Brand SWOT Analysis: Gaining Strategic Insights
Dive into the power of Brand SWOT Analysis, discovering how it unveils strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for informed decisions!
Written by RamotionDec 6, 20239 min read
Last updated: Feb 6, 2024
Defining SWOT Analysis
Creating a brand strategy from scratch can be all too confusing. Plus, it's a hefty undertaking. With many factors to consider, like goals, risks, and resources, where do you even begin?
Having a reliable data foundation for your branding and marketing is an excellent first step, which you can do by running a SWOT analysis. Read on and discover how SWOT analysis can be a game-changer for your brand's success.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a strategic tool that evaluates a company from every angle to determine its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. When applied to branding, it collects data from internal and external factors, giving you a comprehensive overview of the current standing of your business and whether branding strategies are viable.
In short, you can skip the guesswork!
With an in-depth knowledge of your brand’s positive and negative aspects, competitors, and potential opportunities, you are ready to create strategies to address risks. It also helps in setting milestones before embarking on a new campaign strategy.
Who Conducts a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis requires all hands on deck. With more experts on board, your SWOT analysis can serve as a solid foundation for your branding campaigns. In effect, you gain precious insights from different perspectives.
Ideally, it would help if you had a mix of marketing, branding, product development, sales, and other relevant departments as part of the process. And to manage the collaboration between teams, you need a lead facilitator.
When to Use SWOT Analysis on Your Brand?
We have established the power of SWOT analysis in gaining clear insights about businesses. But when is the right time to use SWOT analysis on your brand?
Launching a New Brand or Product
Did you know that 95% of the tens of thousands of new products launched each year fail? Even big brands are not immune to it.
While many factors are at play—lack of resources, dense competition, and weak product development— a data-backed roadmap can make a huge difference in your brand outcome.
You can gather information about internal and external challenges that may hamper your success via a SWOT analysis. Done right, it guides you in allocating resources, highlighting features, and leveraging other competitive advantages.
Entering a New Market or Expanding Your Market Reach
Entering a new market or expanding your market reach presents various challenges, especially in the global arena. You may encounter differing customer behaviors, communication channels, and cultures. All these make brand retention and customer trust harder to establish.
A SWOT analysis can map out your potential market's positive and negative factors. It aids in refining your methods for effective communication, nurturing meaningful customer relationships, and driving repeat businesses.
Evaluating Brand Performance
It’s easy to lose track of your brand performance as you get immersed in the competition. But being on top of how customers perceive you and how you fare against competitors is crucial for brand success.
Thankfully, dozens of social media listening tools and reputation analysis are easily accessible to assess your online reputation. They track brand mentions across social media platforms, online reviews, and other forms of content engagement to gauge the effectiveness of your posts.
With these data, you can leverage the SWOT analysis matrix to understand your brand positioning and discover growth opportunities clearly.
Repositioning Your Brand
Sometimes, your current strategy can fail, and repositioning your brand is your best move.
Brand repositioning entails changing how your customers view your brand, including revising the look, the message, and the experience. These modifications can make or break your business, so it’s crucial to consider your move carefully.
Fortunately, you can rely on SWOT analysis to gain powerful insights into future obstacles. Think of fickle customer preferences, rising trends, and changing market share. This analysis also ensures that your strategy aligns with your new brand mission and vision.
How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis
Step 1: Be Thorough and Organized
Picking a reliable facilitator to lead and monitor the brand SWOT analysis is already half the battle won. Your chosen facilitator should be impartial in the outcome, experienced in conducting the analysis, and have a clear structure or agenda for the analysis.
Next is refining your SWOT template.
Typically, the matrix has four quadrants. The upper quadrants contain the strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, the bottom quadrants are where you put opportunities and threats.
Make sure to create a template that aligns with your goals. For instance, are you conducting a SWOT analysis to launch a new brand, expand your market reach, or evaluate your brand performance?
You can tailor your SWOT matrix by listing questions to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It also helps to set a timeline for completion.
Step 2: Identify Your Brand’s Strengths
You can assess your brand’s strengths by looking into the impact of your efforts on your positioning and differentiation. For example, your sales trend can be a good indicator of brand success. Or perhaps the number of new leads and actual buyers in your pipeline.
This stage might include gleaning into your target audience's offline and online sentiment regarding your brand. Do they think your products or services improve their lives? What do they think of when they see your brand?
Keep in mind that your strengths are not limited to your products. The brand experience is also highly anchored on your team’s skills and expertise. Ask yourself: What does your brand do that keeps your employees satisfied?
Happy employees lead to increased productivity and profitability.
Questions to identify your brand’s strengths:
- What can you bring to the market that your competitors can’t replicate?
- What do people think of your brand?
- Any successful campaigns?
- How experienced is your team? Skills, expertise
- What makes your employees happy working with your brand?
