SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Analysis

What is a SWOT analysis? Description

A SWOT analysis is a tool, used in management and strategy formulation. It can help to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of a particular company. 

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors that create value or destroy value. They can include assets, skills, or resources that a company has at its disposal, compared to its competitors. They can be measured using internal assessments or external benchmarking.

Opportunities and threats are external factors that create value or destroy value. A company cannot control them. But they emerge from either the competitive dynamics of the industry/market or from demographic, economic, political, technical, social, legal or cultural factors (PEST).

Typical examples of factors in a SWOT Analysis diagram:


  • Specialist marketing expertise
  • Exclusive access to natural resources
  • Patents
  • New, innovative product or service
  • Location of your business
  • Cost advantage through proprietary know-how
  • Quality processes and procedures
  • Strong brand or reputation


  • Lack of marketing expertise
  • Undifferentiated products and service (i.e. in relation to your competitors)
  • Location of your company
  • Competitors have superior access to distribution channels
  • Poor quality of goods or services
  • Damaged reputation


  • Developing market (China, the Internet)
  • Mergers, joint ventures or strategic alliances
  • Moving into new attractive market segments
  • A new international market
  • Loosening of regulations
  • Removal of international trade barriers
  • A market that is led by a weak competitor


  • A new competitor in your own home market
  • Price war
  • Competitor has a new, innovative substitute product or service
  • New regulations
  • Increased trade barriers
  • A potential new taxation on your product or service

Any organization must try to create a fit with its external environment. The SWOT diagram is a very good tool for analyzing the (internal) strengths and weaknesses of a corporation and the (external) opportunities and threats. However, this analysis is just the first step. To really create the fit with the external environment is often the most difficult work.

Confrontation Matrix

A tool to combine the internal factors with the external factors is the Confrontation Matrix.







make the most of these


restore strengths




watch competition closely


turn around

Often in reality the two columns of the SWOT diagram are pointing in opposite directions. Strategists must still deal with the paradox of creating alignment. This can be done via Outside-in strategy formulation (market-driven strategy) or Inside-out strategy formulation (resource-driven).

Note: you can also apply a SWOT analysis to competitors, often providing interesting new perspectives.

SWOT Analysis Special Interest Group

Special Interest Group (1260 members)

Forum about SWOT Analysis  

The 3 most recent topics about: SWOT Analysis.

SWOT Analysis or SWOCC Analysis?
I think SWOT Analysis does not always help analyze the organization. For example, the letter 'T" which stands for 'Threa (...)
🔥 NEW Internal and External Factors in SWOT Analysis
Does it make sense to classify internal and external Factors? In practice, such distinctions are difficult. An arbitrary (...)
Divide and Conquer Approach to SWOT
I recommend that the SWOT analysis be disaggregated into its 4 parts and distributed to different people for undivided f (...)

Best Practices about SWOT Analysis

Here you find all most valuable discussions from the past.

