Expand Online launches Dept and expands to three countries
Today digital agency Expand Online and its sister agencies launched Dept, a new overall brand that will serve as the foundation for the network’s growth ambitions. The first step in international expansion has already been accomplished with digital agency Building Blocks, with offices in the UK, US and Spain, joining the network.
Within Dept, each brand will continue to operate under its own name. “The added value of our partnership is obvious, but we believe in the power of the existing brands,” said Paul Manuel, co-founder of Dept. “Over the next few years we will roll out Dept internationally in a way that supports the individual labels. Our approach is based on the principle of ‘specialist first’, rather than ‘network first’, because we want to keep the entrepreneurship and knowledge within the individual agencies.”
Bart Manuel, also a co-founder of Dept: “By working together closely and learning from each other’s expertise, we are able to produce work for clients that keeps getting better. For clients we also have the advantage of being able to combine international scale with the speed and knowledge of local specialists. Dept is a blend of creativity, technology and data that enables us to articulate our client’s digital business all the way up to boardroom level.”
Today Dept welcomed digital agency Building Blocks, with offices in Manchester, Boston and Zaragoza. The new agency brings with it additional expertise in Sitecore and SDL Tridion. Building Blocks is known for its experience in rolling out complex international platforms for clients such as Guinness World Records, BT and Regus. The agency employs more than 75 people and saw a 19% increase in revenues last year.
Speaking of the partnership with Building Blocks, Paul Manuel said: “We are delighted to have our colleagues at Building Blocks on board. We were a good fit from the start. We are closely aligned in terms of culture, business ethos and wanting to produce the very best work for our clients. It will also help us put Dept more firmly on the international map.”
Dept currently consists of five companies: TamTam, Expand Online, a friend of mine, Second Degree and Building Blocks. As a whole the group employs around 350 people in four countries and generates about €45 million in annual revenues.