The Top Strategy Consulting Firms | 2017 Ranking | Business, Strategy, Technology


Finding the Top Strategy Consulting Firms

Picking the best strategy consulting firm for your business can be tricky and time-consuming, especially when you’re not completely sold on the idea of outsourcing your company’s problem solving to another group.

You need to ask yourself if you need a marketing strategy consulting firm, boutique strategy consulting firm, business strategy consulting firm or general strategy consulting company.

You will obviously want one of the best strategy consulting firms to assess your problem.  

However, before company executives even seek the advice of a strategy consulting firm, they are oftentimes unfamiliar with the point and purpose of strategy consulting companies.

Essentially, strategy consultants are sought out not to take over the business decisions of a person or company but rather add their thoughts and input to the client’s decision-making process, aiming to optimize the client’s decision(s) as much as possible.

Some problems are better-suited for marketing strategy consulting firms while others can be applied more effectively to strategy consulting companies.

Certain decisions can make or break a company which is why seeking business strategy consulting could be the best option for some companies and organizations. 

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Award Emblem: Top 5 Strategy Consulting Firms

For those looking for advice for top strategy consulting firms, AdvisoryHQ has compiled a list of the best strategy consulting firms, which include business strategy consulting firms, technology strategy consulting firms, marketing strategy consulting firms, and boutique strategy consulting firms.

However, before we dive into the best strategy consulting firms, one question remains to be answered: What qualities do top strategy consulting firms have?

Based on AdvisoryHQ’s thorough research, the best strategy consulting firms usually have expertise in a business’s industry or topic area, a devoted team who will come up with the customized strategies with great care, and the ability to optimize any situation. 

These qualities and others can be found in the best strategy consulting firms reviewed in this list.   

See Also: Top Best Economic Consulting Firms | Ranking and Comparison

List of Top Strategy Consulting Firms

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the names above to go directly to the detailed review section for that firm)

Top Strategy Consulting Firms:

Strategy Consulting Firms


Boston Consulting Group

Cornerstone Research

Deloitte Consulting

McKinsey & Company


Table: Top 5 Strategy Consulting Firms | above list is sorted alphabetically 

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Boston Consulting Group Review

As a strategy consulting firm, BCG has prided itself, since 1963, in aiming to provide deep insight for difficult problems. Headquartered in Boston, with 6,200 employees and revenue of $3.7 billion, BCG has earned its place on the list of the best strategy consulting firms.

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Image source: BCG

Qualities That Allowed This Firm to Be Considered a Top Strategy Consulting Firm

Creative Approach

BCG often solves problems for companies in a more creative fashion than other top strategy consulting firms. It tries to break away from classic framework problem-solving solutions that other business strategy consulting firms engage in and, instead, tries to address a problem from an innovative and almost artistic approach. 

Big-Picture Thinking

In addition to being creative, BCG consultants have a knack to step away from the main issue and look at the bigger picture. They are able to see how a situation has many moving parts and can only be solved if those parts are adjusted. BCG consultants can see how taxes, public policy, and creativity influence across all markets. This makes BCG consultants experts in every field. Its comprehensive list of services is also indicative of its big-picture thinking.

Specific services include:

  • Change management
  • Corporate development and finance
  • IT
  • Innovation and growth
  • Marketing and sales
  • Operations
  • People and organization
  • Post-merger integration
  • Strategy
  • Transformation and turnaround

Dedication to Cybersecurity

Internationally recognized expert in cybersecurity, Michael Coden was hired by BCG subsidiary BCG Plantion – a secondary component in this top strategy consulting firm that focuses on technology architecture, implementation, digital, and risk services. Coden’s presence indicates that BCG is aware that our world is becoming increasingly digital, and that your protection in the cybersphere is of utmost importance, particularly relating to business-focused technology risk advice and technology strategy consulting. 

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Cornerstone Research Review

While not considered one of the big powerhouse strategy consulting companies, Cornerstone Research still packs a punch when it comes to your consulting needs. Cornerstone Research is actually considered one of the best boutique strategy consulting firms all around. For over 25 years, Cornerstone Research has been providing economic and financial strategy consulting in all phases of commercial litigation.

However, what makes a boutique strategy consulting firm “boutique?” A boutique firm is a firm on the smaller side that offers a limited number of services to a much smaller client base. Most boutique strategy consulting firms only have about 100 clients with a moderately smaller staff than other bigger firms (e.g., Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers). 

