Prophet Brand Strategy

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  prophet.com
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Prophet Brand Strategy Reviews

Updated September 11, 2014
Updated September 11, 2014
21 Reviews
2.8
21 Reviews
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Michael Dunn
14 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Amazing teams, new challenges and figuring out what you want

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

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The work and the team of people you get to work with don't get much better. There is always a new exciting, interesting challenges to solve for great brands (that people actually know). You get to see the result of your strategy in market more often than at other consultancies and many times you get to work on things that matter to your clients. The people I get to work with on team basis are incredible and one on one most of the leaders have offer new ways of thinking.

    Cons

    The work life balance is tough. It is up to you to decide boundaries but to be successful requires a lot of time, travel and tough working situations with key leaders. It is such a sales-driven culture some of the beauty in delivery, being creative and multi-disciplinary get lost and squeezed out of the project to increase margin. Managers are always in the hot seat with no refuge - if it is not the sr. partners then it is the client or the team or something else that makes managers jobs an unforgiving position to be in. Prophet tries hard to improve but doesn't always hit the mark or has the patience to make things take hold. The leaders are incentivized to not do much more than sell, which makes it hard to get consistency and people who seem like they care about the work and the team, only a few do this well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Start - Being real about who you are. If you are sales-driven, be that. If you want to have more of a culture, focus on that. Expecting everyone to be good at it all is going to burn everyone out. Remember we are all human and take time to celebrate your wins.
    Stop - Saying you have a leverage model. Truly find the right way to trust EMs to know what they are doing and allow them to give the APs and Partners the leverage they need to manage the sales pressure they have. Or develop a way to make it truly feasible for partners to both lead and/or sell.
    Continue - to hire the amazing Associates, Senior Associates and EMs you have. Continue to grow the people who care and reward those you are going above and beyond.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2.  

    Couldn't have spent my first 4 years out of college at a better place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Senior Associate  in  San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Senior Associate in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Prophet's been growing significantly rapidly over the past 6-8 years, and that has led to an expansion in the company's size, revenue and types of projects and clients it engages in. As a intellectually curious and motivated college grad, I was able to learn A TON around growth strategy, marketing, branding and customer experience, all while being able to feel that my work and participation was integral to the company's success, and valued by its leaders. Additionally, compared to other consulting firms, at Prophet, even entry-level consultants can see the in-market impact of their work. There's also an incredible culture of peer mentorship, and while the firm is growing rapidly, there's still a pretty apparent "we don't take ourselves too seriously" culture, which provides for a fun, social working environment.

    Cons

    Not gonna lie, the work is hard. Even entry-level consultants are expected to think on their feet, participate in key discussions, and provide value to the team.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Never trust ANYONE at Prophet, it'll only come back to bite you

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

    I have been working at Prophet Brand Strategy

    Pros

    Comp is decent, there are some brand name clients, people are dressed nicely, office space is well designed, with open seating and bright lighting.

    Cons

    Wow...where do I start? Is it the in-competent partners who don't understand what they're trying to sell? Or the managers who don't understand how to actually manage a team and motivate those team members? Or the Associates who bust their back-sides off day in day out, but still have to appear as if they are having the time of their lives only for one off hand remark to be heard by a manager/partner and have it ruin their reviews for at least 1 cycle, if not more?

    It's a sink or swim environment. How is it possible to ask fresh associates to work on pitches for partners to use for a client on a million dollar proposal? That's the job of a partner. Actually...that might the ONLY job of a partner, is to actually come up with a pitch and sell it (and then ideally just let the team run with it). Instead of relying on fresh college grads to dream up solutions to a very vague problem for a fortune 500 company with out any prior experience.

    prophet loves playing "cover up". Anything bad that happens are always overlooked as simply "casualties of war"...it's the price you pay for "success". But I wonder what success they speak of? Is it spending 40 hours a week pretty-ing up slides, and making sure all the boxes are aligned, fonts are in the right color and of the right size, or creating multiple version of the SAME document (once in word and once in PPT). I'm not saying that this attention to detail isn't important, but when you are operating at 110% capacity with scheduling meetings/coordinating partner's inputs (sometimes with MULTIPLE partners weighing in on the same deck, and fighting over who has the last say)/draft and redrafting only to have someone say, no i think we need to move in a completely new direction the night before a client meeting. Perfect...ALL those alignments and font changes can now just go down the toilet. *poof*. But that's OK because associates/SAs are expendable.

    That's not to mention the managers, who are both expected to maximize margins despite Partners deliberately under staffing a project, and deliver projects on time or ahead of time. I don't blame them for the pressures that they are under...but they let that stuff roll downhill. The mentality is "if I made a mistake, and I was scolded by the partner for it, then I better let my team know because it really is THEIR fault that I made the mistake".

    I think the last thing I will say is...NO one admits mistakes. NO one assumes responsibilities. NO one can show that they're tired...or stressed...or simply frustrated because if you do, then the chances of you getting promote is exactly ZERO. Everyone always want to take credit for something good...but no one assumes responsibilities when things don't make sense, or when the team is burned out. So basically people here are a bunch of cowards.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try to just be BETTER people. Think about what you are putting you team under. WOULD you want that for yourself? For your children who might be old enough to work here. Do you? Would you talk to an associate who's just coming out of college the same way as you might to your 22 year old child? Raising your voice is just rude in any professional context. Especially those that you depend on to generate revenue.

    Doesn't Recommend
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Go in "Eyes Wide Open"... leadership and senior management CANNOT be trusted!

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

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Prophet has a high-profile client roster, very smart people at most levels of the company, and interesting and challenging work.

