Part 3 Thinking About Strengths

Purpose stands at the center of purpose branding; however, how should this purpose be realized? In this series, we’d like to introduce hints and ideas to discover purposes.


At SMO, we believe that Purpose consists of these three factors:

(1)Company Strengths

(2)Company Passions

(3)Market/Societal Needs


Where these three factors overlap lies the company’s reason for existence. Further questioning, clarifying, and verbalizing the answers to these is how to acquire a clear Purpose. 


This time, let’s take a look at how we can utilize frameworks in order to clarify company strengths.


When thinking about company strengths, we can separate them into two types:


1)The team’s strengths

2)The team’s output’s strengths 

  (Ex:Product, Service, Experience)


  1)Thinking about team strengths

Team strengths can further be approached by two different perspectives.


Physical Objects

・Assets(Ex:Facilities or Land)


Non-physical Objects

・Knowledge and Skills

・People you know(Ex:Network, Clients)

・The Brand


Examples of Team Strengths

Let’s look at Disney Pixar’s “Ratatouille” as an example.


The protagonists of the movie are Remy, the mouse, and Linguini, the young boy. Linguini is not necessarily well at cooking, but he is to work at the 3-star restaurant in Paris, the “Gusteau’s”. On the other hand, Remy, is exceptional at cooking, and gives orders to Linguini by hiding in his cooking hat. Therefore, Remy works as the “brain”, and Linguini works as the “hands” to make delicious dishes.

From the perspective of team strengths, let’s look at the restaurant’s strengths.



・Cooking Utensils

・Recipe Books



・Cooking Skills

・Mentors:Chef Gusteau and Colette (The girl who is good at cooking)

・Teammates:Waiters who carry the food, and the suppliers who deliver ingredients

・Brand:The fact that the 3-star restaurant is host to a famous chef.


  2)Thinking about output strengths 

There are many methods to analyze the strengths of products or services depending on the industry, but here, let’s look at two ways to uncover strengths.


①「Quality Cue」

This is a method by thinking about the “Quality Cue”. “Quality Cue” is a way of thinking in branding, and is the quality or traits that customers pick up first in products or services.The Heavenly Beds at Westin Hotels are a great example. The premium beds that provide maximum comfort during sleep are a Westin-only product. Customers can only experience this bed by staying at Westin. With the Heavenly Beds, customers can perceive Westin as a premium, high-class hotel.

In general, qualities such as low price, easy-to-use, and materials are common examples of “Quality cue”


②Customer Journey

Thinking about the product/service’s customer journey can also help. In particular, strengths can be clarified by mapping the interactions with customers through each stage of “Pre-purchase” “Purchasing” and “Post-Purchase”. 


As such, by brainstorming from the perspectives of the group and the output, strengths can be clarified. In the next series, we will explore how we narrow down these strengths.