🥇 SWOT Analysis is Simple and Easy
As an MBA student, when we started to learn SWOT analysis it was difficult for us to understand, but once I found that i (...)
🥈 Be Careful with SWOT Analysis. Issues and Risks of SWOT
I am not that happy with SWOT Analysis. My issue does not concern the tool itself, but the way it is often used. People (...)
🥉 WHEN to do a SWOT Analysis?
At what stage should an organization develop a SWOT analysis? At the inception or developing stage? (...)
What is SWOT analysis?
A SWOT analysis is like showing a mirror to oneself. It tells where the person stands. Strength: gives power. One should (...)
SWOT - Absolutely essential
This is the most important tool companies around the globe will need to survive and grow in our current uncertain econom (...)
Significance of SWOT Analysis
I have been given an assignment on SWOT Analysis and had no clue of what SWOT Analysis is, but in my research I became a (...)
Opportunity or Threat?
There can be considerable debate about what is a threat and what is an opportunity. When a company spots a new trend ear (...)
Uses of SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis is frequently used in an early stage of strategic or marketing planning for decision-making, problem sol (...)
SWOT Analysis Strength
I think companies strategies on which company is working and that is giving positive response from a long time is its st (...)
Internal Opportunities and Threats
What about the opportunities and threats that exist within the organization and we are not aware about them? How we will (...)
Ranking model for the Opportunities and Threats
In order to remove subjectivity in ranking Opportunities and Threats I am looking for a ranking model/theory/approach wh (...)
SWOT or (maybe better) TOWS?
While I was teaching Business Policy, I noted the limitation of the SWOT analysis because students did not take the next (...)
SWOT Analysis for British Airways and Ryan Air
Would anybody be able to suggest some key points to include under SWOT for the above firms. I'm having problems keeping (...)
Turning Competitor's Weaknesses Into Opportunities
How can I turn my rival's internal weaknesses into my opportunities since some companies succeed in keeping their intern (...)
How to Proceed after the SWOT Analysis to the Strategy?
What should we do after the SWOT analysis. In other words, depending on the SWOT outcomes, what strategy can we use? (...)
Combining SWOT with other Strategy Tools
It is my experience that the SWOT analysis as a standalone tool is not better than a simple brainstorming process focuse (...)
Combine SWOT Analysis with 5 Ps
I always do a SWOT analysis against the 5 Ps. People, Product, Promotion, Place and last of all Price. (...)
Design Shool Theory vs. SWOT
Whats the difference between a SWOT analysis and the ? (...)
SWOT - research is important
A swot analysis can only be effectively executed if detailed and proper research work has been carried out. With (...)
SWOT Analysis Well Suited as First Step
Swot is an effective tool for analyzing competitiveness only when it is used as first step. Other frameworks such as Por (...)
SWOC Analysis instead of SWOT Analysis
The "T" in SWOT can be changed to "C" for Challenge to create a more positive attitude. (...)
Well suited for Crisis too
In this moment of crisis, I never see a better tool for help us in our decisions. This analysis model gives the necessar (...)
Be Careful with Viewing Industry Opportunities as Company Opportunities
Managers are advised to guard against considering every industry opportunity as a company opportunity. An opportunity wi (...)
SWOT Analysis as a Brainstorming Technique
SWOT analysis can be used in each organization. It can be used as where individuals come up with distinctive ideas abou (...)
Using SWOT Analysis for Supplier Audits
This would be a good tool to use during the evaluation of a supplier like when conduction a quality audit. How would I (...)
SWOT and Strategic Marketing Process
How does the SWOT analysis relate to the strategic marketing process (SMP)? (...)
Competetive Analysis with SWOT
Is only a SWOT Analysis enough for competitive analysis or should it be combined with other techniques? (...)
Involve Stakeholders in SWOT Analysis
Usually SWOT analysis is used by middle or higher managers/decision makers who are responsible for strategic planning. B (...)
SWOT Analysis + Weightage
SWOT analysis is a basic tool for any marketing manager to determine their future strategies. But just listing the stren (...)

Expert Tips about SWOT Analysis

Here you will find advices by experts.

Steps of Typical SWOT Process

SWOT Analysis (...)

SWOT Strengths and VRIO test

Thoroughly Analyzing Strengths (...)

SWOT Dos and Donts

Successful Implementation (...)

10 SWOT Golden Rules

SWOT Implementation, SWOT Best Practices (...)

SWOT Applications and Aims

SWOT Insight (...)

Critics on SWOT Analysis

SWOT PItfalls, Improve your Usage of SWOT (...)

How to Attribute Scores to All SWOT Factors

SWOT Analysis Implementation (...)

SWOT Disadvantages

SWOT in Strategic Planning (...)

SWOT Advantages

SWOT in Strategic Planning (...)

Questions to Analyze the External Environment

External Environment Analysis (...)

History of SWOT. Early Strategic Planning

Background SWOT Analysis (...)

Information Sources about SWOT Analysis

Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc.

Internal Analysis

Strategic Analysis (...)

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis (...)

SWOT Analysis with Example

Self SWOT Analysis (...)

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis (...)

Techniques for Entrepreneurial Thinking

Entrepreneurship, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking, Lateral Thinking, Entrepreneurial Thinking (...)

SWOT, SOFT Diagrams

SWOT, SOFT Analysis (...)

TOWS Matrix (Heinrich)

TOWS Analysis, SWOT Analysis (...)

Compare with: Core Competence  |  Parenting Advantage  |  Porter's five forces model  |  Outsourcing  |  Industry Change  |  OODA Loop  |  BCG Matrix  |  GE Matrix  |  Strategic Management

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