Brandmuscle

  www.brandmuscle.com
  www.brandmuscle.com
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Brandmuscle Reviews

Updated August 24, 2014
Updated August 24, 2014
20 Reviews
2.8
20 Reviews
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Philip Alexander
8 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Innovative company but negative culture

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Client Service Account Executive  in  Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Client Service Account Executive in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Brandmuscle full-time

    Pros

    The company has an awesome product and their innovative methods are sure to grow Brandmuscle to be extremely successful. The company is full of young, vibrant professionals and they believe in continuous education for their employees.

    Cons

    Most staff are between the age of 22 and 35. With a young group, you have to keep in mind that not everyone matures the same. So the culture of the company has become a bit like high-school. There seems to be a lot of cliques, and if you don't find one to fit into, you won't be given the guidance you need to succeed. This is the nature of many of the senior managers as well.

    Be prepared to work well outside of your 8 to 5 work hours.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Management should remember that their relationships with some employees outside of work should not effect how they treat other employees they supervise. There is a lot favoritism (cliques). The politics and culture of this company has the potential to destroy this company's reputation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Working as a Business Analyst for Brandmuscle was a learning experience...a bad one.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Brandmuscle full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The only good part of working for Brandmuscle are the people I work with. Most are very kind, and are overall great people to work with.

    Cons

    This place still has not realized that it is more valuable and cost efficient to retain employees rather than find new ones. The salary is horrible when you consider the increased cost of living in Austin, and the work atmosphere can get monotonous at times. This is where the coworkers come into play to make work life a bit more exciting. It really seems like upper level management could care less about professional growth and development of new hires. This is not to say that all upper level managers are this way, but most are. Employees generally seem stressed at all times and the general consensus among 'lower level' employees is that the pay is too low for the amount of effort that is asked. It seems like this company does not value its employees, and as a result loses much of its talent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Learn to value your employees and reward them based on the merit of the work that they do, not how long they have worked there. This is why the talented people who genuinely care about the job find other places to work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Amazing Work Environment and Exciting Daily Work!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Business Analyst  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Brandmuscle full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    The management really care about their employees and the company provides excellent training for continued learning. The company values each person who works there and treats everyone like a valued member of the team. The work life balance is great as well.

    Cons

    I have not experienced any "Cons" while working for this company. The company has the attitude that they are always working to achieve greatness both with their clients and their employees.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep up the great work and communication! The company events really build up the team and the employee recognition program is awesome as well.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    Fun, young company... Growing faster than it knows how to handle

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - On-Site Graphic Designer  in  Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - On-Site Graphic Designer in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Brandmuscle full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great management and support. Fresh out of college I had a salary, benefits, and creative freedom. Also very lenient about time off and vacations. Was sent to Chicago for training before I started in Cleveland.

    Cons

    On-site designers can be alone and working in a cold office environment- not somewhere lively and creative. Communication with Chicago had plenty of "lost in the shuffle" moments.

    Recommends
  6. 5 people found this helpful  

    Not terrible, but far from good

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Brandmuscle full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Headquartered in the Willis Tower, I was very impressed in my initial interview, but after a few years I've come to realize that my fellow employees are easily the best (and only) pro about working at Brandmuscle. The majority of non-managerial employees are friendly, smart, talented and can be a great ear when venting about the many problems with the company.

    Cons

    Where to begin. The change in CEO in early 2013 was a welcome one and is ultimately a positive change, but unfortunately most senior management was left as-is (there is no middle management) and with the CEO only in the office a day or two per month, many promised changes have yet to occur. We are encouraged to speak up and offer suggestions, but 99% of the time they fall on deaf ears once they reach the Vice President level.

    Management/Promotions:
    There is no middle management. There are many "Vice Presidents" and then everyone else. Some people have "Director" or "Senior" in their title, but were given those titles due to their length of employment and not because of merit. That's not to say that some of them don't deserve to be in a Director or Senior position, but this is the company's way to reward someone without proper compensation. Directors and Senior-level employees have no additional responsibilities (and definitely no say in policies/procedures) beyond the duties they've been performing since they started. Me and my fellow senior employees still have to do the same type of admin work as the recently hired college grads.

