Agency Leadership

Ed Thompson

Marketing  Consultant / Founder
As founder of Concept Design, Ed works with multinational clients providing strategic marketing and public relations with a focus on emerging technology. 

With more than 20 years in Japan, he has built solid experience handling the varied challenges leading multicultural, cross-functional teams at all levels of global organizations, to consistently deliver positive outcomes for corporate initiatives. 

He continues to assist both domestic and multi-national corporations in increasing brand awareness through the planning of effective marketing strategies, customer loyalty programs, and lead generation campaigns.

Shoko Nangu

Publicity / Media Relations
Shoko is a Japanese native fluent in English with 30+ years of media and public relations experience. She has handled assignments for over 100+ trade, corporate and government organizations. 

She has also developed a comprehensive list of media contacts at major online and offline publications, allowing her to customize communications strategies and media engagement to match the unique objectives of specific client assignments. 

The full range of domestic and international publicity activities she has directed includes press conferences, media tours, advertising tie-ups, consumer engagement event activation, seminars and tradeshows for multinationals in B2C / B2B.

Ahmed Juhany

Currently pursuing a PhD in Philosophy at University of Calgary, Ahmed has developed a unique perspective across academia and business that includes residencies in Tokyo, Japan /  Amsterdam, The Netherlands / 
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Articles / News / Information

Problem-Solving with SWOT/TOWS

Thursday, December 23, 2021

An amazing analytical tool to evaluate professional challenges is the SWOT: Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats.

However, to use it most effectively you must ensure that you are applying the core elements of a Strategic Mindset (Research / Analysis / Synthesis).

When you are analyzing positioning for yourself or your company, you can determine how well you rate against competitors. Therefore, the SWOT excels in reviewing both internal and external factors through Research & Analysis.  

The Internal Factors
These factors are related to your company's innate capabilities. Start with a review of concepts from Marketing Principles (Creating / Messaging / Distributing / Trading) and Management Strategy (People / Product / Cost).


  • Strong points as an individual / company
  • Incorporating both objective and subjective perspectives 
  • Includes perspective of the company / customers / competitors


  • Points that can be improved as an individual / company
  • Incorporating both objective and subjective perspectives
  • Includes perspective of the company / customers / competitors

The Environmental Factors

These are external forces that influence your company's capabilities. Considerations  can come from changes in technology, government policy, social demographics, and customer lifestyle. In-depth examination can be developed via the framework for PESTEL.


  • Chances for growth in the market
  • Domestic and international trends
  • Partnerships that provide increased access or benefits


  • Economic downturns
  • Shifts in market demographics
  • Competitor activities that may interfere with corporate goals and objectives

In order to cover the last element of Synthesis, it's necessary to use an additional framework to further leverage those insights as a TOWS Matrix.

That converts the range of research and analysis into actionable strategies. The resulting matrix maps four possible scenarios:


  • Maximize internal strengths and take full advantage of opportunities.


  • Apply strengths to minimize existing and emerging threats.


  • Reduce weaknesses to take better advantage of opportunities.


  • Eliminate weaknesses to bypass and avoid threats.

Include this last step to create a sound plan that deals with your competition and other factors in the marketplace as your Market Strategy.

Join us for more Career & Marketing Quick Reads / Slides & Worksheets: Concept Design / ACADEMY /


Our logo is inspired by the shape and purpose of a securing bolt.

The logo consists of 3 separate objects that represent Process Mapping, Strategic Marketing, and Branded Communications. These methodologies are the pillars that firmly support delivery of our services.

These represent our mission to strengthen our clients’ business initiatives through exceptional planning and delivery of Campaigns & Promotions.