Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT) - Main Users / Purpose

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SWOT is a framework for analysing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. It has been developed as a simple yet effective method for analysis within the strategic marketing planning process. Within this process, however, the SWOT analysis is neither the first nor the last step. It has been based on a sound knowledge about the present environment and trends (in a business context these points would be clarified by a market analysis), as well as internal resources. Furthermore, since it is usually impossible to talk about the environment in general without becoming vague, those parts which are relevant have first to be identified. A business will usually identify them on the basis of past experience and orientate its activities according to a more or less explicit definition of target market segments and regions, customer needs to be met, etc. In some businesses, this understanding will be cast into a “business-mission” statement defining, besides the market and the customer aspects already mentioned, the distinctive competence that is to be built, the social and environmental standards to be respected, and/or other factors according to the priorities of management and owners.