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Working with Kanter International means engaging directly with Steen Kanter. Steen has served as a guide to established companies, start-ups, entrepreneurs, and emerging leaders for nearly twenty years. His unique goal is to empower each client to realize their potential. 

Steen relentlessly works alongside his clients to assist them in building their brand. Regardless of the target market [Los Angeles, Greenland, Kuwait, Copenhagen, Shanghai, Sydney (with exception of Greenland, he has worked in all of them)] or whether it’s B2C or B2B (no nonprofits, please), Steen will share from his arsenal of hands-on experience exactly how successful businesses are built (brand equity and profitability). He can remain at the clients side assisting in execution and will educate them so they can do it themselves in the future. He understands that establishing a clear path forward requires asking and answering difficult questions. His greatest expectation is that each client will reveal their company to him so he can fully empower them to reach their goals. Steen personally leads each client through the Kanter International Business Building Methodology. He assesses a company as an outsider looking in and makes recommendations as though the company were his own.

At Kanter International, we recognize that successful brands are built brick-by-brick. Solid business decisions are based on fundamental principles and sound, informed strategies. We leverage our past successes (and failures) as the hands-on, bottom-line-driven operators behind companies such as IKEA, The Body Shop, EverlastLord & Taylor, Ink!Coffee, Flying Tiger, and Herman Miller. Our history, in addition to the ongoing wisdom we accrue every day advising a select roster of clients, is what sets Kanter International apart. We are more partner than consultant—we get closer and dig deeper than any consultancy in the marketplace


With almost 20 years as an independent business partner, which includes building the IKEA brand in five countries, Steen Kanter guides Kanter International as the Chief Business Consultant. Kanter International was founded in 1998 under Steen's vision to help clients build their businesses and create powerful and profitable leading brands, brick by brick.

Steen's expertise at transforming brands into category leaders was honed in the retail industry, while building IKEA's home furnishings business in Denmark, Germany, Austria, Canada, and the United States. During this time, he served as the President of IKEA U.S. East as well as a member of IKEA's North American Board of Directors. In addition, Steen is recognized for masterminding IKEA's store in Elizabeth, New Jersey, which was named Money Magazine's Store of the Year in 1990.

In 1996, Steen became the President and CEO of the Body Shop, U.S., a UK-based cosmetics manufacturer and retailer with more than 1,500 franchised and company-owned stores in 46 countries. Through his leadership and direction, the Body Shop successfully broke through the highly competitive North American marketplace to become recognized throughout the continent as a high-quality retailer of skin and body care products.

Kanter International, having recently celebrated its eighteenth anniversary as an independent "business partner" to more than one hundred clients (both U.S. and abroad), is a sought-after resource by consumer-focused companies looking to grow. Steen has built a reputation for successfully leveraging his hands-on experience, knowledge, and common sense from past successes (and failures) into consumer-focused brand strategies that are decisive, deliberate, and creative.

Steen is regarded as a retail industry expert, proficient in every aspect of retail strategy, branding, and execution—from store planning and conception, to financial modeling, to merchandising for profitability, to consumer communications, and everything in between. Steen is often the key-note speaker at corporate gatherings and conventions in the United States and Europe, as well as a frequent media guest and expert commentator.