SWOT/Competitive Analysis Assignment

SWOT/Competitive Analysis Assignment

Due date: End of Week 4

Purpose: This assignment will give you experience examining a business or organization more closely in connection with its marketing and Value Proposition. In addition to a SWOT Analysis, you will learn the fundamentals of conducting a Competitive Analysis. Note: You are invited to create a team of two or three students to collaborate on this assignment. 

Skills: This assignment exercises your ability to construct a detailed SWOT Analysis and compile the data necessary to build a valuable Competitive Analysis. In this assignment you will:
Compile research about a local business/organization.
Build a SWOT Analysis that clearly articulates an organizations Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Learn how a SWOT Analysis reflects and drives an organizations Value Proposition.
Use the SWOT Analysis to create a unique marketing approach/solution.
Build a Competitive Analysis Spreadsheet that shows how your business/organization compares to other similar enterprises in its market.
Discern those specific areas that your business/organization can emphasize to further make themselves stand out in the marketplace, in order to build market share.

Knowledge: This assignment will give your experience conducting a detailed and thorough SWOT Analysis and what factors go into building a Competitive Analysis, and how these data collection methods help determine a business/organizations marketing mix.

Task: To complete this assignment you will need to:
Part 1 — Identify a locally based business or organization (e.g. Corvallis or Albany restaurant, retail store, contractor, or service organization). Ideally, this would be an operation where you have worked or have some familiarity. Please dont use national chains; use smaller, locally based businesses and organizations. 
Learn as much as you can about this business/organization, whether through internet research or your own connections (e.g. interviews with people familiar with its operations, or maybe the place where you or family members work).
Using Google Docs, create a blank document for a SWOT Analysis.
Begin with an INTRODUCTORY PARAGRAPH that describes the business or organization, such as where its located (address?), what it primarily sells or the service it provides, how big is the operation (one location or several?), how long has it been around, is it family owned?
After your introduction, begin your SWOT Analysis, including at least five points in each category (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). In addition, be sure to explain each point with enough details to demonstrate its context and significance. Its best to use a bulleted list here, rather than a paragraph format. (See past Marketing Plans for examples. Please dont do your analysis for one of these same example businesses, or youll have to re-do this assignment!)
Share your document with your instructor via Google Docs (priewer@linnbenton.edu or beanm@linnbenton.edu)
After compiling your SWOT analysis, craft an effective and succinct VALUE PROPOSITION for the business/organization that clearly articulates its benefit to customers and potential customers, what makes it unique in the marketplace, and, finally, its competitive advantage. Remember, when it comes to the value proposition, the shorter and more specific the better!
Finally, looking at your list of opportunities, suggest a creative, innovative MARKETING APPROACH that could help the business/organization pursue that opportunity. (Note: Its not enough to suggest buying billboard space or using social media. Please provide a detailed plan with specific recommendations.)
Part 2 —
Complete a Competitive Analysis SPREADSHEET that compares your business/organization to at least FIVE other market competitors in no less than 10 categories (e.g. location, products/services, marketing mix, social media use, hours, pricing, staffing). You want to choose categories that will reveal clear differences between your business/organization and the competition! The more clear differences you can show, the better your grade on this assignment. Get creative!
Upon completion of your spreadsheet, EXPLAIN and HIGHLIGHT where your business/organization has its strongest COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE, and its PLACE in the market (e.g. new entrant, top dog).
Based on this competitive advantage, create a MARKETING SOLUTION/SUGGESTION designed to build on this strength and expand the customer base of the business or organization. Again, its not enough to say, for instance, open an Instagram account. You need to explain in detail why and how you would go about this task!

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