Dept strengthens US presence with digital design agency BASIC®

Dimi Albers, left, and Matt Faulk

US branding and digital design agency BASIC®, best known for its work for Google, KFC, Herman Miller/Design Within Reach, Patagonia and Airbnb, has joined European digital agency Dept, for an undisclosed sum.

This marks an exciting new chapter of growth as Dept continues its expansion into the US.

Manchester’s Building Blocks was acquired by Dept in 2016 and rebranded as Dept in 2018. It had a US team in Boston and this was Dept’s first embarkment into the US.

The next year Dept acquired a Boston-based product agency, Rocket Insights, and now BASIC® expands Dept’s geographical reach into the West Coast.

Together, both companies will broaden their geographic footprint as well as strengthen end-to-end digital services for clients across the globe.

For a decade BASIC® has earned an industry-leading reputation for its transformative work in branding and digital product design.

With offices in San Francisco, San Diego, and St Louis, the 120-person company has been the Webby Awards most recognised independent agency for the past four years and has seen 600% growth during that same time period.

Matt Faulk, BASIC® chief executive, said: “BASIC® exists to solve challenges for brands we believe in.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

Based in Amsterdam, Dept is one of the fastest-growing digital agencies in the world, represented in 13 countries with more than 1,500 people across the globe.

Dept chief executive, Dimi Albers. said: “Our goal is to build the best agency in the world.

“One of the key steps in achieving that goal is to build a leading agency in the US 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 US, 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.”

BASIC® will operate under the leadership of Matt Faulk, VP of operations Ashley Reichel, VP of creative Steve Denekas, and VP of strategy Ryan Parkhurst.