SWOT: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats

- February 23, 2012

Recon Thursday/Process

Hello, I’m Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing.  It’s Recon Thursday, and today we are going to talk about one of my favorite tactics to use when working with my clients.  It’s called a SWOT analysis and that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

What is a SWOT analysis?  It is a tool for analyzing internal and external factors that may enhance or impede achieving your objectives.  You can apply SWOT analysis to a business, product, brand, your competition, even to yourself in a personal assessment.

First let’s look at strengths.  This is where you assess the strengths of your organization.   Create a list either by yourself or with input from friends or peers.  Some items are very important, others less so—focus on the important items.

Next, look at the weaknesses of your organization the same way.  Again, create a list and prioritize the most important items to address.

Identify opportunities.  What opportunities may be available to you?  These are external areas where you may be able to leverage your strengths, or, convert a weakness to strength, and go after opportunities as well.

Lastly, what are the threats to your organization?  Generally, this is something you don’t have control over.  It may be high gas prices, a hurricane, power outage, etc.  There may be threats, however, if you know about them you can work around or minimize them to reduce your risk.

Why is the SWOT analysis important?  First, it enables you to match your strengths with opportunities.  If you have weaknesses and/or threats, you can focus on converting them to strengths.

Let’s take a look at our Taco Stand for a moment.  Using a SWOT analysis, the owner has identified the strength of having great, authentic tacos served fast.  One weakness is that they are positioned on the far side of the plaza today, away from where the tourists are expected to arrive.  A second weakness has been identified as the potential for rain.

An opportunity may be receiving information that several tour buses will be arriving at lunchtime with foreign visitors who want an authentic taco experience quickly

After identifying these items with a SWOT analysis, what can our taco stand vendor do?  He is mobile and can reposition to be in the right place when the buses arrive.  He can also park under an overhang so when it rains his customers won’t get wet.

What happens when the buses pull in?  The tourists see his stand, that his food is authentic and served quickly, they get in line and buy their lunch.

Utilizing the SWOT analysis, the taco stand made more money than he might have otherwise and the analysis really paid off for him.

The purpose of Once a Day Marketing is to inspire you with ideas you can follow up on.  More details regarding a SWOT analysis are available online than I can share with you in this short blog.

My recommendation is that you perform a SWOT analysis.  Then develop an action plan and strategy to use it to your advantage in accomplishing the objectives you set out in your strategic plan.

That’s our Recon Thursday, join us tomorrow for Digital Friday.  And, as always, if you need more branding support, please contact me to discuss a one-on-one service engagement.  I am Jim Glover, That Branding Guy, for Once a Day Marketing, and we will see you next time.

James Glover: (505) 501-1330 or onceadaymarketing@gmail.com