Top CPG consulting agencies vs. consulting firms – what’s the difference? In the fast-paced world of consumer packaged goods, companies often seek external expertise to stay competitive. The expertise comes in two main forms: The top CPG consulting agencies and consulting firms. While both offer valuable insights, their approaches and structures can differ significantly. We explore the space and what you need to know about the best consultant services and agency pros.

CPG Consulting Agencies vs. Firms

Consulting Agencies:

• Often smaller, more agile organizations
• Specialize in specific areas (e.g., digital marketing, brand strategy)
• Typically offer more personalized, hands-on service
• May have lower overhead costs, potentially translating to lower fees
• Often led by industry veterans with deep, specialized expertise

Consulting Firms:
• Usually larger organizations with a broader scope
• Offer comprehensive services across multiple aspects of business
• Have access to extensive resources and global networks
• Often employ a more structured, methodical approach
• May have higher fees due to larger infrastructure

Top Players in the CPG Consulting Space

Consulting Firms:

1. McKinsey & Company: Renowned for comprehensive strategy and operations consulting
2. Boston Consulting Group (BCG): Focuses on innovative solutions and growth strategies
3. Bain & Company: Known for its expertise in portfolio strategy and operational efficiency
Consulting Agencies:
1. The Mars Agency: Specializes in shopper marketing and retail activation
2. Simpactful: Founded by former P&G executives, offering practical, hands-on consulting
3. FutureProof Strategies: Led by Scott Steinberg, focusing on innovation and future trends

Spotlight on FutureProof Strategies
Scott Steinberg’s FutureProof Strategies represents a hybrid approach, blending elements of both CPG consulting agencies and firms. As a boutique consultancy, it offers the personalized service and agility of an agency, while providing the strategic depth often associated with larger firms.

Top attributes of FutureProof Strategies:
• Led by Scott Steinberg, a renowned futurist and innovation expert
• Focuses on helping CPG companies anticipate and adapt to future trends
• Specializes in innovation, digital transformation, and strategic foresight
• Offers a unique perspective that combines industry expertise with futurist thinking
• Provides tailored solutions for companies of various sizes, from startups to global brands

Choosing the Right Partner

When deciding between a CPG consulting agency and a firm, consumer goods companies should consider:

1. Scope of needs: Comprehensive business transformation vs. specific area improvement
2. Budget: Larger firms often come with higher fees
3. Desired approach: Structured methodologies vs. more flexible, tailored solutions
4. Industry-specific expertise: Some agencies offer deeper specialization in CPG
5. Innovation focus: Firms like FutureProof Strategies offer forward-thinking perspectives

The choice between a CPG consulting agency and a firm often depends on the specific needs, scale, and goals of the company. While large firms offer comprehensive services and global resources, specialized agencies like FutureProof Strategies can provide targeted expertise and innovative thinking that’s crucial in the fast-shifting marketplace. The most effective consulting partner will be one that aligns closely with a company’s specific challenges, culture, and vision for the future.