    Environment:
    It's a very fast-paced environment. This isn't necessarily a bad thing (I actually prefer it), but when common sense policies are being ignored to meet the insanely unreasonable requests from clients that's not good for long-term success. Executives have adopted a "turn and burn" attitude where they push everyone to work harder and longer to make up for insufficient staffing and then lose good people when they've finally had enough. That's not to say you're working till all hours of the night. The majority leave "on time" which helps with the work/life balance, but it's frowned upon if you still have new emails in your inbox when you leave.

    Salary:
    The starting salary for recent graduates is actually pretty competitive. Unfortunately, after the first or second year the salaries quickly plateau. Yearly raises don't come close to keeping up with "cost of living" increases and the very small raises are shared by everyone regardless of how much more valuable/invaluable you are compared to your peers. VPs are paid an absurd amount when you consider what they do (or should I say don't do).

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    It's a business. And businesses need to make money. That's understood. But if there was a better focus on raising morale and making the employees actually care that would be reflected in the bottom line. And while better salaries are always welcome, it's not all about salary. That being said, if the daily numbers and bottom line are all that's shoved down our throats and you continue to ignore everything else (equipment issues, staffing issues, etc) then you can't expect anything but the bare minimum of effort from your employees.

    VPs need to get off their high-horses. They do not know everything and need to listen to the many good people that keep making their monthly numbers to make them look good. That may seem like a general "this employee is mad" comment, but we're constantly reminded to trust the VPs/executives because they supposedly know best without getting a true say in anything (from dealing with clients to internal policies).

    I do see a lot of potential in the company, but there's a lot of improvement needed and that won't change as long as management keeps the same way of thinking.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Profits Soar! Pay stays the same!

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Brandmuscle full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    If you can get a full time job, benefits are alright. People tend to be good people at the lower levels. Very young office. Most people are in the 20s-30s.

    Cons

    If you want to want to feel appreciated, look elsewhere. Hard work is expected, but not rewarded, at least not financially.

    I have heard from my boss that this company (which was bought within the last 2 years) is trying to get itself ready to be sold. This pretty much affects every aspect of how this place is managed.

    Every Monday morning we have a meeting that everyone in the tower is expected to attend. In this meeting we hear how incredibly well our business is doing. We achieved our incredible goal last quarter, which was unbelievable. We then got our reviews and almost everyone in the company, (word does get around,) received a 2.5% raise. For reaching that goal we were promised a pancake breakfast by our executive team. That's right, even when we are celebrating our prosperity we receive the cheapest breakfast money can buy.

    When employees are fired or leave, they are rarely replaced. The people in their department are just expected to pick up the slack, and move on without them.

    Not surprisingly we have been drowning in work as of late, and it is getting worse. Our management went ahead and hired a handful of designers, but hired the vast majority of them to only work part time, (presumably to avoid paying for their benefits).

    Advancement opportunities are limited. You can raise up through the ranks to a certain point, but in my years here nobody has raised up to a role of VP. We have almost a dozen VPs, and all of them have been hired externally.

    Promotions are given in name only. Designers and Lead Designers do 90% of the same things. Associate Account Managers, Account Managers, and Senior Account Managers do the same thing. Associate Directors and Directors do the same thing.

    Lastly I have heard that some people have had a tracking software put on their computers that tracks everything they do. Although I haven't seen it, I do not doubt its existence, and I feel like it is only a matter of time before this is rolled out throughout the company.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat your employees with dignity and respect. If you want to have a meeting where you speak on how amazing our profits are, then you are insulting us when you turnaround and give us a 2.5% raise across the board. We all know that the national average was a 3% raise, and that is mainly due to the recession. Our company is thriving in this recession, and we are below the national average.

    Make some perks for working here other than a random baseball game, popcorn on Wednesdays (again with the cheapest treats money can buy), and pancakes. Those things are nice, but when your rent goes up 5% and your pay goes up 2.5%, that's not actually a change in living expense. If our company is growing at an incredible rate, then let us grow with it!

    Lastly, cut the slack, and replace people who leave/are fired. It's bad enough to be a person down, but to have no hope for replacement in the future: That is demoralizing.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    Good first job, but not much else.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Brandmuscle full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Great work/life balance, decent amount of PTO, and great people to work with. I'm proud to call many of my co-workers friends, which is something I've never been able to do before. The best thing about this job is you will hardly be asked to work overtime and if you do, you'll get paid for it.

