Manayunk culture meets Muhlenhaupt + Company.
By Brian Anderson
Photography by Susan Beard Design Photography (susanbearddesign.com)
At Muhlenhaupt + Company, artifacts from four decades of family businesses create a link to the past. But the daily tasks of this modern creative agency — digital marketing campaigns, re-branding brainstorms, and modern designs — help usher in a new future for their clients.
So, it’s fitting that Muhlenhaupt + Company’s creed is “Moving Companies Forward.”
This creative digital consultancy specializes in a little bit of everything: branding and communications strategy; personal branding for VIPs; B2B (business-to-business) networking and outreach; and digital marketing and lead generation, according to Adam Muhlenhaupt, a principal owner at the firm. Adam works alongside his father, Rip — the fourth generation of father/son partnerships in the Muhlenhaupt family.
Working at Muhlenhaupt + Company means collaborating and using every tool in the toolkit to help their clients grow.
“We’re a team of consultants. We’re not necessarily a group of designers or writers,” Adam said. “One thing that makes us unique is we’re not set up with the classic account management style. When we work a project, we design the team in a way that will work best for that client.”
Over the past year, Muhlenhaupt + Company has worked with companies who are committed to helping others: Recovery Centers of America, LifeGuides, and Spartan, just to name a few. Adam said the missions of these companies resonate with many employees at Muhlenhaupt.
“It’s great to see the personal connections people have with these businesses we’re working with,” Adam said. “That’s always the most rewarding to me. It’s pretty neat when people get fired up over their work.” “And, when our own team is a customer of a client, that’s pretty cool.”
The employees at Muhlenhaupt + Company have become seriously invested in their clients, said Ryan Bonner, one of the company’s content strategists. That’s a mix of the nature of their work — rebrandings don’t just happen in a day, for example — and the fact that no one shies away from hard work.
“The way we function, it’s so team based. We’re working on the fly. It’s electrifying,” Ryan said. “I’ll come into work and I’ll be firing on all cylinders, and that’s thrilling. We all have this all-in mentality.”
Creativity and hard work abound here, and it’s easy to see why once you walk into Muhlenhaupt + Company. This isn’t really an office, but a creative space.
The phrase “sterile workplace environment” isn’t the reality here. Cubicles? Typical office chairs? “Not here,” Adam said. When you walk through the office, you’ll experience different textures — wood, metal, and glass in a seamless design. And don’t forget Carson, the world’s most adorable Bernedoodle office dog, who’s there for pets every day.
“What I wanted people to feel is certainly warmth,” Adam said. “And certainly a multigenerational feel.”
Inside Muhlenhaupt + Company’s office on Station Street is a blend of old and new. It’s a classic red telephone booth and the laptops that connect employees and clients on opposite coasts. It’s the maps of Manayunk dating back decades and a brand-new studio next door. It’s the company’s story in the form of old storage boxes and modern digital marketing and branding materials. The company’s main conference room where they meet for a catchup? It used to be the dyeing room of a wool manufacturer from way back when.
Everywhere you look, links to the past help build the foundation for this modern creative agency. In the past year, the company expanded to about 20 employees. Its physical space expanded from 4,000 square feet to 11,000 square feet. Beyond the far wall is MNYK Studios, a brand new full audio/visual studio and event space.
“Some level of old and new was really important to me,” Adam said. “It’s like Manayunk. One thing I love about Manayunk is it’s old, but there’s a lot of younger people here.”
“We have a really special team here,” said Jen Farrell, a project manager at Muhlenhaupt + Company. “I think everyone really likes each other, and we all respect each other and respect what everyone brings to the table.”
One of the keys to the company’s success, Jen said, is the personal connections that develop between Muhlenhaupt’s designers, content creators and managers, and their clients. Every client offers unique demands, she said, and that helps foster creativity and teamwork.
Take a rebranding, for example. The client knows their business inside and out, but recognize they need a new story to tell. Ryan said hearing the client’s passions can help find that new story — and that’s a lasting impact for their client.
“We can explore tons of ideas really quickly,” Ryan said. “That’s the most fun, the most rewarding experience.”
Ryan said Muhlenhaupt + Company’s strong leadership is a true difference-maker, too.
Adam, Rip, and other leaders put in the work alongside you, he said, and they follow through with their promises.
“Culture isn’t a thing you hang on the wall,” Ryan said. “Everything we stand for is real.”