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KPMG ‘embraces the unknown’ with acquisition of innovation consultancy, UDKU

KPMG acquires UDKU

KPMG Australia has acquired high growth customer experience innovation consultancy, UDKU.


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KPMG Australia has acquired high growth customer experience innovation consultancy, UDKU.

UDKU (U Don’t Know Us) was so named because they aim to assist clients ‘embrace the unknown’. For large businesses, that means helping them tap into their inner start-up. And for start-ups, it’s about helping them punch above their weight and compete at scale.

Established in 2013, UDKU is the collaboration of three owners: Mark Timmins (managing partner and previous Group Head of M&C Saatchi), Colin Jowell (creative strategist with a management consulting background), and Kon Marinis (commercially minded creative) who share passion for creativity and impact, as well as frustration that client needs have evolved beyond what traditional agencies can offer. Based in Sydney, UDKU’s team of 10 commence with KPMG’s rapidly expanding Customer, Brand & Marketing Advisory business (CBMA) today.

“UDKU was founded because certainty in business no longer exists. Change is constant. Embracing the unknown is an essential philosophy as business grapples with disruption and the need to change, fast,” said Colin Jowell. “Because we work across such a diverse range of categories, we can bring clients unexpected ideas that transform their business. The opportunity for us to be part of KPMG is just brilliant, allowing us to scale up the customer experience innovation offer at this critical time.”

Gary Wingrove, CEO of KPMG Australia commented: “Over the next five years, almost 90 percent of companies expect to be competing on the basis of customer experience alone. The world according to the customer will define organisations’ design, processes and technology changes. UDKU beautifully complements CBMA’s expertise by deepening our customer experience and digital design capabilities, as well as adding a new dimension of physical design skills.”

KPMG Partner in Charge of CBMA, Paul Howes, added: “UDKU is a bit of a birthday present for our venture. It is just over a year since CBMA was formed, off the back of our acquisition of Acuity Research and Insights. And it’s been a massive success. CBMA is producing some stellar results for clients, and enjoying strong double digit growth.”

At the cutting edge of customer experience innovation in Australia, UDKU describes their approach as ‘evidence based design’. This involves blending research from emerging science in behavioural economics and neuroscience, with world class creative output.

“Our solutions address specific business issues through the lenses of customer and staff experience. We provide holistic customer experience problem-solving, with the security of fact-based evidence and the ability to practically go to market,” said Colin Jowell. “And this kind of targeted creative thinking has delivered game-changing results for clients. Take Airtasker, for example. Our successful work with Airtasker has helped it transform from start-up to a household name!”

UDKU services a mix of blue chip and start-up companies. Key projects include helping Manu Fiedel and Phil Davenport turn confit duck into sexy street food with Duck In Duck Out; helping Fonzarelli pioneer the electric scooter market; and working with Matt Moran and Bruce Solomons’ Solotel hospitality group to help them chart their future customer experience.

Commercial terms were not disclosed.


For further information

Kristin Silva
0411 110 953

Ashford Pritchard
0411 020 680

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