While some may like the big name of larger consulting firms, boutique firms can offer companies a more intimate experience, sometimes leading to better results.  

Qualities That Allowed This Firm to Be Considered a Top Strategy Consulting Firm

Small Staff Size

While some larger firms have thousands of employees and consultants for day-to-day business strategy consulting, Cornerstone Research has a little over 500 people as part of its staff, which is small enough for its website to warrant a staff page. This reduced staff size allows for Cornerstone Research to have a more familiar experience with its clients, which might be the best option for companies seeking a more personal relationship with their consultants and, in turn, allows the company to be considered one of the top strategy consulting firms.

Specified and Streamlined Services

Just like all boutique firms should, Cornerstone Research only offers specific consulting services for organizations seeking strategy consulting, mainly economic and financial consulting. Cornerstone Research consulting consists of financial and economic analysis and expert testimony for commercial litigation, investigations, and regulatory proceedings.

Specific services include

  • Consulting with attorneys
  • Engaging and working with expert witnesses
  • Conducting research and analysis
  • Consulting on internal and regulatory inquiries
  • Consulting in motion practice
  • Preparing for deposition and trial

These specific services allow clients to hone in on their needs sooner in the strategy consulting game, permitting for their problems to be identified, solved, and successfully sustained much faster.

Expert Resources

Cornerstone Research’s broad and extensive network of testifying experts, which include faculty and industry practitioners, leads to a collaboration that is exclusive to Cornerstone Research strategy consulting.

In addition, its staff consultants are often experts in finance, economics, accounting, and marketing, making your experience with them incredibly comprehensive and thorough. Furthermore, the consultants bring on a team of experts who bring a certain level of expertise in their consulting that other firms just cannot offer.

All of these qualities are what makes a boutique strategy consulting firm more alluring to some businesses and which allows Cornerstone Research to be included in our list of top strategy consulting firms.

Deloitte Consulting Review

With a myriad of services besides consulting, Deloitte has earned its spot as one of the top consulting firms. What makes Deloitte a little different from other business strategy consulting firms is that Deloitte is a brand, which tens of thousands of professionals and consultants in independent firms collaborate with one another to0 provide consulting to select clients. These independent firms range from technology consulting firms to marketing consulting firms.

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Image source: Forbes

Deloitte dwarfs other business strategy consulting firms when it comes to the amount of employees, with a current tally of 222,000 working professionals worldwide. Also, its revenue in 2015 in the United States was around $35.2 billion.

Qualities That Allowed This Firm to Be Considered a Top Strategy Consulting Firm

Global and Localized Practicum

Since it’s such a large management consultant agency, Deloitte is able to bridge global and local ideas in order to achieve the best situation for a company or organization. There three primary practice areas are as follows:

  • Human Capital aids research, analytics, and industry insight to help create execute programs from business-driven HR to innovative talent and leadership programs.
  • Strategy and Operations works alongside senior executives to help them crack their most difficult and complex problems by offering a solution that shows in-depth analysis, industry knowledge, and an insight to allow confident action.
  • Technology produces solutions that help create transformation, increase productivity, and streamline business operations.

Comprehensive Services

Deloitte isn’t just a one-trick pony when it comes to being a strategy consulting firm. It has an exhaustive set of consulting services that can provide you with the exact needs your company is looking for.

Customer Transformation

  • Contact Center Strategy and Processes focuses on improving customer care, help desk, and shared services.
  • Deloitte consultants help corporate leaders execute strategies to initiate, grow, and sustain profitable relationships with business customers.
  • Its sales transformation abilities help companies tackle some of their toughest problems and get ahead of the competition.

Asset-Based Solutions

  • Deloitte’s Products and Solutions practices help combine its “in the trenches” experience with innovative and tangible assets that help clients’ most pressing challenges.
  • Benchmarking Prisms, developed by the Global Benchmarking Center, allow clients to assess their performances compared to their peers and to quantify opportunities for improvement.

Employee Diversity

Deloitte is known for making a strong effort in ensuring that its employees are representative among various races, age groups, and genders. This strategy consulting firm was actually listed in the Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Related: Top Best HR Consulting Firms This Year (Ranking and Review)

McKinsey & Company Review

Often considered to be the top strategy consulting firm, McKinsey & Company has been providing consulting since 1926, when James O McKinsey opened his first consulting office in Chicago.

