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swot analysis

- Introduction SWOT analysis is a tool for auditing an organization and its environment.
It is the first stage of planning and helps marketers to focus on key issues. SWOT stands
for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are
internal factors. Opportunities and threats are external factors.
The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their
impact on the organization's objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one
objective may be weaknesses for another objective. The factors may include all of the
4P's; as well as personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so on. The external
factors may include macroeconomic matters, technological change, legislation, and socio-
cultural changes, as well as changes in the marketplace or competitive position. The
results are often presented in the form of a matrix.
SWOT analysis is just one method of categorization and has its own weaknesses. For
example, it may tend to persuade companies to compile lists rather than think about what
is really important in achieving objectives. It also presents the resulting lists uncritically
and without clear prioritization so that, for example, weak opportunities may appear to
balance strong threats.
Strengths to Build Upon
Weaknesses to Overcome
Opportunities to Exploit
Threats to Overcome
I have chosen the coffee chain Starbuks for swot analysis.

* In 1971 Starbucks opened operations in Seattle’s Pike Place

Markets with the future aim of providing coffee to a number of restaurants and
surrounding bars. With the recruitment of Howard Schultz who led the marketing and
retail efforts of Starbucks.
* In 1982, the company took a change in direction through the views
of Schultz, who after visiting Italy tried to adapt the same principles in order to a strong
bar culture. Schultz then utilized Starbucks ability to provide quality coffee beans and
opened up a new store called Il Giornale, which brewed coffee from these particular
In 1987, Giornale had decided to take over the assets of Starbucks
and also, further changed its name to Starbucks Corporation. By the end of the year,
Starbucks had increased the number of stores to 17 and furthered its location span by
entering Chicago and Vancouver.
* In 1990, the company took further steps forward with expansion of
the Seattle headquarters and an increase in resources with the opening of a new roasting
plant. Relationships and other ventures also took off during the early nineties as the
company looked to development organizations to further its progress.
*In 1995, the company really established its name with the opening
of the 676th store as well as increasing the products in store with the addition of compact
discs a result of a previously popular experiment with ‘in-house’ music.
1996, the company kept on stretching its reach by entering into
the market of Japan, Singapore and Hawaii. This was achieved through joint ventures
including the one formed with Sazaby Inc., which pushed through the development of
coffee houses in Japan
By the year 2000, things had progressed so far that 3,300 stores
were already opened, the company had ventured into countries
ranging from England to Australia & China.
* By last quarter of 2008, total international stores became 5113
store & 11567 stores in United States. 2- Current situation
The current international situation for Starbucks seems to be an emerging part of their
business and the reorganization of this is proved by their aim to become a leading global
company through making a difference in people’s lives all around the world. This goal is
quite close to being achieved as proved the Starbucks current locations in international
markets and the successfulness of these ventures. The current countries in which
Starbucks are located in are: Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan,
Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Peoples Republic of China,
Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand
Current performance External Environment: Opportunities

• Starbucks are very good at taking advantage of opportunties. In 2004 the

company created a CD-burning service in their Santa Monica (California USA)
cafe with Hewlett Packard, where customers create their own music CD.

• New products and services that can be retailed in their cafes, such as Fair Trade
• The company has the opportunity to expand its global operations. New markets
for coffee such as India and the Pacific Rim nations are beginning to emerge.

• Co-branding with other manufacturers of food and drink, and brand franchising to
manufacturers of other goods and services both have potential.

• Starbucks Corporation is a very profitable organization, earning in excess of $600
million in 2004.The company generated revenue of more than $5000 million in
the same year.

• It is a global coffee brand built upon a reputation for fine products and services. It
has almost 9000 cafes in almost 40 countries.

• Starbucks was one of the Fortune Top 100 Companies to Work For in 2005. The
company is a respected employer that values its workforce.
The organization has strong ethical values and an ethical mission statement as follows,
'Starbucks is committed to a role of environmental leadership in all facets of our


• Starbucks has a reputation for new product development and creativity. However,
they remain vulnerable to the possibility that their innovation may falter over

• The organization has a strong presence in the United States of America with more
than three quarters of their cafes located in the home market. It is often argued
that they need to look for a portfolio of countries, in order to spread business risk.

