James Lloyd-Townshend: How to maintain a strong brand during rapid expansion

James Lloyd-Townshend
James Lloyd-Townshend



In any industry, business expansion can present a diverse range of challenges and responses.


Some thrive on the prospect of growth, and with good reason. A company’s development is usually an indication that things are on track and going according to plan, and an upturn in operations can be viewed as a just by-product of hard work and dedication.


Such growth, however, be it on home soil or in new territories overseas, can throw up some pretty big questions when it comes to the core values of your organisation, the impact felt by your workforce and, of course, your brand message.


Make no mistake, the reputation of your brand – expansion or no expansion – is of paramount importance. Without those hard-earned indicators that give your company a distinctive edge, the hills in front of you suddenly become a lot steeper.


Maintaining the voice that you’ve spent years perfecting should be at the top of your agenda no matter what changes your business is going through. Without it, your sector influence can quickly begin to decrease.


At Frank Recruitment Group, we’ve undergone the kind of growth that can really test a company’s resolve. Over the past two years alone, the buoyant tech market has seen us open new offices around the globe, and launch two new brands to service emerging markets.


With offices across four continents, local knowledge is key to our operation, and that doesn’t just equate to what we do from behind our desks. From cultural nuances and business etiquette to pragmatic differences in areas such as legal practice, each location throws up its own set of redeeming features and, of course, unique challenges.


If growth is leading you overseas, each of these differences, and many more besides, should be acknowledged, factored in and afforded ample care and attention long before any ribbons are cut and champagne corks are popped.


This level of preparation, as meticulous as it may sound, will help immeasurably when it comes to how your company is perceived in its new surroundings. Enriching your brand in an effort to become more inclusive and aware can help cement your reputation and accentuate your voice, whether you’re in Melbourne, Munich, Singapore or San Francisco.


Think of ways you can apply company style guides to suit. Overarching guidelines are fine and, in many ways, essential, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be tweaked to accommodate employees, customers and clients across different regions, countries and continents.


In doing so, efforts to preserve and strengthen your brand should start to deliver rewards across the board, while at the same time allowing you to implement a local mentality on a global scale.


Having ‘boots on the ground’ ahead of any relocation or new branch can be hugely valuable – both in terms of understanding the subtleties of your surroundings and gaining expert insight into the populace and workforce.


A regional team can help to flag up any issues before they escalate, make you aware of potential hazards on the road ahead and ensure your brand message is pushing all the right buttons from a local and national perspective.


Forward momentum has become something we celebrate company-wide, and that’s only possible because we never lose sight of where the company has been and where our roots are.


If, for example, we’re opening a new US office, we make sure that employees across every office are kept in the loop and that those who’ve shown great leadership potential and commitment to our core values get an opportunity to help develop our brand in our new home.


These touches can go a long way to shaping the tone of your brand, and help to reinforce a sense of inclusivity and involvement whether you’re a ten-person operation working out of a single office or an international brand that spans several countries.


We feel blessed to be working in an age of incredible growth in tech, and there’s no indication of that growth slowing down anytime soon. Emerging technologies will continue to increase demand, making expansion inevitable for many of the industry’s household names, wherever they may be.


We’re also servicing a sector that is in a constant state of flux – one that strives for and undergoes expansion on an almost weekly basis. That’s the nature of the beast, and the more prepared you are to accommodate a potential change, the smoother the transition will be.


If your ethos isn’t clear and consistent, however, growth in all its guises can instil uncertainty. Easy fixes are hard to come by, but with the right approach, and with measures implemented at the right time, that uncertainty can quickly turn into excitement and enthusiasm.


Get this balance right from the outset, and your company’s growth will be an adventure each and every member of staff will want to be part of.



By James Lloyd-Townshend


James Lloyd-Townshend
James Lloyd-Townshend

About the Author:


Having joined Frank Recruitment Group in 2015, James Lloyd-Townshend is now the company’s Chairman and CEO.


He arrived with the ambition to create a business which allows anyone with the aspiration to succeed to reach their goals in a truly inclusive environment.


In his previous role with Hays plc, the Newcastle University graduate progressed from a trainee consultant position to become Managing Director of several business units.

James’s experience in the field of recruitment spans over 22 years, and as well securing an Economics and Accounting degree in the North-East of England, he has attended the Executive Programme at Manchester Business School and several other business schools across Europe.


During his time as CEO, Frank Recruitment Group have opened a further 13 offices in cities across the globe and expanded their staffing numbers from 600 to 2,000.

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