A basic SWOT analysis would be a simple tool to help you understand what your business does best, and how to devise an effective strategy for the future. SWOT is able to reveal areas of your business which are holding you back financially, or which your competitors could easily exploit if you do not protect yourself. A strong SWOT score for any company reflects its internal strength and weakness, as well as its potential vulnerability. However, this is only one aspect of a business’s strength and weakness.
One of the most powerful applications of swot analysis in the business world is found with COCA-Cola. COCA-Cola is one of the largest and most stodgy brands in the beverage industry. It has been around since the early 20th century, long before the success of many smaller, newer corporations. As the company ages, however, it has lost ground to more innovative, younger brands in the beverage industry.
Because of their perceived irrelevance to their core business, COCA-Cola’s management has long looked to external factors to provide them with answers about their weaknesses and competitive advantages. This has included looking to other companies for ideas and strategies. For example, COCA-Cola has had great success finding new customers through endorsements from famous sports figures. These moves have allowed COCA-Cola to expand into new markets, especially overseas. In fact, in recent years they have aggressively pursued new markets in Latin America and Asia, countries where the company has traditionally performed poorly.
To the COCA-Cola management, it makes little sense to devote their time to analysis of internal factors if those internal strengths are irrelevant to their business operations. They would make more sense to devote their time to improving the organization’s overall performance, something which will increase their profits. So what do they do? Instead of doing a swot analysis which might get them something other than the information they are looking for, they simply choose to ignore the external factors which might affect the results of their analysis.
Unfortunately, by choosing to ignore external factors, the managers of COCA-Cola miss some very real opportunities for them to make improvements in their company. The fact is that they could take advantage of the opportunities COCA-Cola missed by focusing on two particular opportunities. Those opportunities are the opportunity to capitalize on weaknesses, and the opportunity to build on their strengths.
By identifying the two opportunities to build on their strengths, rather than the weaknesses in their business, the managers of COCA-Cola can take advantage of those strengths and use them to improve the performance of their business. In fact, those weaknesses can become their strengths if they are properly used. If you find a weakness in your organization, you should exploit it. In this way, the weak areas of your organization can become your strongest points.