Thoughts on SWOTs

Taking an Inventory for Better Brand Strategy

               As a former professor of “freshman experience,” I have taught the “SWOT” analysis technique to my students dozens of times. It was used in the context of planning and self-improvement – helping students think about what they can leverage and to what they need to tend. This was a technique that they picked up on quickly and were able to use to their own advantages.

               SWOT stands for “Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.” This type of analysis is beautifully simple and extremely helpful in-terms of brand strategy planning. Let’s take a look at a SWOT analysis chart:

               In education, we may use a strategic plan to ensure that a program meets as many students’ needs as closely as possible. Let’s say that your department has opened a new master’s in Marketing degree program. Potential strengths could include 1. Offers useful certifications, 2. Experienced Faculty, 3. High student retention and graduation rates. Potential weaknesses: 1. Low job-placement rates, 2. Student complaints about workload, 3. Competitors are more established programs. Opportunities: 1. Adequate funding, 2. In-demand degree, 3. Ability to accommodate more students. Threats: 1. Overall higher education enrollment is going down. 2. Online programs are on the rise and creating more competition. Now that you’ve done this assessment, you can start to address areas of concern and leverage your strengths and opportunities. This analysis should inform your initial planning as well as on-going quality control. These SWOT analyses can also be used for brand image and marketing practices. What are your thoughts on SWOT?