What is a S.W.O.T. analysis- and why should it be important to your small business?

Develop intent-driven, tactical marketing strategies by analyzing your brands STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, & THREATS




What is a S.W.O.T. analysis?


S.W.O.T. Stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. A S.W.O.T. analysis is an extremely powerful examination process that allows brands to launch more powerful marketing campaigns.

It’s incredibly useful to perform a S.W.O.T analysis when launching new products and services. A comprehensive S.W.O.T. analysis will allow you define internal and external threats and opportunities within your business and industry as a whole. Identifying brand and market strengths and weaknesses will allow you to adjust and refine current and future marketing campaigns- and will help you develop

intent-driven strategic short and long-term goals.


The following blog article is a replica of the content contained within our 100% free S.W.O.T. analysis template- Download the free work along resource and read on. You'll soon be able to examine the current status of your business, products and services. By the time you’re finished, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of what you’re lacking, existing risks, and inventory of the assets and collaborations

available to increase your chance of success in your industry.


(Click the button below and scroll down. Locate the S.W.O.T. analysis resource and click the download button for a 100% free- instant download- then continue with this blog post)






This S.W.O.T. template will allow you to


Identify areas of success and struggle within the business

Clearly define market positioning based on competitors and current industry trends

Define unique market opportunities that align with current products and services

Develop clearly defined and intent driven short and long-term marketing strategies





THE S IN S.W.O.T


The S in S.W.O.T. stands for STRENGTHS- These are the characteristics of your brand, product, service and team that give you a competitive advantage over your competition and appeal directly to real-time consumer needs/demands.


During this phase of analysis it's important to take the following questions into consideration-


  • What is my business the absolute best at?

  • What’s the biggest benefit of my product or service to consumers?

  • What is my USP (unique selling proposition?)

  • What innovation, ideas or concepts place us ahead of the competition?

Brand strengths to consider can also be the resources you have readily available to enhance marketing efforts and increase brand exposure- What physical or digital assets are on-hand? What collaborations can you leverage?


Keep your thoughts organized by categorizing your brand strengths into the 4 following categories

  • Values

  • Service

  • Innovation

  • Resources



THE W IN S.W.O.T


The W in S.W.O.T. stands for WEAKNESSES- Brand weaknesses are the characteristics of your

brand, product, service and team that are not meeting internal and external standards of satisfaction.

In many ways- the answers to this part of the SWOT analysis will be the opposite of your brand strengths.


While exploring your brand weaknesses- consider asking questions such as-


  • What part of my brand isn’t living up to the expectation of the team, owners and investors?

  • After compiling recent reviews and feedback- what are my customers unhappy with?

  • What services, products or experiences are competitors providing better than me?

  • What financial or digital resources am I lacking- how are they preventing growth?


Brand weaknesses can easily be segmented into the 4 following categories

  • External Issues (negative reviews, low response rates and conversions)

  • Internal Issues (team disputes, lack of education and training)

  • Competition (what new brands pose a threat- what existing brands are close to overtaking us?)

  • Lack of Resources (budget, content, marketing, strategy)




LET'S MOVE ON TO THE O IN S.W.O.T


The O in S.W.O.T. is one of the most exciting to define, analyze and expand upon. Read on to define the OPPORTUNITIES that are currently available to your brand- digitally, physically, collaboratively -

short and long-term.


There's no shortage of questions to ask during this phase of analysis. Personally, we here at The Developing Team love exploring opportunities open to our clients. This is where the real out-of-the-box design thinking occurs. While majority of the time should be dedicated to a rational exploration of opportunities, don't forget that fearless, innovative brands will always give unexpected or never-before-seen strategies consideration.


Build off of the following questions to define opportunities available to your brand.


  • How is the current market changing, and what are the most popular current trends in my industry?

  • Are there new digital innovations that I can use to amplify exposure and connection?

  • Are there brands or a individuals willing to collaborate with me? What are the benefits?

  • Are my customers collectively asking for a service or product that I don’t yet offer?

  • How can I further segment my target audiences?

  • Is there content I'm not producing right now, that my competitors are leveraging to gain a strategic advantage over my brand?


Want to keep your brand opportunities organized? Try breaking them down into the following 4 categories-

  • Trends

  • Collabs

  • New Tools/Tech

  • User Requests




LAST BUT NOT LEAST- WE'LL EXPLORE THE T IN S.W.O.T


It's always a little bit nerve racking to explore the T in S.W.O.T.- THREATS to your brand are anything that can possibly derail your business. These threats can come in many forms- whether it be physical, digital, internal, competitive, time-based, or an overall lack of resources and budget.


While exploring brand Threats can be a little intimidating- it's much better to be prepared to resolve or face these issues head on, than to be caught by surprise.


Every brand will face some sort of threat. How you adapt, adjust and overcome brand threats is what's truly important. Focus on positive end results, and take time to diligently explore options and craft a plan unique to your brand, audience and vision. Remember-


threats are things that you can't change, but you can plan for them!


These are some of the most common challenges brands face-


  • Competitors are planning an expansion due to increased exposure or cash flow (new investors).

  • Local, State and Federal regulations negatively affect shipping, cashflow, taxes or traffic.

  • Target market is shrinking or changing quicker than we can keep up- | demand is decreasing.

  • The cost of raw materials drives up prices or creates a shortage of market resources.


Brand threats can be overwhelming at first! Why not try breaking them down into the following four categories to make them more digestible.

  • Local Threats

  • National Threats

  • Competitive Threats

  • Resource - Time - Audience Threats




Now let's summarize our S.W.O.T. analysis and create an action plan!


A comprehensive S.W.O.T. analysis will yield a ton of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to your brand. So how do you leverage this analysis to create an action plan for your brand?


Let's start by taking a few moments to analyze the results from your S.W.O.T. template. Are there any connections or immediate solutions that you can identify?


Which of the problems identified are causing the most harm to your business?


Which of the opportunities available would be most valuable?


What are the roadblocks preventing you from action or increasing profitability?

Take some time to structure the results of your S.W.O.T. analysis into a realistic timeline of short and long-term action items.


What is the most valuable action I can immediately take to enhance brand appeal, exposure or connection?


What immediate and long-term action do I need to take to protect my brand from current internal and external threats- Further, how do I resolve or minimize weaknesses and pain points in my business?



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Now it's time to get to work!


You now understand your brand strengths and weaknesses, and also have an understanding of industry and competitive elements that could potentially disrupt or disturb your business.


It's time to use the results of your S.W.O.T. analysis to enhance your brand strength and connection, reverse, minimize or eliminate weaknesses, leverage or maximize existing opportunities, and protect yourself against real, viable threats!





Don't have enough time or bandwidth to complete a S.W.O.T. analysis and develop a powerful follow-up strategy?


We're here to help. Reach out- We’d love to help analyze your brand, your audience- and develop a winning strategy!



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