Step 3: Determine Your Brand’s Weaknesses
Understanding a brand’s weaknesses allows you to gain powerful insights that make you more competitive. So, learn what your brand lacks compared to others, keep tabs on negative feedback, and investigate channels that no longer serve you.
Regularly chat with your teams—marketing, sales, after-sales, operations, product development, etc. — and gather data about your weaknesses.
Questions to identify your brand’s weaknesses:
- What do competitors have that your brand lacks?
- What negative insights do customers have about your brand?
- Which channels does your brand underperform in?
Step 4: Explore Opportunities for Your Brand
The constant change in the economy, customer behaviors, and market demands can be overwhelming, but they could also lead to opportunities for growth. Capitalize on them by monitoring your competitors’ weaknesses that you can take advantage of.
For example, try to explore untapped markets they have yet to reach. While niche, it is easier to cultivate brand loyalty among those who already understand and appreciate the value of your products. Or keep a close eye and explore emerging technologies and other innovative solutions that your rivals may still need to adopt.
It can be tempting to grab every opportunity but remember to prioritize according to your mission. Remain consistent with your brand messaging and maintain your unique selling proposition.
Conducting a SWOT analysis ensures that you stay focused and avoid sacrificing the authenticity of your brand for opportunities.
Questions to identify your brand’s opportunities:
- What weaknesses of competitors can you take advantage of?
- Are there market demands that you can address with a new product or brand direction?
- Do you need to expand your market reach?
Step 5: Analyze Threats to Your Brand
Brand threats come from internal and external environments, making your competitors and your team detrimental to the success of your brand. The best way to reduce risks is to come prepared.
A SWOT analysis is a great starting point for creating strategies to address potential threats. It helps assess risk levels and focus on the most significant threats first. Most importantly, remain keen on implementing and monitoring the effectiveness of brand strategies.
Questions to identify brand threats:
- What are the current market trends that can negatively impact your brand?
- Who among your competitors are the market leaders?
- What is the trend among your customers in terms of brand perception?
- Are there negative feedback about your brand that affect your brand image?
Post-SWOT Analysis: What You Need to Know
A SWOT analysis doesn't end with the completion of the matrix. You have to make sure that you follow through with careful implementation.
Start by aligning your analysis goals with your business objectives. Doing so keeps you on track and aids in allocating your budget and other resources.
Your customers are often a great source of information to refine your SWOT analysis. And with the abundance of communication channels, you can easily engage with them while building meaningful customer relationships.
Another tip is to be diligent in periodically conducting SWOT analysis to remain ahead of the game. Take into account the inevitable changes. Hence, your SWOT analysis will have to evolve, too. And finally, ask for opinions from stakeholders and trusty industry experts, like brand designers.
Below, we demonstrate the benefits of SWOT analysis in the rebranding of Airbnb.
Rebranding: From Airbed and Breakfast to Airbnb
The hospitality industry has long been dominated by hotels, guest houses, and resorts, to name a few. That has changed with the introduction of Airbnb.
The company serves as the middleman between customers looking to experience the local way of living during their vacation and homestay owners. After its initial success, it was ready to rebrand as Airbnb expanded globally.
|A leader in the vacation rental market
|Negative guest experiences
|An uptrend in accommodation bookings
|Poor quality control
|Offers convenient and homey experience with a local at a more affordable price compared to hotels
|Lack of pricing regulation
|Disagreements between guests and hosts
|Increasing demand for tailored vacation experience
|Numerous competitors due to abundant travel lodging choices
|The younger market seeks unique local activities
|High cost of customer acquisition
|Expansion to the global market
Considering the above SWOT matrix, the brand’s strategy is to create a sense of belongingness through personalized travel experiences. It introduced features like 'Discover,' where travelers can book activities within the local community.
You can enroll in a cooking class, pottery, or a food tour. The brand partnered with companies offering vehicle rentals and guided hikes, too.
Airbnb has extended its offerings to different types of accommodation, including upscale options. Consequently, this move paved the way for reaching more clients. It has also tapped thousands of cities across the globe.
Another noticeable change was its logo, Bélo. The dramatic change to a modern, sleek, yet friendly brand identity perfectly encapsulates the start of a new era for the brand. In a BBC article, an Airbnb spokesperson shares, “It's a symbol for people who want to welcome new experiences, cultures, and conversations into their home."
The rebrand was successful. Airbnb is present in over 200 countries with over six million listings. And it has a whopping 150 million users across the globe!
Stay Ahead with a SWOT Analysis
With all the benefits a SWOT analysis brings, it is worth all the effort. You gain a new perspective to help you make informed decisions and develop branding and marketing strategies. It also leads to an empowering experience as you navigate challenges to achieve long-term branding goals.
Are you ready to stay ahead of the game? Our brand designers can help you. Talk to our team to learn about our branding services.