Most of the answers have compared the specific differentiators. I would split this into a couple of factors:
- Brand Affinity (prestige) - clearly there is a difference in perception in the market between MBB and Tier 2. This delta more pronounced between McKinsey and all other consulting firms
- Type of work - broadly you'll find S& compete with MBB and other firms for the same types of projects. There is certainly an emphasis on what we would call Strategy through to Execution work - essentially engagements that would present sell-on opportunities for operational/implementation work. Here is where the PwC network was valuable in selling S& as an end-to-end offering. As a young consultant, you'll work on both pure strategy work and more operational work, and will work with the various network firms (PwC/S&) globally.
- Types of clients - not hugely dissimilar from MBB on average. Varies a lot by region as S&'s perception is rather different in the UK vs SEA vs Middle East - due to the historic brand benefit from Booz & Co.
- Culture - again this varies by office, but you will find that with the PwC merger, some regions have retained that Booz magic better than others have, as there was attrition. The other reason this varies by office is due to the incentives created from separate P&Ls but selling your global capability to clients. Work life balance tends to be slightly better than MBB from what I know.
- Potential - strong growth potential from pushing the digital transformation agenda, not just selling a beautiful strategy deck but can own the execution too (similar to McKinsey Solutions etc). Benefit from building channel partnerships as part of digital transformation (Google/Salesforce etc) which has helped to use the initial strategy project as a crowbar
Feel free to reach out if any other question