• The organization is dependant on a main competitive advantage, the retail of

coffee. This could make them slow to diversify into other sectors should the need

Starbucks international operation was one of the major aspects of their success. , in the
mid 1990s, with the market reaching saturation, Starbucks could no longer depend on the
U.S. market for growth. To maintain its growth rates and to boost revenues, Starbucks
had to venture abroad. Starbucks international presence is now in more than 25 countries
and the United States of America. This presence is formed in three modes in entry that
are Joint venture, licensing and wholly owned subsidiaries. This became a burden on the
mother company in a later stage. That those types of entry moods need a lot of training,
supervising, management assistance and technology transfer for the partner. This is along
with inability to engage in global strategic coordination.
However, the success of Starbucks is not only to its aggressive
expansion but also to its product innovation. Starbucks came out with
new products to attract customers on different periods.
Also diversification was one of the factors that Starbucks started to apply even on a small
initiated base. That along with serving coffee, Starbucks also sold merchandise. In 1995,
it started selling CDs of its famous in-house music program. It also entered into alliances
withvarious players such as Canadian Airlines, United Air Lines, Starwood Hotels, and
Barnes & Noble, Inc., to serve Starbucks coffee.
Societal Environment
Economic factors are an important aspects that concern the nature and
direction of the economy in which a firm operates. Starbucks also faced criticism from
Non Governmental Organizations
(NGOs) that urged the company to acquire certified coffee beans,
ensuring that those coffee beans were grown and marketed under
economic and social conditions.
Furthermore, Starbucks faced problems due to economic recession in
countries such as Switzerland, Germany, and Japan in the early 2000s,
where it experienced declining sales and revenues.
Moreover, a real expectation of huge recession during the next year
due to the worldwide financial crisis may affect the company’s results
Starbucks is continuously searching for ways to better a customers’
experience. With the introduction of the Starbucks Card for example,
the Company has created the opportunity to improve customer
service, shorten lines and make a customer’s visit at Starbucks quicker
and more convenient. Most if not all Starbucks location has WI-FI for
consumer needs.
1-Increasing tensions between the United States and the rest of the
world, the business environment, especially in the Middle East and
Southeast Asia, was becoming increasingly volatile. After U.S.
declaration of war on Iraq in early 2003 matters became worse for the
company. This created serious problems for Starbucks. In July 2002,
Arab students called for a boycott of American goods and services, due
to the alleged close relationship between the United States and Israel.
The boycott targeted U.S. companies including Starbucks, Burger King,
Coca-Cola and Estee Lauder
In addition to these incidents, Starbucks topped the list of companies
to be boycotted due to Schultz's alleged closeness to the Jewish
community. Till now in the Arab countries & Middle East a lot of rumors
that Starbucks is sponsoring the Jewish community against Palestinian
crises. Due to increasing security threats, Starbucks closed down its
six stores in Israel.
Starbucks had two class action suits pending since 2001. The lawsuits
entitled Carr vs. Starbucks and Sheilds vs. Starbucks are challenging
the status of Starbucks California store managers and assistant
managers as exempt employees under California wage and hour laws.
Starbuck’s is denying all liabilities in these cases, however; the
company has agreed to the settlement in order to take care of all of
the plaintiffs’ claims without having to get involved in any protracted
Starbucks only imports all their coffee beans, so possible threats could
include a change in import laws. A change in the status quo as far as imports go could
greatly affect numerous areas of production for the company. For example, if it costs
more to import or the process is made more difficult the result could ultimately be a
change in price, which would affect the level of consumption for Starbucks coffees

• Who knows if the market for coffee will grow and stay in favour with customers,
or whether another type of beverage or leisure activity will replace coffee in the

• Starbucks are exposed to rises in the cost of coffee and dairy products.

• Since its conception in Pike Place Market, Seattle in 1971, Starbucks' success has
lead to the market entry of many competitors and copy cat brands that pose
potential threats.