goal of serving all the marketing and communications needs of its clients, from branding to the development and production of actual materials (which has become an increasingly digital pursuit in recent years).
Over the years, the company started servicing the trademark protection needs of its clients, eventually launching that business segment under its own brand with more than 200 employees working in India.
In the meantime, Chakra’s locally based brands include its eponymous segment, which is based in a 20,000-square-foot office in Lancaster that does everything from printing to web-based development; The Revs Agency, a high-end marketing firm for larger clients; and a new service, HIVE, an automated marketing service supported by social media and content specialists.
The HIVE marketing service for small businesses in the Buffalo region launched today, Feb. 1, 2018, with monthly plans that range from $750 to $1,500.
The company opened a chic 6,000-square-foot office on the top floor of The Crosby Building on Franklin Street in downtown Buffalo about six months ago.
“It’s a unique model in that we do strategic branding, brand production and brand creation,” Ansari said. “We’re not just doing one thing for you and then outsourcing the rest.”
HIVE which launched officially launched this month after beta testing with a few clients is exclusively for Buffalo region small businesses, with monthly subscription levels that include $750, $1,000 and $1,500 options. The platform allows customers to give input and view the performance of branding done by HIVE personnel, including everything from social media feeds to more generalized web-based content.
“We’re playing the game but we’re also sharing the score,” Ansari said. “Our goal is to provide a fully inclusive marketing service that helps our clients meet their objectives.”
Nonprofit agencies can get the most expensive package for half the price of the highest level, a monthly fee of $750. Even at full price, Ansari said the highest package essentially does the work of a full-time marketing department for $18,000 a year.
The HIVE team currently includes five employees, but will grow along with the service.