    Cons

    Where do I begin? The location is downtown and they do not cover your parking expenses. It costs $1200 a year to park here. On top of this, the pay is incredibly low and turnover is incredibly high. As past reviewers have said, they hire young, turn and burn, then repeat. Most people who work here are in their early 20s and most are female. This place is very similar to high school as there are many cliques of small groups of friends.

    Upper management receives multiple raises and promotions throughout the year, but many hard workers go overlooked. The chances for promotion in some departments are near 0 where others promote people every week it seems. Some departments have a large budget and their teams benefit from outings (food, bar, games, etc.). However, some teams have no budget for this and have to work even through work-related events (lunch and learns, Christmas parties, etc.). It's really unfair because those people work just as hard as everyone else. For what it's worth, I'm in a department that does get outings and I notice this.

    The company was recently purchased and many people are reporting to managers out of the Chicago office. Yes, some people don't even have managers in their office. How crazy is that? Management seems so out of the loop with everything. The only thing that matters to this company is the bottom line and that is sad because it was once a great company with great benefits.

    Speaking of benefits, those are now horrible too. The prices used to be reasonable. Now it's about $200 a month for one person!

    My advice is to stay far away from the company if you can. There are much better companies out there to work for.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Become more connected with your employees. Stop stepping on people to get ahead in the company. Don't forget about the little guy.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9.  

    Overall a good place to work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    I have been working at Brandmuscle full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Very nice people, pleasant work environment, interesting projects.

    Cons

    Salary is low ( Austin office); poor senior managers; lack of communication

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Interact more with employees. Recognize people more. Pay a decent wage.

    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  10.  

    Some of the most unprofessional, catty behavior I've ever seen in the workplace.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Brandmuscle full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    There was a camaraderie among the lower level employees that is hard to find elsewhere. Responsibilities and experience looks good on a resume if you can stick it out for a while.

    Cons

    When I was hired, I was told there was no pay cap on any position and that "if an employee is a superstar, we treat them as such." This is not the case. As a lower employee, you can work hard, receive positive feedback about being a great asset to the team, and have a great annual review, yet will most likely not receive any additional monetary compensation. The managers on my team would receive multiple promotions throughout the year and raises while the lower employees would be stuck in the same positions and same pay scale. The female managers created a hostile work environment by gossiping about their co-workers within earshot, taking credit when something goes well while blaming their team if something went wrong, and being unapproachable when a problem arose. It was ridiculous.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't assume everyone's happy in the department just because the numbers are good.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Management creates a hostile work environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Cleveland, OH
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cleveland, OH

    I worked at Brandmuscle

    Pros

    I loved many of my co-workers. The company has many hard working employees that really care about turning out quality work.

    Cons

    The management is an insult to female leaders everywhere. Take every old cliche that you have ever heard about women and place it in this office. It is a shame and insulting that the female 'leaders' group up and whisper freely about each other and employees at every turn. There is no sense of reasonable boundaries. My direct supervisor told me details about an employees health problems (thought that was illegal...). The interview process alone should tell you all that you need to know about the extensive micromanaging and obtuse view they hold on the value of your time. I personally sat through NINE interviews! Each of them were an hour long. They are over possessive of every decision and they are ALL scared of being left out or left behind, so they make very obscure, and insecure decisions. New employees are introduced at the company meetings, but interns and contractors will be left out. Leaving people to wander up and question why you weren't introduced. I watched an intern, who had been working there over the summer, get introduced at a company meeting like he was brand new. They finally gave him a 'brand buddy' to familiarize him with the people and company. He had been there for THREE MONTHS already and everyone had already figured out who he was! Your hard work will not be valued if you don't compliment your boss on her fantastic choice in boots or dress. I am serious about this. I know personal details about my managers, that I don't want to know, because this is more of a social place than it is a place of business. One morning it took me two hours to get a work assignment out of my boss because I had to listen to her drama about her weekend that didn't go the way she liked and she was 'too stressed to even think about work', I am not kidding. When I say this is a toxic work environment, I mean it. Please don't work here!!!!!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start over. You need new people across the board because your whole company culture has been compromised.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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