GfK establishes the first global user experience group with acquisition of User Centric, Inc.
Nuremberg - GfK, one of the leading market research companies in the world, today announced the acquisition of User Centric, Inc., with effect from October 1st. The company is the largest user experience (UX) research and design firm in the US. With the acquisition, GfK announces the first truly global UX service offering, with more than 150 UX consultants worldwide, including GfK Sir-ValUse in Germany and terms in UK, Switzerland, Poland, China and South Korea.
"Our new UX service portfolio is the next big step for GfK in addressing the key challenges of the digital era," says Debra A. Pruent, Chief Operating Officer and responsible for the Consumer Experiences sector of GfK. "It complements the digital market intelligence expertise we have built globally in delivering actionable insights on product development"
GfK as the global leader in UX research
Conducting research in more than 100 countries and managing more than 25 dedicated and purpose-built UX facilities, GfK offers global UX services, including research and design support, throughout the user-centered design process. By combining the newly developed GfK's UX Score with sales data from GfK Consumer Choices and with brand trackers, GfK will be able to calculate the impact of UX on brand and sales providing further higher-value ROI consulting services for clients.
"The new UX offering encompasses the synergy of services between market research and UX research", said David Krajicek, CEO, GfK North America. "User Centric was the critical component in creating GfK´s UX team because of its outstanding reputation for high qualily research, proven ability to scale, and established market share in the US. Ultimately, this integration affords us significant opportunities to add additional value to existing clients of GfK and User Centric".The teams in US, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, China and South Korea have experience working for clients like Bosch, BSH, Deutsche Te-lekom, eBay, Huawei, LG, Lufthansa, Nestle, Roche, Starwood Hotels and Volkswagen. GfK’s UX consultants, industry specialists in Automotive, Mo-bile, Healthcare, Media, Financial Services and Retail, have developed and optimized hundreds of products, such as mobile devices and applications, medical devices, household appliances, consumer electronics, software, websites and in-vehicle technology.
"By joining the UX team of GfK, we make User Centric's goal of being a truly global UX company a reality", says Gavin Lew, Managing Director of User Centric. "Our clients demand consistent and high quality services for global research and design – and we are perfectly positioned to deliver." Founded in 1999 with three consultants, User Centric has grown to become the largest UX research and design firm in the US with over 50 consultants. Headquartered in Chicago, User Centric offers clients tailored services that include user research, user interface design consulting, information archi-tecture, usability testing, user interface evaluations, eye tracking, service design, personas and ethnography. In financial year 2011, sales totaled US$8.9 million. User Centric Managing Directors Gavin Lew and Robert Schumacher will continue to manage User Centric under the new name, GfK User Centric. The global UX service portfolio will be managed by Tim Bosenick, Managing Director of GfK SirValUse.
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 11,500 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovat-ing and using the latest technologies and the most intelligent methodolo-gies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to €1.37 billion.
Since 1 January 2012, GfK has been focusing on the two complementary sectors of Consumer Choices and Consumer Experiences.
The Consumer Choices sector investigates what’s selling when and where. It focuses on the continuous assessment of market segments and trends by analyzing all major sales and information channels and media. The for-mer Retail and Technology sector and the Media sector’s TV, radio and print measurement businesses have been folded into the new Consumer Choices sector.The Consumer Experiences sector concentrates on consumers’ attitudes, perceptions and behavior and answers the questions who is buying, why they are buying and how they are buying. These are explored though highly creative, robust and flexible methodologies. GfK is pioneering sophisticated new ways of understanding how people experience brands and services. The former Custom Research business and ad hoc research from the Me-dia sector are included in this new sector.