Ninety years later, McKinsey & Company has remained one of the best strategy consulting firms, with roughly 10,000 consultants and almost 2,000 research and information professionals worldwide and revenue of $8.4 billion.

Qualities That Allowed This Firm to Be Considered a Top Strategy Consulting Firm

Time-Honored Prestige

McKinsey & Company has been one of top strategy consulting firms for decades, making a highly sought-after consulting firm out there. With years of increasing success, it is no wonder why consultants at McKinsey take pride in being considered one of top strategy consulting firms.

Comprehensive Consulting

McKinsey & Company consultants are able to serve their clients at any and every level of their organization. In addition, its implementation specialists work directly with their clients on how to best put their recommendations into daily practice for the client. Roughly 70% of the work is for clients they have served for over 10 years. No matter the assignment, McKinsey & Company is able to assemble the best team for your needs, making it one of the best strategy consulting firms in the business.

Specific services include:

  • Marketing and sales
  • Operations
  • Organization
  • Risk
  • Strategy and corporate finance
  • Sustainability and resource productivity

Research and Development

What also makes McKinsey & Company one of the top strategy consulting firms is its devotion to continual research and development to better-suit its clients’ needs.

  • Digital Labs develops brisk prototypes and customer software and apps and embeds its recommendations into its clients’ existing technology platforms.
  • McKinsey Analytics builds and maintains advanced and nuanced data models that permit its clients to generate ideas that allow them to make better and quicker decisions.
  • McKinsey Recovery & Transformation Services’ turnaround executives work across all industries in order to help derailed businesses get back on track.

Gender Diversity

McKinsey & Company issued a survey in collaboration with, called Women in the Workplace 2016, which revealed that women still remain underrepresented in the corporate world. McKinsey & Company is aware of this disparity and is striving to bring diversity of all kinds to this top business strategy consulting firm. 

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PricewaterhouseCoopers Review

What started as an accounting firm in London has now turned into a full-fledged business services provider. Currently, PwC serves 26 countries with focuses in assurance, tax, human resources, transactions, performance improvements, crisis management, and business strategy consulting. While PwC wears many hats, being a top business strategy consulting firm is a main one.

Qualities That Allowed This Firm to Be Considered a Top Strategy Consulting Firm

Variety of Tailored Services

PwC provides an array of consulting services that can fit just about any need a company may need as a top strategy consulting firm should. From securing assets to transforming human capital, a PwC consultant can deliver the solution you need.

Specific services include:

  • Accelerate digital and technology impact
  • Create unique customer experiences
  • Navigate risk and regulatory complexity
  • Secure assets
  • Strengthen trust and transparency
  • Unlock data possibilities
  • Align costs with business strategy
  • Grow and create competitive advantage
  • Optimize deals
  • Stimulate innovation
  • Transform human capital

The Ability to Target Your Company’s Strengths

PwC consultants are able to harness your company’s distinguished abilities and convert market opportunities into maintainable growth. What allows the PwC consultants to do this is its decluttering approach that cuts out the unnecessary fat in your problem, making it lean and more manageable. The goal is to have your company grow from its strengths and excise the weaknesses. PwC’s simple equation is what makes it both a top strategy consulting firm and business strategy consulting firm: a capability-driven approach that assesses your aptitudes and how you can grow from them.

The Ability to Secure Your Company’s Assets

With the increasing digital age, businesses are even more compromised when it comes to securing their assets. In the realm of technology strategy consulting, PwC understands that your assets need to be protected in regard to cybersecurity. By working with PwC consultants, you can ensure that your assets will be protected with its technology strategy consulting that is able to recognize potential weak security spots in your network, detect security threats, and can combat invasive behavior. 

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Conclusion – Top Strategy Consulting Firms

This brings us to the end of our comprehensive list of the top business strategy consulting companies. While it is ultimately your company’s decision to discern what your specific needs for your strategy consulting are, the information provided above should help make your decision a little easier.

Each of these firms provides the upper echelon of services. However, the one you pick should offer the specific strategy consulting needs you require.

If you are going to outsource your business strategy consulting, you need to ensure that you choose the best provider for you. Whether you need a more cost-effective business strategy consulting or a more intimate experience at a boutique strategy consulting firm, our rundown of the top strategy consulting firms will be able to assist you.

Like any good business, these business strategy consulting firms have locations across the country with staff that is incredibly accessible, allowing you to have access to all of the best strategy consulting firms in the country.

AdvisoryHQ Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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