    Cons

    Extremely poor work-life balance. Senior leaders cannot be trusted. They are two-faced and hypocritical. They will promise you one thing and then turn around and do the exact opposite. They create a facade of being a fun and collegial place to work, when in actuality nothing could be further than the truth. It is a very unhealthy, toxic work environment. It's extremely competitive/cut-throat with employees blatantly pitted against one another at all levels. Then they plan a 2-day all-firm event in Iceland and think it will make everything right. Guess what...It doesn't!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get over yourself. You're not Mercer, BCG or McKinsey and never will be. And if that's what people wanted, they'd go there! Genuinely show at least some minimal level of care about the people who work for you, instead of treating them as fungible resources whose only utility is to help you get the personal financial buyout you're seeking. Above all, be transparent and honest. You've got a long way to go to get there!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Seriously, what happened to Prophet?

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

    I have been working at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time

    Pros

    - Compensation is fairly competitive
    - Most people here are super smart and dedicated to their job
    - Super interesting projects with big-name companies

    Cons

    A couple of years ago, the firm was experiencing signifiant growth, and the culture was inclusive, open, and collaborative. Since then, the company's priority has shifted drastically away from people and more towards profit maximization. After a bunch of misguided acquisitions and unfortunate hiring decisions, the firm is still grappling with retention problem among the junior ranks. Most of the senior associates I've worked with have quit in 12 months or less. I have seen way too many managers break down in the middle of the project. Like most consulting firms, work-life balance does not exist here. But unlike most consulting firms, Prophet's promotion decisions are completely arbitrary, subjective, and opaque. You can be held back from promotion even if you have the most stellar performance review, simply because a partner can make a completely unfounded comment about your personality based on one interaction alone. The firm would tell new hires, "we're casual, we're agile, and we're all part of the feedback process." Completely untrue - if you are a new associate/senior associate here, you should be especially sensitive to office politics. Whatever you do, don't try to be too opinionated, or else that one conversation will come back and follow you throughout your career here.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Please introduce some meritocracy in the system - you might convince yourself that you are retaining all the best people, but you know that's not really true. All the good people are leaving, it's because the system does not reward based on merit.

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

    A brand strategy firm with a brand identity issue

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

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy

    Pros

    The core vision is incredibly exciting -- but they have yet to figure out how to accomplish it. There are great benefits, competitive salaries and exposure to a spectrum of clients/companies in a variety of fields. Additionally, there are some truly great and inspiring people to work alongside.

    Cons

    There is little to no guidance or upfront description of expectations. While learning on the job is a fair mentality, the expectation for a starting position to have the capabilities of an employee with 5 years experience is unreasonable. They claim to hire with diverse skill-sets to bring inspired thinking to projects – that certainly isn’t the case. You will not last if you don’t fit the Prophet mode of thinking and problem solving.

    They do not do well with challenges to the status quo – even if they are trying to promote a culture of inclusivity, open feedback and teamwork. There is a distinct hierarchy that creates a culture of fear and creativity stagnation. And in a questionable ethical situation, there was a decision “silence” the issue and keep the one at fault employed due to their ability to generate revenue. Their pitch makes it seem like they enjoy solving problems and helping clients – maybe that will be true one day.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Take time to understand your employees as humans – not machines. A work hard/play hard perspective is great – but the employee proposition is fantastical. Either make a difficult change to standout and become the company you promote or accept the organization as just another consultancy designed to complete a job and not make a real impact.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 1 person found this helpful  

    Interesting work, but frustrating environment

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

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time

    Pros

    Some really talented and smart people. Good client roster. Decent brand for resume.

    Cons

    Bad work-life balance: its positioned as better than other consulting/agency firms, but it's a flat-out lie. As others have mentioned, there is an unspoken expectation of 24/7/365 availability and no respect for PTO / outside work commitments. Pushing project profitability down the project manager level creates an unreasonable and unsustainable workload at the Engagement Mgr / Sr Associate level (manage up, down, project work and profitability). Also, the desire to grow the firm quickly w/o an obvious roadmap or plan was very confusing - seemed like growing for the sake of growing. And this growth came at the expense of the firm's culture, which was totally amorphous and forced.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting your "pleasers" who just look good in front of partners,but actually make project experiences terrible for their teams. The firm is shedding some talented people as a result.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor work-life balance and people development, but big-name clients and smart co-workers

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

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time

    Pros

    The firm attracts very bright, motivated people. You have the opportunity to work with big-name, Fortune 500 clients on very tough strategic problems.

    Cons

    Ineffective performance review and "mentoring" system that leaves you guessing about whether or not you're on the right track. Strange culture that seems to embrace being casual, having fun, and being yourself but on the other hand is very corporate, buttoned-up, and with a bounty of unspoken rules that may leave new hires confused. The firm also has contrarian "values" for the casual atmosphere it advocates. For example, "all-in" is one of the values. All-in essentially means you're able to pull all-nighters for your team consistently, and not doing so means you're not being a team player. In general, there is poor work-life balance and some serious issues with client and project management (pressure to keep budgets lean, and the load largely falls on project teams with not enough support). The firm is also doing a lot of catching up in the digital space via acquisitions and acqui-hires, and the growing pains are evident.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Great work, great clients, tough culture

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

    I have been working at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    I can't imagine how you could assemble a higher-caliber list of clients to work with. The people are brilliant, our output is impactful, and our client relationships are meaningful.

    Cons

    Recent growth initiatives have stretched the culture to its breaking point. People have left frustrated because of a lack of investment in people, and many projects are so lean it's almost impossible to achieve a "normal" work-life balance.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Strange corporate culture..

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

    I worked at Prophet Brand Strategy full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    There are some truly great people to work with here. They work with some very big name clients and seem to have quite a lot of work.

    Cons

    Growing rapidly with no clear vision. Need to work on helping employees develop career paths and offer proper training. The culture here is very awkward compared to other companies I've been with..

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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