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How to conduct a SWOT analysis

What should I include in a SWOT analysis?

 

A SWOT analysis is ordinarily seen as an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of  a business. It is also known as internal external analysis or TOWS analysis. Many times people are lost upon where to start from. One should start his research from the company or brand’s background to get a good understanding of what the business does. To know a brand’s strengths and opportunities, one should first understand its market position.

 

Strengths and weaknesses:

First come the strengths. The question is what counts as a strength. Focus upon following points specifically to know the strengths of  a brand:

  • Brand image
  • resources – financial, technological, human, others
  • Market position/presence
  • distinct competitive advantage
  • business size
  • relative competitive position (to the rivals).

These are some of the common factors to analyse to know the strong aspects of a business. However, once you do the research you might come across more like the distinct capabilities of a brand or its point of differentiation. Lower prices are  a key strength of Walmart. Apple has great technology. Google has the smartest search engine. Coca Cola has got excellent brand presence. Similarly, the weaknesses can be listed by analyzing which of the above areas a brand lags in. Weaknesses are areas where the brand’s performance might be lower than its competitors. For example Target prices are higher than Walmart for which its sales are lower.

 

Threats and opportunities:

Threats are the primary challenges before a brand. Simply put, it lists the primary challenges that could shake the business’ position or make its performance dwindle. Is their  a threat to the brand’s financial performance or reputation? Can anything change the brand’s status or impact it negatively? Do changing trends or regulations affect the brand? For example competition from a brand can erode another’s customer base. Similar factors are included under the threats.

Next are the opportunities. Some common questions that provide an answer to this section are as follows:

  • How can the brand improve its financial status?
  • How can it overcome its current challenges?
  • are there methods to improve its brand image and business performance?
  • Can it get into new businesses ( related or unrelated)?
  • Are partnerships, mergers or acquisitions a good way to go for the brand?
  • any major opportunities for the brand in any area from production to marketing, supply chain or human resources?

To start, one can list the points under these four categories in form of bullet points and then go on to explain them. At last come the recommendations. Recommendation generally deal with the opportunity areas where company should focus or how it can address its weaknesses. You can check out some good  examples of SWOT ANALYSIS.

 

Written by Abhijeet Pratap

Abhijeet has been blogging on educational topics and business research since 2016. He graduated with a Hons. in English literature from BRABU and an MBA from the Asia-Pacific Institute of Management, New Delhi. He likes to blog and share his knowledge and research in business management, marketing, literature and other areas with his readers.

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