Total Quality Marketing: The Key to Regaining Market Shares

By Allan C. Reddy | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
SWOT Analysis: A Simple but Effective Tool
This chapter describes a SWOT (Strengths and Weaknesses, and Opportunities and Threats) analysis of U.S. and foreign firms. SWOT analysis is a basic analytical tool in management that has become popular in recent years.SWOT analysis is often used by strategic planners and top management in developing competitive strategies. It is typically used to decide corporate strategies and to make product or market level analyses. Here we extend its application to compare and contrast strengths and weaknesses of U.S. business firms with those of competing foreign business firms.Though the analyses seem to identify only broad trends, SWOT analysis as a technique has the capacity to analyze information in depth depending on the objectives of the users. Thus, by a comparison of strengths and weaknesses and opportunities and threats with those of the competitors (as shown in Figure 3.1), effective strategies and tactics can be developed to combat foreign competition. This versatile technique can also be used in analyzing any two firms or two groups of firms from different countries. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors of a firm, in contrast with the opportunities and threats, which are external factors ( Kotler 1988, p. 50).
1. U.S. firms represent those currently affected (including firms that face the threat in the future) by foreign competitors (automobile and computer firms, for example).
2. Foreign firms represent Japan, East Asian NICs ( Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore), and Western European firms that strongly compete for share and profits in U.S. markets.

To keep the focus of the analyses limited to important issues, only critical selected factors are discussed and analyzed.

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