For those of you that aren’t in advertising or marketing, SWOT is an analysis of a brand or product or person. The letters stand for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats. It is a great way to further understand a brand or a product category. In this case, I want you to do a SWOT analysis for yourself. This is a great way to take a holistic look at your personal brand. It also highlights the areas in which you can improve yourself and your life.
Below I will explain each part of the SWOT analysis, and then I will use the Starbucks brand as an example.
Starbucks‘ strengths: universally recognizable, customizable drinks, partnerships with known brands, ambiance – comfortable, friendly stores, store placement, introduction of drive-throughs, convenience, consistency of experience, environmental reputation
Your personal strengths may include: internship and work experience, computer skills, social skills, etc.
What are your brand’s weaknesses? Where are other brands in the category stronger? Where would you want to improve?
Starbucks‘ weakness: prestigious reputation perceived as snobby, inconsistency with store experience, higher prices than main competitors, do not brew organic coffee in stores, confusing terminology when ordering
Your personal weaknesses may include: not speaking a foreign language, not knowing how to code for web, lack of masters degree, not being able to draw, etc.
Starbucks‘ opportunities: Product placement (think Morning Joe on MSNBC), advertising to the digital consumer, expand on Fair Trade coffee beans, strengthen awareness partnerships and sponsorships, sell more ground coffee, easily accessible nutritional information, healthier and better food.
Your personal opportunities may include: Learning new computer skills, taking up a new hobby, forming your own volunteer organization, etc.
Where are other businesses encroaching on your business? Is the economy hurting your chances? Are costs rising? Time?
Starbucks‘ threats: Economy, coffee drinking trend may end, rise in cost of coffee and dairy products, copy cat brands, health consciousness, cannibalization of products.
Your personal threats may include: job candidates with similar strengths and experiences, poor interviewing skills, etc.
Good luck! I hope this helps you as a student, intern or full-time employee!
Shannon is a senior at Boston University majoring in Advertising in the College of Communication. She has experience working for NBC Universal in New York City as well as PJA Advertising and Marketing in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She loves clean functional digital design. Digital is the future of advertising and marketing and Shannon likes to stay involved and on trend. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.