A SWOT Analysis is a standard tool used to help businesses determine both how they’re performing and to clarify their position in the market. It can also be a key component of performing a competitor analysis. Conducting regular “SWOT” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analyses adds context to your positioning and outlines a path to continue to grow and outperform competitors. To identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, you need data beyond what is available in your own POS. Using analysis, data, and insights from TraQline will give you extra information that adds value to your SWOT analysis.
Uncovering Your Strengths
You may be able to identify your company’s or products’ strengths with internal data. But it’s important to look at external data as well, lest you fall prey to confirmation bias. To identify your strengths, ask yourself the following questions:
What are you doing right?
Data such as store comps, revenue growth, and market share will show your company’s strengths. Your team may identify additional key performance indicators (KPIs) as strength markers.
What is unique about your business or product?
One of your key strengths is how you stand out in the market. This may be with an enhanced online presence or a feature or price point your competitors don’t have. To help with this step, check out our piece on how to perform a competitive analysis.
Is your message reaching the correct audience?
When laying out the marketing strategy for your products, you probably established buyer personas to identify your ideal customer. Having detailed demographic data about shoppers and purchasers will inform you about how well your message is reaching your ideal customer. If those demographics are different from your target, it may indicate that either your messaging is unclear or it appeals to a group you didn’t expect.
How TraQline can help uncover your strengths:
While you may be familiar with using TraQline to discover your dollar and unit share in the market, it can highlight much more information about the consumer durables market. Reports that can help enhance the “Strengths” section of your analysis include:
- Draw and Close Rates: Retailers: Are shoppers coming to your stores? Brands: are consumers looking at your products? Are they shopping the stores that carry your brands? More important, do they choose to purchase from you rather than a competitor?
- Price Buckets/Price Quintiles: What price points are you performing well in? How does that compare to your competitors’? Do you have products at price points they’re ignoring?
- Buyer Demographics: How do actual buyer demographics map to your buyer personas? Are there other groups you can market to who seem interested in your product?
- Product Features: Do your products include the features that customers want? Are you offering something that no one else in the market has thought of?
Identifying Your Weaknesses
Although it can be uncomfortable, when performing a SWOT Analysis, you need to be honest about your weak points. Many of the same analyses you perform to uncover your strengths will help highlight areas in need of improvement.
Where can you make improvements?
As you review your KPIs, take note of where you’re missing the mark.
What are your competitors doing that you aren’t?
Consider what your rivals in the market are doing. What can you learn from their successes? They may have uncovered a demographic niche whose needs weren’t met, or they introduced a feature that has proven unexpectedly popular. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing and see what you can improve upon.
What resources are you lacking?
After you’ve identified KPIs where you aren’t performing as strongly and/or taken notes about what the competition is doing, it’s time to uncover what you need to succeed. If a competitor beat you to market with a new feature, maybe it’s time to invest more heavily in R&D. If consumers aren’t aware your product is available in their region, maybe your marketing team needs additional support.
How TraQline can help find weaknesses:
Much like TraQline’s reports can help pinpoint your strengths, you can also add quantitative data to your understanding of your weaknesses compared to the market or your competitors. Reports that can help you develop the “Weaknesses” section of your analysis include:
- Draw and Close Rates: How do your draw and close rates compare to the top players in your industry? Which of your competitors is most successful at closing sales? Do shoppers consider your competitors more frequently than you?
- Price Buckets/Price Quintiles: What price points are most popular? What price points are your competitors capturing? Do they have products at price points you don’t? Does that fit with your pricing strategy?
- Buyer Demographics: Is your product appealing to your target buyer? Are they looking to other brands and products to fill their needs? Are your competitors succeeding with buyers you aren’t targeting?
- Product Features: Are your competitors offering product features that you don’t? Are the features you’re offering ones that consumers purchase most frequently?
Highlighting Your Opportunities
After you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses as part of your SWOT analysis, you can discover opportunities to grow your position or maintain your lead in the market. This is an area in which external data will play a much more important role in defining your goals.
What do you want to be doing?
Examine your weaknesses carefully to determine what actions you can take to improve them. This may entail allocating additional resources to a project or perhaps even designing a new project or campaign from scratch.
Who else can you target?
By this time, you have had plenty of opportunity to dig into your buyer demographics as well as those of your competitors. Now find underserved segments who can benefit from your products and services.
What can you do to stand out?
In your analysis, you may discover that there are areas where both you and your competitors have had a blind spot. What can you do to fill empty niches in the market and stand out there? You can use the pricing, features, or demographics data you’ve gathered while finding strengths and weaknesses to become more visible in the market.
Track Threats in the Marketplace
As the pandemic of 2020 has taught us, the threats you identify in your SWOT analysis should go beyond merely listing your current competitors. Here are some of the challenges to consider in your Threats assessment:
Are there internal roadblocks?
Not every threat is external. You may find in your SWOT analysis that there are processes in place that don’t help you reach your goals. Or you may find that there aren’t additional resources currently available for initiatives. While you might be able to clear some of these internal hurdles, you may have to find other ways to work around constraints within your own company.
How robust is your supply chain?
Global supply chains can be fragile. You should note whether you have any redundancies in place in the face of shipping challenges. It takes only one firmly wedged cargo ship to disrupt global shipping patterns after all!
What happens if there are material shortages?
In addition to knowing how you get parts and materials for your products and services, you need to know if those raw materials or parts are available in the first place. If a supplier can’t ship your materials, is there another supplier who can?
How is the market shifting?
Whether it’s the shift to omni-channel and e-commerce or a change in consumers’ perceptions and desires, being caught unawares can give your competitors an advantage. You need trusted sources of market data to stay up to date with how your industry is changing.
Who are your competitors in the market?
You’ve probably already identified your top competitors as you’ve benchmarked your strengths and weaknesses, but look beyond the obvious. Is there a brand or outlet that’s been making a buzz around their products? Is someone growing their market share more quickly than expected? Are there brands operating in similar niches who could potentially compete with you? Identifying these potential threats will help keep you from being caught off guard.
TraQline Can Help Your Next SWOT Analysis
Creating your SWOT Analysis is just the first step. Using the data you’ve gathered, look for connections within that data as you create your business strategy. TraQline will help you quantify potential ROIs as you explain to stockholders how you plan to succeed and what resources you will need. If you want more information about how to use consumer durables data in your next SWOT analysis, contact us today!