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5 SWOT Analysis Examples of Top Brands

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of SWOT analysis. It’s a popular strategic planning technique companies use to assess their current market position. You can use it before taking up a new project, implementing a new marketing strategy, expanding into new markets, or introducing a new product.

Conducting a SWOT analysis requires extensive research, fact-checking, business auditing, and being honest about your liabilities. After learning how to conduct a SWOT analysis for your business, the process may seem easy on paper but can be hard to actualize when trying to do it yourself.

Luckily, you can look at the SWOT analyses of other companies to get an idea. In this article, we will help you build your SWOT matrix via five unique examples.

SWOT analysis example #1: The Home Depot

Founded on 29th June 1978, The Home Depot, Inc. is the world’s largest home improvement retailer headquartered in Atlanta, GA. It sells building materials and home improvement products such as tools, hardware items, lawn and garden equipment, etc. The company also offers instrumentation services and rents tools and equipment.

SWOT analysis of The Home Depot

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Largest in the industry
  • Highly profitable
  • BOPIS strategy
  • Value for money
  • Wide variety of products
  • Mostly based in the US
  • Aging infrastructure
  • Late adoption to eCommerce
Opportunities Threats
  • Expanding the market more to countries
  • Increasing online sales
  • Focus on the home decor section
  • Growing competition
  • Recession
  • Price deflation

Strengths

The Home Depot (or Home Depot, as commonly known) is the leader in the home improvement industry and occupies a dominant portion of the market. It is well-established and has a powerful brand image.

It sells products at a profitable margin without compromising quality, providing value for money for the customers. The company saw its net income and revenue double in 2020. Its  'Buy Online Pickup In-Store' (BOPIS) strategy is a huge hit. It offers a wide range of products from home decor to hardware.

Weaknesses

Home Depot has over 2000 stores, most of which are in North America; this limits the company from exploiting opportunities in other parts of the world. As it was established in 1978, most of the infrastructure is old and the owners are trying to renovate it.

Most companies started selling online long before the Covid-19 pandemic, but Home Depot adopted this tactic only after the pandemic hit. Hence, losing growth opportunities.

Opportunities

The company can exploit new opportunities by expanding to other countries, increasing online sales, and focusing more on the home decor section—which has significant growth potential.

Threats

Home Depot is facing fast-growing competition, especially in eCommerce. To tackle this, the company needs to up its tactics. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and fewer online sales, there is a possibility of Home Depot losing its profits.

Due to the price drop in raw materials like lumber (Timber), the company’s revenue dropped. This shows that the company is highly vulnerable to changes in its external environment such as price cuts of raw materials.

SWOT analysis example #2: Subway

Founded in 1965, Subway is a Connecticut-based fast food restaurant franchise known for its submarine sandwiches (subs), salads, and beverages. The food giant became popular in 2002 and now has outlets in 100+ countries.

SWOT analysis of Subway

Strengths Weaknesses
  • The highest number of outlets among competitors
  • High brand loyalty
  • Health benefits
  • Brand value
  • Varying customer satisfaction
  • The old design of outlets
Opportunities Threats
  • Offer more healthy options
  • Home delivery and drive-through services
  • Diversification of the menu
  • Similar new restaurants 
  • Potential backlash causing harm to brand reputation

Strengths

Subway has the highest number of outlets compared to its competitors. It currently has over 37,000+ outlets worldwide (down from 42,000+ outlets in 2020). It is also the third in terms of brand loyalty and is considered to be healthier than McDonald's and KFC.

Weaknesses

Even though Subway has the highest number of outlets, it's not the most preferred restaurant. It stands in second place while McDonald's is at first. As it follows a franchise model, the service is highly variable, and therefore the customer satisfaction fluctuates. Subway restaurant themes are old and out of fashion and need to be updated.

Opportunities

As now more people are looking for healthier options, Subway can leverage this and offer healthier food. It can also add more variety of food instead of sticking to its iconic subs. Subway needs to improve its home delivery and drive-through services.

Threats

Along with its major competitors, Subway also faces competition from new restaurants with Subway-like business models. There have been several lawsuits against it for serving stale and unhealthy food; this can tremendously affect the brand image.

SWOT analysis example #3: Rite Aid

Founded in 1962 by Alex Grass, Rite Aid Corporation is a Pennsylvania-based company that operates a chain of retail drugstores. It has two segments of services including, Retail Pharmacy and Pharmacy Services.

The company sells over-the-counter medications in its Retail Pharmacy segment. It offers pharmacy benefit management (PBM) like mail delivery services, technology solutions, specialty pharmacy, etc., in its Pharmacy Services segment.

