Guided by SMO’s US-based consultant, Justin Lee: Purpose-driven organization management tips “Learn from the Strategy of Purpose Driven Brands”.

Here’s a case study from Microsoft and Nintendo.


Microsoft Teams – A Case Study of Communication Based on Purpose –


IBM’s Purpose Driven Brand Strategy Case Study introduced the concept of “Purpose Pivot.” A Purpose Pivot is a way of thinking that the direction of business concepts and strategies are centered on Purpose. This time, let’s take a look at another Purpose Pivot case: Microsoft Teams.


Microsoft’s BtoB online meeting service Teams’ commercial in the US during the pandemic began with the message, “When the world changed people started connecting in a new way,”along with multiple stories of how customers of BtoB continued their work during the pandemic.  .  The commercial ended with another message: “Nothing can stop a team.”


Regarding the episode introduced in this commercial, Jared Spataro (Vice President of Microsoft 365) explained on the company’s blog that “Microsoft’s reason for existence was expressed.” Microsoft’s Purpose added, “To empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” The commercial exactly follows this purpose.


Usually, Microsoft creates high-quality and elaborate commercials, but in an environment where social distancing is essential, that was not possible. All equipment such as directors, staff, lighting, microphones, etc., were switched to making commercials using the video of the web conference. But the core idea is Purpose. In other words, change the way you do things based on Purpose. This is a good example of a Purpose Pivot.


Purpose Enhances Brand Value


Microsoft, like many other big corporations, has a wide range of philanthropic activities, including donations of medical equipment and supplies during the times of emergencies of the pandemic, and they had the option of highlighting these in their ads. Although that method would have led to an increase in favorability, a commercial that is connected to their Purpose can give a more brand-like feel. Communication and activities based on Purpose will increase brand value.


By incorporating Purpose into all corporate communications, including marketing, PR, and IR, it is possible to make the message that the company wants to convey “on-brand.” In other words, by tying the message to the core of the brand, it becomes more brand-like.


Effects of Linking Purpose and CSR


From a branding point of view, is it better to avoid actively communicating CSR? If the Purpose is always the starting point, consistency will be created in corporate activities and communication, and a high-resolution brand image will be nurtured.


Rather than disseminating CSR, the point is to take a step back and focus on the CSR activities themselves. When CSR activities are linked with Purpose, the communication in the CSR activities can contribute to branding.


LinkedIn has already been introduced as one of the companies that linked Purpose and CSR. Another case study that implements CSR as a central activity is Nintendo, which has a US branch office in Seattle, where Microsoft is headquartered.


Nintendo – A Case Study of CSR Activities Based on Purpose –


“Making people smile through entertainment” is Nintendo’s philosophy and core. Looking at the company’s 2015 CSR report, Nintendo defines CSR activities as “Putting Smiles on the Faces of Everyone Nintendo Touches” It turns out that it was derived from their purpose of “making people smile”.


In 2015, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the popular character Mario, the company launched a campaign in the US to invite  users to shoot videos themed on Mario. Anything from singing, dancing, and even talking about your personal experience is welcomed, and the videos would be published on YouTube. Advertising revenue from the video was added to Nintendo’s planned donation amount, which went to an international charity called Operation Smile. Operation Smile is an NPO that supports cleft surgery for children in developing countries. This disease is a congenital disease where the patients are born with a tear on the roof of their mouths, disabling them to fully smile or eat properly. The surgery will allow children to smile and live a normal life.


The campaign itself and CSR are directly connected to the smiles that are purposeful.

Through the case studies of Microsoft and Nintendo, it is shown how  aligning, implementing, and disseminating business and CSR initiatives can contribute to brand building and increase in credibility. Hopefully these case studies will be a hint for better Purpose branding.


References To continue the celebration of Super Mario’s 30th anniversary, fans around the world are encouraged to create personal “Let’s Super Mario!” video tributes that showcase their love for the legendary franchise. website starting today and might be shared by Nintendo on the website. Whether it’s through song, dance or reliving favorite moments, Nintendo will honor Super Mario by showcasing the creativity of our fans. In the spirit of Nintendo’s mission of putting smiles on the faces of everyone that experiences our products, Nintendo’s share of any ad revenue generated from the Let’s Super Mario 30th Anniversary videos will go toward a donation Nintendo is making to Operation Smile, a global surgical charity dedicated to healing the smiles of children around the world suffering from cleft For more information, visit