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Raj

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7

What differentiates Strategy& from the MBBs and other Tier 2 firms?

7 answers

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Book a coaching with Raj

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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

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

Book a coaching with Francesco

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Hi there,

Assuming you are asking to answer the “Why us” question, I would choose three points out of those below to structure an answer:

  • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the company in areas/products interesting for you
  • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the company
  • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
  • Company potential: how much the company grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
  • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.

You should do due diligence on the points above for your specific office as there may be regional differences.

If you want to compare to MBB, you need to choose points MBB could not offer you at that level (eg specific focus on a sector, smaller office and faster opportunities to advance, etc)

Whatever topic you choose, you should apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can change the name Strategy& with another and the answer still makes sense, it means your answer is not specific enough and you need to provide more details.

Best,

Francesco

Hi there,

Assuming you are asking to answer the “Why us” question, I would choose three points out of those below to structure an answer:

  • Sectors of interest: specific focus of the company in areas/products interesting for you
  • People you met and culture: specific people of the company you discussed with, and the things they shared on the company
  • Your growth opportunities: specific programs of the company you heard about to enhance your growth
  • Company potential: how much the company grew in the last year, which is a good guarantee for your future career as well
  • Size/reputation of the firm: smaller companies usually offer a more entrepreneurial culture, with higher growth potential internally. Bigger companies have more resources and support staff, and more prestige in terms of exit.

You should do due diligence on the points above for your specific office as there may be regional differences.

If you want to compare to MBB, you need to choose points MBB could not offer you at that level (eg specific focus on a sector, smaller office and faster opportunities to advance, etc)

Whatever topic you choose, you should apply a simple rule of thumb: if you can change the name Strategy& with another and the answer still makes sense, it means your answer is not specific enough and you need to provide more details.

Best,

Francesco

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Hey there,

I have written exactly on that topic here: https://strategycase.com/why-mckinsey-bcg-and-bain-are-considered-the-top-tier-consulting-firms

At the core, MBB

  • works with the top clients. While sometimes strategy& will work for the same types of clients, their overall client portfolio includes also many smaller firms
  • works with C-level mandates only and is usually hired from the global C-suite directly
  • works on the most impactful projects. The big-ticket items and strategy work is more often than not given to MBB
  • has a more brutal recruiting funnel, with higher % dropping out at each stage of the application
  • has a higher price tag (see above for why that is)
  • has the highest investment in employees and knowledge building
  • has better exit opportunities and stronger alumni networks

Other than that and compared to peers, strategy& has some different strengths in different sectors and geographic presence.

Kind regards,

Florian

Hey there,

I have written exactly on that topic here: https://strategycase.com/why-mckinsey-bcg-and-bain-are-considered-the-top-tier-consulting-firms

At the core, MBB

  • works with the top clients. While sometimes strategy& will work for the same types of clients, their overall client portfolio includes also many smaller firms
  • works with C-level mandates only and is usually hired from the global C-suite directly
  • works on the most impactful projects. The big-ticket items and strategy work is more often than not given to MBB
  • has a more brutal recruiting funnel, with higher % dropping out at each stage of the application
  • has a higher price tag (see above for why that is)
  • has the highest investment in employees and knowledge building
  • has better exit opportunities and stronger alumni networks

Other than that and compared to peers, strategy& has some different strengths in different sectors and geographic presence.

Kind regards,

Florian

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Hey there,

difficult question, but let me try to give you some food for thought here:

1. Obvious difference is the level (MBB vs. Tier 2 vs. Tier 3) with Strategy& being at the upper end of Tier 2 in most countries. But you'll have different exit options/opportunities than as an MBB consultant.

2. The backing of PwC network and the respective advantages and disadvantages of that.

3. Localv P&L centers instead of global or DACH staffing, therefore: clear industry focus depending on office location.

4. "Rather new firm" as with the PwC-merger, many people have left the firm and new people came onboard. Must have implications on the prevailing culture!

Hope this helps you a bit in your orientation. It might be a bit easier to compare two firms directly as e.g. Tier 2 is of course very wide-spread.

Let me know if you have any other questions,

Torben

Hey there,

difficult question, but let me try to give you some food for thought here:

1. Obvious difference is the level (MBB vs. Tier 2 vs. Tier 3) with Strategy& being at the upper end of Tier 2 in most countries. But you'll have different exit options/opportunities than as an MBB consultant.

2. The backing of PwC network and the respective advantages and disadvantages of that.

3. Localv P&L centers instead of global or DACH staffing, therefore: clear industry focus depending on office location.

4. "Rather new firm" as with the PwC-merger, many people have left the firm and new people came onboard. Must have implications on the prevailing culture!

Hope this helps you a bit in your orientation. It might be a bit easier to compare two firms directly as e.g. Tier 2 is of course very wide-spread.

Let me know if you have any other questions,

Torben

Book a coaching with Ian

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Hi there,

Remember that Strategy& was formerly Booz&Company. While MBB are each pure strategy consulting firms, Strategy& is part of the larger PwC ecosystem. This comes with all the pros and cons (much larger range of projects and exposure, ability to move across the organization, scale of projects, bureacracy, complexity in organization, etc.)

Hi there,

Remember that Strategy& was formerly Booz&Company. While MBB are each pure strategy consulting firms, Strategy& is part of the larger PwC ecosystem. This comes with all the pros and cons (much larger range of projects and exposure, ability to move across the organization, scale of projects, bureacracy, complexity in organization, etc.)

Book a coaching with Clara

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Hello!

TBH, all Big3 and Big 4 are very similar among their peers -and they will never ask you why Strategy& and not EY in a comparative way, for instance-.

The main idfference is that it belongs to the huge PwC ecosystem.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

TBH, all Big3 and Big 4 are very similar among their peers -and they will never ask you why Strategy& and not EY in a comparative way, for instance-.

The main idfference is that it belongs to the huge PwC ecosystem.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

Book a coaching with Gaurav

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Hi there,

Lots of helpful answers here already. The main differences are the companies' sizes and prestige and all that derives from that, such as exit opportunities, types of projects, culture, etc.

Cheers,

GB

Hi there,

Lots of helpful answers here already. The main differences are the companies' sizes and prestige and all that derives from that, such as exit opportunities, types of projects, culture, etc.

Cheers,

GB

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