Dept acquires Californian agency

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

Dept has made its first inroads into the West Coast of America, with the acquisition of Californian branding and digital design agency, Basic.

The company counts Google, KFC, Herman Miller/Design Within Reach, Patagonia and Airbnb amongst its clients.

“Our goal is to build the best agency in the world,” said Dimi Albers, CEO of Dept.

“One of the key steps in achieving that goal is to build a leading agency in the U.S. that helps our clients further build and accelerate their digital business. After making a strong start in technology with our Rocket Insights team, we were looking for the best digital experience and eCommerce design agency out there to join us on our journey and form the heart of Dept in the U.S. BASIC® is rapidly growing while working for some of the biggest brands in the world, and shares our cultural values when it comes to running a people business. Simply put: it’s a perfect match.”

The acquisition is Dept’s first in the United States, since it was backed by global investment operation, The Carlyle Group, earlier this year.

Basic, which employs 120 staff, will continue to operate under the leadership of Founder and CEO Matt Faulk.

“BASIC® exists to solve challenges for brands we believe in,” explained Faulk.

“In a digital-led world, our expertise in customer experience strategy, digital products, and eCommerce has helped these brands to thrive and move fast. Now, as more people rely more on digital platforms in the face of the pandemic, they have greater potential than ever to shift perceptions and drive cultural conversations. Joining Dept greatly strengthens this positioning by bringing data and technology into the mix. We see our agency as a place for our shared values to collide. In Dept, we’ve found a partner that boosts our entrepreneurial spirit with the global scale and service expansion that both our clients and people are looking for in the world of today.”

Dept’s first foray into the US came in 2016, when it acquired Manchester-based Building Blocks, which already had a team in Boston.

Based in Amsterdam, Dept’s UK headquarters are in Manchester city centre.