Simon-Kucher & Partners at a Glance

Uppers

  • "Lots of responsibility early on, but the ability to make errors and grow."
  • "I can contact the partners and global head of my division at any time without question."
  • "The opportunities to learn, lead and live abroad."
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Downers

  • "The growing pains of being in a firm that is growing so rapidly."
  • "Could have more resources to use."
  • "Low brand awareness in the US."

The Buzz

  • "Great pricing and market access shop."
  • "Pricing experts."
  • "Good at what they do."

About Simon-Kucher & Partners

Simon-Kucher & Partners is a worldwide leader in pricing consulting in growing clients top line, helping to 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 33 office boutique firm spanning 2 countries, with more than 900 employees. It has carried out work in over 55 countries for clients including American Express, Barnes & Noble, BMW, Barclays, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, LinkedIn, PayPal, PepsiCo, Porsche, 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-an approach the firm refers to as TopLine Power®. 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 dozens of PhDs on its staff, should commit to lifelong learning and staff development. 

That commitment, 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. 

Thought Leadership 

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 other publications include, 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 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. In his new book, "Confession of the Pricing Man," Professor Simon reflects on stories collected over four decades while advising the world's leading corporations on capturing value.

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

important for your company." And who among us doesn't want that information at our fingertips?

IN THE NEWS

2016 Forums

Simon-Kucher & Partners thought leadership will be displayed in 16 forums across the United States for 2016. These forums have covered a variety of different industries and topics including retail and consumer goods, software and internet, telecommunications and media, business to business, life sciences, banking, automotive, logistics, networking sessions and pricing forums. These events and forums at Simon-Kucher & Partners are geared towards leadership and management looking to network with peers and gain new insight into the evolution of the pricing experience.

July 2016

Impressive first half for Simon-Kucher

International consultancy reports rapid growth of 19 percent

The firm pulled in revenues of around 130 million USD in the first half of 2016--a growth rate of 19 percent over the previous year, and a grand total of  over 146 million USD in incoming orders. The figures mark another record half-year Simon-Kucher & Partners. According to CEOs Dr. Klaus Hilleke and Dr. Georg Tacke, the continuing trend of digitalization has been generating particular momentum.

Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price

Madhavan Ramanujam, Georg Tacke, Wiley, 2016

Innovation is the most important driver of growth. Today, more than ever, companies need to innovate to survive. But successful innovation - measured in dollars and cents - is a very hard target to hit. Companies obsess over being creative and innovative and spend significant time and expense in designing and building products, yet struggle to monetize them: 72% of innovations fail to meet their financial targets - or fail entirely. Many companies have come to accept that a high failure rate, and the billions of dollars lost annually, is just the cost of doing business. Monetizing Innovation argues that this is tragic, wasteful, and wrong. Get it here.

Record-breaking year for Simon-Kucher

In 2015, Simon-Kucher & Partners celebrated its 30th anniversary - and experienced the most successful year in its history. The international company, headquartered in Germany, surpassed the 225 million USD mark with approx. 235 million USD in revenue, growing by 21 percent compared to the previous year. Co-CEOs, Klaus Hilleke and Georg Tacke, were thrilled with such an outstanding result. "A brilliant, ground-breaking year", said Tacke, who traced the development back to clients' interest in growth strategies.

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Simon-Kucher & Partners

One Canal Park
Cambridge, MA 02141
Phone: (617) 231-4500
Fax: (617) 231-2751

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Co-CEOs: Dr. Georg Tacke & Dr. Klaus Hilleke
  • 2016 Employees: 930

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Marketing
    Pricing
    Sales
    Strategy

Major Office Locations

  • Atlanta
  • Boston
    Mountain View
  • New York
    San Francisco

    Amsterdam
    Barcelona
  • Beijing
    Bonn
    Brussels
    Cologne
    Copenhagen
    Dubai
    Frankfurt
    Geneva
  • Hamburg
  • Istanbul
    London
    Luxembourg
    Madrid
    Milan
    Munich
    Paris
    Santiago de Chile
    São Paulo
    Singapore
    Stockholm
  • Sydney
    Tokyo
    Toronto
    Vienna
    Warsaw
    Zurich
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