Priceless Success: Simon-Kucher & Partners

Posted: 05/14/16

The Situation: A Good Idea, Stuck

Simon-Kucher & Partners, the world's largest pricing consultancy, had unique insights into how pricing affects the success or failure of innovative products and services. From its engagements at Porsche, LinkedIn, Swarovski and other famous companies, it had real-world examples of how to use pricing to monetize innovations successfully. And it had two pricing strategy experts eager to share their wisdom. In other words, it had all the ingredients for an excellent business book that would burnish Simon-Kucher’s reputation as pricing strategy and innovation experts. 

But what the experts didn’t have was time to shape the book's central argument, organize the advice and craft engaging prose. After all, they had a business to run.

So, the book project languished.

Then, in 2015, SKP reached out to Bloom Group to help get the book written, and bring it to market.  

Bloom Group’s Role: Building A Strong Book

Bloom Group worked with the book's two authors, SKP CEO Georg Tacke and partner Madhavan Ramanujam, to clarify the book’s central argument, its advice for readers, and the examples that would validate that advice. 

The book had an intriguing premise: While companies need to innovate to survive, most launch new products or services "hoping they'll make money on their innovations, but not knowing if they will." That's why most new offerings miss their financial goals, or flop altogether. (Remember the Segway?) The book would lay out nine rules for monetizing innovations wisely, using lessons learned from more than 10,000 projects done by SKP.

Bloom Group helped SKP retain a book agent, write a proposal and secure a contract with Wiley, a global business and academic publisher. 

Then Bloom Group got down to work helping the authors write the book which, at Wiley’s request, needed to be completed in four months. 

Bloom Group approached this challenge by:

  • Holding face-to-face planning sessions with the book's authors to perfect their arguments, using customer examples and secondary research. 
  • Outlining every chapter to ensure each met its goals and all parties were aligned on content.
  • Writing the chapters, incorporating Tacke’s and Ramanujam’s feedback and edits.
  • Completing the manuscript in the allotted time.

Monetizing Innovation: How Smart Companies Design the Product Around the Price was published on schedule in May 2016.

Bloom Group then helped Tacke and Ramanujam publish two articles based on their new book in Harvard Business Review online in May 2016. The HBR articles magnified the book’s impact and made more people aware of the company's unique expertise.

Business Outcomes:

Monetizing Innovation won a 4.5-star rating on Amazon.com. It also got positive reviews from prominent business leaders such as Bill Gurley, board member of Uber and General Partner at Benchmark.

In 2016, Simon-Kucher recorded annual revenue of over $260 million, growing 16 percent over the previous year. A 30 percent gain in U.S. revenues played a large role in that growth. Perhaps not coincidentally, the company has opened a second office in Silicon Valley, where innovation – and pricing it – is top of everyone’s mind.