AMCF Study Reveals Brand’s Role in the Consulting Industry

Brand Influence Guide for Management Consulting (BIG:MC) examines how management consulting firms are leveraging brand as a business asset.

The Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF), in partnership with DeSantis Breindel, released the findings of the Brand Influence Guide for Management Consulting (BIG:MC), a research study examining the role of brand in consulting. The survey analyzed the responses of over 75 executives within management consulting firms of all sizes.

Key findings include:

  • 53% of midsized consulting firms see their brands as weak
  • Mobile media is seen as one of the least effective marketing channels, while websites are seen as the most effective channel for deploying a brand for both internal and external audiences
  • Thought leadership is the top brand driver, while “star” consultants play the least important role in shaping the management consulting brand
  • Although tradeshows are the biggest budget item, they are not seen as the most effective marketing channel

In recent years, management consulting firms have continued to broaden the scope of their offering, often through acquisitions, to meet the increasing demand for technology, digitization and implementation vs. traditional strategy consulting services. BIG:MC aimed to understand if, and how, firms are leveraging brand as a business asset, and what role brand is playing in this complex and evolving market landscape.

“One of the most interesting things we learned is that mid-sized firms in particular are having trouble finding their place in this industry,” said Howard Breindel, Co-CEO of DeSantis Breindel. “Often they’ve grown as a collection of practices. They aren’t small enough to be boutiques. They aren’t quite large enough to be global, full-service leaders. They’re stuck somewhere in the middle, trying to straddle both worlds.” The result, the study found, is that mid-size firms feel the least confident in their ability to articulate who they are – internally and externally.

“The goal of this research was to help our members make more informed branding and marketing decisions in this changing landscape,” said Sally Caputo, President and COO of the AMCF. “Research revealed a real need for consulting firms, especially mid-size firms, to more effectively create and communicate a consistent story to those inside and outside of the firm. In consulting, your brand walks out the door every day. Marketers need to make sure their people are empowered to understand and live the right brand.”

To see results from the study, visit

About the Association of Management Consulting Firms

The Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) is the premier international association of firms engaged in the practice of management consulting. Founded in 1929, for 85 years AMCF has been in the forefront of promoting excellence and integrity in the profession. 

The mission of the Association is to promote an environment which fosters the success of management consulting firms worldwide and the value they deliver to their clients. It does this by helping members strengthen their senior management teams through value-driven programs, research and communications. In 2013, AMCF offered 38 focused learning seminars and events to members and non-members providing unique opportunities for peer-to-peer discussion and networking.