2019 Vault Rankings
“Opportunities for international experiences”
“Networking and professional development”
“Travel requires reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses”
“Level of work varies considerably between projects”
“Not very competitive compensation”
Simon-Kucher & Partners is a global consulting firm specializing in strategy, marketing, pricing and sales. Founded in 1985, the firm focuses on TopLine Power® by helping clients to boost their top line instead of cutting costs. With more than 1,200 professionals in 38 offices worldwide, Simon-Kucher's practice is built on evidence-based, practical strategies for profit improvement. The firm is regarded as the world's leading pricing advisor and thought leader. In addition to pricing, Simon-Kucher works to streamline marketing and sales for clients, and assists them in developing corporate strategies. It has carried out work in over 80 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 through TopLine Power®. 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.
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. The training also focuses heavily on a case study of a real project and you'll devote time to one 'project phase' each day. And continuous education is not limited to learning on the job. The Simon-Kucher & Partners Academy is a comprehensive training program designed to help teach consultants core soft skills (presentation, facilitation, leadership, project management, media, etc.) as well as more 'hard' tools and skills like price management, value selling, finance, Simon-Kucher & Partners methods, etc.).
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. 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. Simon-Kucher's co-founder, Georg Tacke, and Partner, Madhavan Ramanujam published the 2016 book, Monetizing Innovation, which discusses the importance of successfully marketing innovations being the largest driver for growth in an organization.
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
Simon-Kucher opens office in Hong Kong
The global strategy and marketing consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners has opened an office in Hong Kong. Alongside locations in Beijing, Singapore, Sydney, and Tokyo, this opening marks Simon-Kucher's growing and permanent presence in the Asia Pacific economic area. "We expect a growth spurt in the Asia Pacific region in upcoming years", states Dr. Georg Tacke, CEO of Simon-Kucher. "Our new Hong Kong office fills a white spot on the map, and we are thinking about further expanding in the region. Shanghai, for example, would be an attractive location."
Another record-breaking year for Simon-Kucher & Partners
In 2017, the global marketing and strategy consultancy Simon-Kucher & Partners soared to $300 million dollars in annual revenue, passing this threshold for the first time. The company’s business in the US contributed to this record breaking year-end result. With the opening of another US-office in Chicago, as well as an international office in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Cairo, Simon-Kucher will expand its international network to 37 locations. With this revenue growth and global presence, the international team has also added a net of 110 new hires to its current total of just over 1,100 associates, and has elected 13 new Partners (now totaling 106).
Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price
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. Simon-Kucher's co-founder, Georg Tacke, and Partner, Madhavan Ramanujam have written just that. To read a chapter from Monetizing Innovation, please click here.
Simon-Kucher & Partners Insights on Machine Learning
The potential opportunities of machine learning are drawing considerable attention from the business world. While this cutting-edge technology can’t be used in all situations, companies have every reason to be excited – applied in the right areas, machine learning will improve their top and bottom lines. Read more in our machine learning blog.
THE BIG DIGITAL FAIL – Why Only 1 in 4 Companies Achieve Topline Growth with Digitalization
The global Simon-Kucher & Partners survey of almost 2,000 decision makers globally reveals that of all companies that have invested in digitalization initiatives in the past three years, 77% fail to achieve an impact on their topline. Optimizing prices using Big Data and monetizing digital products have been the initiatives with the greatest impact. Yet at the same time they are the most neglected initiatives.
Only 18% of the surveyed organizations are Digitalization Heroes that demonstrate superior practices in digitalization strategy, marketing, sales and pricing.
Over the past 30 years, we’ve worked in all major industries for clients from A- to… well, -Z. If a specific industry really sets your heart racing, chances are, we’re working in it. You might be wondering- all of this from a pricing consultancy?? While we do trace our roots to pricing, we’ve since expanded our reach into other areas, like marketing, sales, and strategy within a variety of industries. We’re very committed to working within our areas of expertise, but our background gives us a solid foundation for a variety of project work.
2-1-30 Kudan Minami
Employer Type: Private
CEO: Dr. Georg Tacke
2019 Employees (All Locations): 1,300
Bonn, Germany (Global HQ)
38 offices in 25 countries worldwide
Telco & Energy/Utilities
Logistics & Business Services