The Tribe Undertakes a SWOT Analysis

Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe defined and examined each stage of the Product Life Cycle. This week, the group undertakes a SWOT analysis in order to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the business today. Remember, fire = print.

Standing in front of Numo, Zoot and Org in the conference room, Lucy drew a box on the whiteboard and split it into four quadrants: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. “A strategic SWOT analysis should be used to guide any business initiative we undertake, such as new product development and creation,” Lucy explained.

“Swat what?” Zoot quipped.

“Very funny,” Lucy said sarcastically. “Let’s fill out each quadrant. Remember that company innovation and competition should also be figured into SWOT calculations.”

“Opportunity: Line extension,” Org began.

“Weakness: Our prices are perceived as too high,” contirbuted Numo.

“Threat: FlintStone continues to innovate,” Zoot observed.

“Opportunity: Matches,” Org added.

“Strength: Experience,” Numo said

“Weakness: Experience,” Org fired back.

“Right!” said Lucy. “I like that. Our industry experience and legacy gives us credibility, yet could make us appear like an old dog in today’s market. It’s important to recognize that the FEI legacy works for and against us.”

The tribe threw out dozens of suggestions, finally arriving at a chart that looked like this:

Historical importance Higher prices
Most experience in industry Over reliance on original fire service
Extensive network of runners Low barrier to entry in core business
Marketing/promotional expertise Reluctance to cannibalize core service
Good customer feedback Overconfidence in rank and file
Easy to attract talent Difficulty attracting younger customers


Matches Flintstone improve technology
B2B Pyro recruiting fastest runners
Line extension Government regulation/potential utility
Fireputers/online purchases Proposed taxes for fire services
Markets beyond Olympus Core service becoming a commodity?
Distribution partnerships Increasing do-it-yourself mentality

“A good SWOT analysis identifies the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve the objective—in our case, creating and developing new products,” Lucy said. “SWOT analysis should also differentiate between where our company is today, and where it could be in the future. Since our SWOT analysis accomplishes both of these objectives, I’d say this has been a success, wouldn’t you, tribe?”

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
Related Content