Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions


The Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (NIM) is a non-profit research institute at the interface of academia and practice. NIM examines how consumer decisions change due to new technology, societal trends or the application of behavioral science, and what the resulting micro- and macroeconomic impacts are for the market and for society as a whole. A better understanding of consumer decisions and their impacts helps society, businesses, politics, and consumers make better decisions with regard to “prosperity for all” in the sense of the social-ecological market system.

The Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions is the founder of GfK.

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Interesting Facts

About NIM

Our establishment in 1934 marked the birth of market research in Germany.

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As a think tank for market research, the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions relies on the innovativeness and commitment of its team. Its employees are characterized by diverse qualifications and specialist knowledge.

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Three committees steer the activities and strategy of the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions. The general assembly, the Executive Board and the Members’ Council.

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Articles of Association

Articles of association for the Institute for Market Decisions e.V.

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Market research in Germany began with our foundation in 1934. Today, the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions e.V. has around 400 members.

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Annual Reports

You can find our Annual Reports here, detailing our activities, projects and financial figures for the past 12 months.

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1925 – forerunner

In 1925, Wilhelm Vershofen founded the „Institut für Wirtschaftsbeobachtung der deutschen Fertigware” (IWF) at the Nuremberg School of Economics. The aims are cost comparisons and applied "consumption research" to observe and better understand consumer behavior. Prof. Vershofen wins Consul Wilhelm R. Mann, member of the board of IG Farben, for his project.

1934 – foundation

In 1934, the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung e.V. (GfK) was founded. In addition to Prof. Dr. Vershofen, the Board of Management also includes Dr. Erich Schäfer and the later German Chancellor Dr. Ludwig Erhard. Members can be individuals, especially business executives, but also companies and economic policy associations

1934 – the rise of the term „Market Decisions“:

As early as 1934, our founders laid the intellectual basis that researching market decisions is a very central topic for understanding markets and consumers as well as the success of products.

Until 1945

The association conducted 71 different surveys until the end of the war, including the awareness of trademarks, personal care and soap consumption in Germany, structure of beverage consumption in Germany, patient and medicines, assessment of fuel company road maps.

After 1945 – business restart

Prof. Dr. Georg Bergler rebuilt GfK‘s business under difficult conditions. An important step was his application for permission to the American occupation forces. After permission was granted in 1947, work began on rebuilding. In 1950 the situation stabilized due to the rapidly increasing number of members.

1950s – upward trend through panels

Panel research was established at GfK from the 1950s onwards. In 1954, GfK began measuring the shopping behavior of Bavarian consumers: 1,000 households filled-in a shopping diary for two months.

End of 1960s – international research

From 1967, international research was expanded. This led to the foundation of companies initially in Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden. From around 1980, GfK companies were founded in the key European countries, initially in the UK and France, and later in Italy and Spain.

1970 – expansion of retail research

In view of the growing importance of retailing for sales, the association began to strategically expand its retail research in 1970.

1984 – spin-off into a GmbH

The reason for the spin-off of the commercial divisions in 1984 was a ruling by a regional court stating that the entrepreneurial activities were no longer compatible with the legal form of an "ideal association". From this point on, the association concentrated on enhancing market and sales research through studies, basic research and its role as a shareholder in GfK GmbH and its successor companies.

1990 - stock corporation

In 1990, GfK GmbH was transformed into a stock corporation, and in 1999 it was listed on the official market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. At that time, GfK was already a globally oriented market research company represented in 37 countries. The association - as a non-profit organization - continued to fullfill its statutory task: the enhancement of market research.

2018 – renaming to NIM

The association should be perceived as independent and no longer as a "part" of GfK SE. In order to give it a distinctive identity with the research focus "market decisions", it was renamed "Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions" (NIM) at the end of 2018. Founder and Anchor Shareholder of GfK SE.