SWOT analysis of Rite Aid

Strengths Weaknesses
  • One of the largest drugstores in the United States
  • Strong sales
  • Strong online presence
  • Wellness+ loyalty programs
  • Declining market share
  • Huge long term debt
  • Incurring operating losses

Opportunities

Threats
  • Increase in prescription usage
  • Expanding geographically
  • Growing competition
  • Shortage of pharmacists

Strengths

Rite Aid is the third-largest drugstore retail chain in the US. It has an impressive online presence which makes it convenient for customers to buy products online. It also has a loyalty program to retain customers.

Weaknesses

The company’s market share has seen a decline due to its inability to tackle emerging challenges. Rite Aid’s financial plan is inefficient due to which the company has huge long-term debt on top of operational losses.

Opportunities

The aging population of the US is an opportunity for the company to grow its business. The company has strong sales on the east and west coasts, setting up stores across the country is a new opportunity.

Threats

New technologies developed by competitors are a threat to the company. Along with that, many employees are resigning from the company resulting in a lack of qualified human resources. This can create a shortage of staff.

SWOT analysis example #4: General Motors

Founded in 1908 by William C. Durant, General Motors is an American Detroit-based automobile company. It is one of the world’s largest car manufacturing companies and ranks first in the US. It also provides financing services through its General Motor Financial company.

SWOT analysis of General Motors

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Strong brand reputation
  • Sustainability
  • Limited presence  in some countries
  • Overly dependent on the US market
Opportunities Threats
  • Electric vehicles
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Global recession
  • Labor strikes

Strengths

General Motors has a strong brand reputation in its industry. The automobile giant has one of the most loyal customer bases. It has been enrolled in the US Environmental Protection Agency since 2010. The company has also consistently received the annual ‘Energy Star’ certification given its high operational efficiency.

Weaknesses

Despite its occupancy in the global market, General Motors has a limited presence in some developing countries. Adding to that, the company is overly dependent on the US market. Over 60% of the company's annual revenue comes from the US market.

Opportunities

There is an increasing demand for electric and automated vehicles. Due to the technological advancements and the environmental implication, this is an inevitable next step for the company. Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors, is testing GM's line of self-driving cars.

Threats

The Covid-19 pandemic led to a global recession, and General Motors had seen a 43.3% drop in sales in China. The company also has several issues with labor. In 2018, 34 plant operations were halted due to labor strikes.

SWOT analysis example #5: LA Fitness

La Fitness is an American chain of gyms headquartered in California. It is one of the popular gyms chains in the US, with over 700 gyms across the US and Canada. It was established in 1983 by Chin Yi, later partnered with Louis Welch in 1984.

If La Fitness plans to introduce dietary supplements, it could conduct a SWOT analysis before launch similar to the one mentioned below:

SWOT analysis of LA Fitness (for introducing dietary supplements)

Strengths Weaknesses
  • Wide coverage of gyms across the country
  • Loyal customers
  • Inexperience in the field
  • Customer service skills
Opportunities Threats
  • Stable customer base
  • Word-of-mouth marketing
  • Existing competition

Strengths

La Fitness is geographically diversified and has over 700 gyms across America and Canada. Due to this, introducing a new product can prove to be highly profitable. The company holds loyal customers who may help advocate the new dietary supplements.

Weaknesses

La Fitness doesn't have any experience creating dietary supplements. So there can be an initial hesitation in the buyers because of the company’s lack of expertise. Apart from that, the company is inadequate in its customer service.

Opportunities

It has a reliable customer base, which will help the company drive sales when the dietary supplements are out in the market. This will help the company with word-of-mouth marketing (WOMM).

Threats

The market has many existing competitors, so this can be a threat to the company. La Fitness needs to ensure that the product caters to the requirements of the customers. To have a competitive edge, the company can conduct a customer analysis.

Plan ahead with a SWOT analysis

Decision-making is always a challenge no matter the size, nature, or profitability of your business. It’s a science and an art that needs to be handled mindfully. Luckily, techniques like the SWOT analysis can help lift the load before you make any major strategy change or launch a new product.

Do use the above SWOT analysis examples to create a SWOT matrix for your business. Gain insight on how to use your strengths, fix your weaknesses, capitalize on opportunities, and protect from threats.

Ayush Jalan
Ayush Jalan
Ayush is a writer with an academic background in business and marketing. Being a tech-enthusiast, he likes to keep a sharp eye on the latest tech gadgets and innovations. When he's not working, you can find him writing poetry, gaming, playing the ukulele, catching up with friends, and indulging in creative philosophies.
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