Simon-Kucher & Partners Europe

THE SCOOP 

What does it cost? Ask Simon-Kucher

Simon-Kucher & Partners is a worldwide leader in pricing consulting, helping its clients maximize profits by giving them the tools and recommendations to correctly set prices for their products. It's something the firm has done for 8 of the 10 best-selling drugs in the world, and more than 100 companies on the Fortune Global 500 list, including leaders in consumer products, high-tech and financial services. In addition to pricing, Simon-Kucher works to streamline marketing and sales for clients, and assists them in developing corporate strategies. Simon-Kucher has brought rich reward, too, having grown into a 28-office boutique firm spanning 22 countries, with 720 employees. It has carried out work in over 55 countries for clients including American Express, Barnes & Noble, BMW, Goldman Sachs, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, LinkedIn, PayPal, PepsiCo, Porsche, T-Mobile, Warner Music Group and many more.

 

Name your price

The firm was started in Germany in 1985 by business administration and marketing expert Professor Hermann Simon (who is chairman of the firm today, having served as CEO from 1995 to 2009) and two of his PhD students. Believing that price is the "primary driver" of a company's profits, but that many manage it inefficiently,the consultancy began picking up business from companies eager to maximize their profit margins. Over time, Simon-Kucher also developed expertise in marketing and sales to offer comprehensive advice to clients seeking to grow their businesses. The firm's approach to pricing involves extensive quantitative and qualitative analysis of market factors that boils down to one key element: identifying "what the market will bear."

 

There's more to pricing than simply setting a level and charging it indefinitely, however, and it is here that Simon-Kucher's expertise in pricing strategy comes into play. The firm has a holistic approach to pricing that encompasses everything from competitive strategy and product positioning to sales force execution. Offering strategies and solutions for a range of possibilities over a product's lifetime, the firm encourages clients to adopt a consistent, targeted approach that anticipates the market, rather than reacts to it. For example, Simon-Kucher's research has shown that marking down an item aimed at luxury consumers-even in tough economic conditions-can actually turn those consumers off the brand.

 

Growth by numbers

The firm attempts to practice what it preaches, and applies much the same philosophy to its own business as it recommends to clients and through its publications (see below for details). The company explicitly states that it is not a general strategy shop, and does not take on projects, such as cost cutting or restructuring, that require skills outside of its specialized purview. It remains committed to growth in its own niche, however, and has been working hard to build on its existing client relationships, attract new clients, expand into new industries, and open offices in emerging and developed markets, all the while focusing on what it does best: strategy, marketing, pricing and sales consulting. Its stated goal is to double its revenue every five years. 

 

You First

It should come as little surprise that a company founded by a professor of business, and with several PhDs on its staff, should commit to lifelong learning and staff development. Nor that said company is supported in its endeavors by an international advisory board made up of academics at some of the most venerable higher education institutions around the globe, including both the London and Harvard Business Schools, Stanford University, HEC, Paris, IESE, Barcelona and several institutions throughout Asia. 

The firm's commitment to its staff, formalized in a program known as You First, begins with mentoring from partners and international orientation, as well as a company training program-STEPS-to familiarize all new hires with how Simon-Kucher operates. Additional education is actively encouraged, and the firm arranges lectures by internal and external speakers for its consultants. 

Employees are also offered the opportunity to publish the results of their work and experience in industry journals, and to present at conferences and seminars. As for a role model, consultants can look all the way to the founder: Professor Simon is a renowned expert in his field, and has presented and published widely, including more than 30 books in 25 languages. Those books include the best seller, Hidden Champions: Lessons from 500 of the World's Best Unknown Companies, published in 1996. His most recent publications are 2009's Beat the Crisis and Hidden Champions of the 21st Century, which updates the ideas first presented over a decade earlier in Hidden Champions. It celebrates smaller companies that focus on a niche market, are willing to venture into global markets and are often owned privately-all factors that allow these companies to maximize profits ahead of market share. Those ideas were also evident in an earlier book from Simon-Kucher-Manage for Profit, Not for Market Share, which exhorts managers to … well … go after profits, rather than focus on volume of sales or market share. More recently, The Irrational Consumer, written by partner Dr. Enrico Trevisan, delves into the popular topic of behavioral economics. It takes a closer look at what drives consumers to act the way they do and how businesses can incorporate this into their strategy. 

 

Going Digital

In an effort to make its content widely available, the firm offers its publications as eBooks. In addition to the aforementioned The Irrational Consumer, titles such as The Key to Higher Profits: Pricing Power and It's Time for E-Commerce to Grow Up are available across eBook platforms. 

Simon-Kucher also offers a unique pricing tool for the iPad and iPhone. Users of the app can enter data about their business, select from a range of ways in which they'd like to improve their business, and watch as the app demonstrates ways in which this can be achieved. Or, as Simon-Kucher puts it, users can figure out "which profit lever is most important for your company." And who among us doesn't want that information at our fingertips?

 

IN THE NEWS 

September 2014

Simon-Kucher publishes the Global Pricing Study 2014

Approximately 1,600 participants from companies of all industries and over 40 countries took part in Simon-Kucher's Global Pricing Study. The findings: Most companies fail to successfully position their new products in the market and are less and less able to achieve the prices they need.

 

July 2014

Simon-Kucher has best half year ever 

The firm generated revenue of $112 million/€82.5 million in the first six months of 2014. This is 14 percent more than the same period last year. Order entries were on a similarly high level indicating positive development in the months to come. 

 

May 2014 

Simon-Kucher launches two new newsletters 

Following the success of Simon-Kucher's Healthcare Insights newsletter, the firm has launched two additional newsletters in the last six months: Software Insights and Consumer Insights.

 

January 2014 

Simon-Kucher passes the $200 million/€150 million revenue mark for the first time

2013 was another successful year for Simon-Kucher as revenue grew to $205 million/€152 million. The firm has ambitious targets for 2014, with plans to achieve double-digit revenue growth.

 

November 2013 

New international partners at Simon-Kucher 

The firm appointed six new partners raising the total number to 66. The international mix of newly elected executives focuses on a wide array of industries, including: B2B, banking, pharmaceutical, tourism, hospitality, retail, consumer and service industries.

 

August 2013 

Simon-Kucher expands into the Latin American market 

The firm opened offices in São Paulo, Brazil and Santiago de Chile. For the first time Simon-Kucher is serving its existing large client base in the Latin American market from local hubs.

 

April 2013 

New eBook "The key to higher profits: Pricing power" released 

Based on the Global Pricing Study 2012, Simon-Kucher releases an eBook covering the results of the study and the implications for C-level executives.

 

January 2013 

Strong plus for Simon-Kucher 

The firm had a successful year in 2012, with revenue increasing by 20 percent to a new high of USD $190 million/€145 million. The number of employees grew by 16 percent to reach 660 worldwide.

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Simon-Kucher & Partners Europe


Willy-Brandt-Allee 13
Bonn 53113
Phone: +49 (0)228 9843 0
Fax: +49 (0)226 9843 140
www.simon-kucher.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Co-CEOs: Dr Georg Tacke & Dr Klaus Hilleke
  • 2014 Employees: 720

  • Employment Contact

    Visit Simon-Kucher's careers page


  • Major Departments & Practices

    Marketing

    Pricing

    Sales

    Strategy

Major Office Locations

  • Europe Offices:
    Amsterdam
    Bonn (HQ)
    Brussels
    Cologne
    Copenhagen
    Frankfurt
    Istanbul
    London
    Luxembourg
    Madrid
    Milan
    Munich
    Paris
    Vienna
    Warsaw
    Zurich

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