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  • Writer's pictureLiz Maguire

How to S.W.O.T

Have you ever performed a S.W.O.T analysis of your business? If the answer is 'not yet', this post will help you see the benefits of the exercise and why it should come in the market research phase of your marketing map.

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

A S.W.O.T analysis is a tool which allows you to plot your business (and down the line, competitors) into four categories: Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Check out the graphic below for a visual representation of what a S.W.O.T analysis can look like:

  • Strengths are internal features of a business that give it a competitive advantage.

  • Weaknesses are external pressures on a business which make it vulnerable to competition.

  • Opportunities are ways a business can grow and expand their potential in the market.

  • Threats are external pressures on a business which could lead to trouble.

Why perform a S.W.O.T Analysis?

A S.W.O.T analysis for your business allows you to think 'bigger picture'. By plotting the strengths and opportunities of your brand or service against the weaknesses or threats you can keep track of the places for growth in your marketing plan. When you sit down to conduct a S.W.O.T analysis for your own brand, don't be shy. Take the time to fully flush out the exercise. There's no set amount of time that a S.W.O.T analysis should take, but by the end of the activity you should feel confident that the best and worst parts of the business are distilled in the simplicity of the exercise. By illustrating the in-house strengths and weaknesses of the business, you can start 'future proofing' yourself against threats and planning for scalable opportunities.

You can conduct a S.W.O.T analysis internally for your own business, but you can also hold your brand competitors under the microscope with a S.W.O.T analysis of their business. Keep in mind that your internal analysis will always been more comprehensive as you have access to data in-house for strengths and weaknesses, that you won't have for another brand.


As you design your marketing map and the various pieces of strategy which will take your business in the right direction, a S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis can help you determine from the outset where to be best spend resources and time.

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