Innovation consultancy UDKU acquired by KPMG Australia

31 July 2018 3 min. read

KPMG has snapped up the Sydney based innovation and consulting agency UDKU or U Don’t Know Us for an undisclosed sum. The consultancy is aptly named as it helps its clients embrace the unknown.

UDKU has joined the KPMG Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory (CBMA) business bringing all 11 staff along with it. This acquisition is the second for the Big Four professional services firm after it created its CBPA practice mid last year.  

The consultancy was born out of the desire to kickstart the creativity process. Jumpstarting and driving innovation is a core factor of UDKU’s business model. “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 creative strategist and Partner, 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,” Jowell continued. 

The acquisition exemplifies KPMG’s intention to bolster its CBMA practice. Having only been created a few years back, KPMG’s customer, brand & marketing advisory services have been built off the acquisition of Acuity Research & Insights last year. Since then the firm has appointed former Publicis CEO Andrew Baxteras a senior advisor. 

Innovation consultancy UDKU acquired by KPMG Australia

The firm’s CBMA practice has grown to over a 100 people in the past year. According to KPMG’s Partner in Charge of CBMA, Paul Howes, the practice is working on projects for some of Australia’s most forward-thinking and progressive organisations. The purchase comes almost exactly a year after the firm’s CBMA practices inception.

“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.” 

“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!” he said. 

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.”