Popular Business Acronyms and How You Can Use Them
Part 1- SWOT (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats)
SWOT is a popular acronym used for strategic planning, allowing you to analyze your business at a glance, or go into as much detail as you want. I personally like to use it for the ease of starting it, it only takes one sheet of paper as I start, and expand progressively depending on the situation. This is an essential piece of information for anyone participating in business, whether it be management, marketing, design, or even accounting.
Strengths- characteristics of the business or product that give some sort of an advantage over the others
Weaknesses- characteristics of the business or product that place it at a disadvantage over competition
Opportunities- chances to expand into other avenues or products using yours as a segue
Threats- external elements within the environment that can be an issue for the business or product
We’ll use Gillette as an example for how to apply SWOT
Strengths- Very strong brand recognition
Weaknesses- Their pricing is high, probably partially due to the large amount of money they spend on advertising
Opportunities- they saw skin care and shaving cream as an opportunity to expand their brand which has proven successful
Threats- They have two types of competition, Schick makes basically the same product, and electric razors, which cost more up front but new blades aren’t ever needed, thus making them cheaper in the long term.
Also, if the material cost of stainless went up it would effect them greatly.
Mark Wahlburg Doesn’t Drink Schlitz?
While seeing Contraband starring Mark Wahlburg this past weekend with my girlfriend, product placement quickly became the topic of my blog for today. While the movie itself was great, it was very apparent that this movie was a rolling ad for Schlitz, a Milwaukee based brewery. It was featured heavily in multiple scenes as an integral part rather than just glasses or any beer available. The characters meet and drink Schlitz at a bar with Schlitz banners, Schlitz neons, and tough guys drinking Schlitz, all with the label at an easily readable angle.
Product Placement is an advertising technique used by companies to subtly promote their products through non traditional advertising techniques, film and television most notably, but other media outlets aren’t excluded, the idea is to have your product visually available or used in these mediums.
In 1983 Sylvester Stallone made an agreement to use or place Brown and Williamson products in 5 of his five of films, B&W is a large tobacco company (now merged with RJ Reynolds) he was paid $500,000 with $250,000 up front and 50k after each movie was released. Seem’s like a lot of money just to have Rambo smoke a cigarette right? This method is everywhere, sometimes it’s more subtle, other times, so in your face it’s laughable, but why?
Simply because it works, the guys at big tobacco knew every guy thought Stallone was the man in the 80’s, so what better hands for their product to be in, Sly is cool, so if I smoke, I can be more like him right? People take note of the things they see, especially if it’s attached to something or someone they already like.
I happen to like Marc Wahlburg, so Schlitz was hoping it could sell to me, I’m not switching brands based off an action movie personally, but that’s also because I recognized immediately the intent of the placement (I also think there are many way better beers available). Mostly men see action films, so for a product who’s buyers numbers are predominantly male, it is an ideal scenario to advertise.
Some other places you may have noticed this type of marketing would be;
Those Coca Cola glasses on American Idol? Product Placement
Subway Sandwiches on Pawn Stars? Product Placement
Audi in the Transporter Movies? Product Placement
The new Camaro in Transformers? Product Placement
Schlitz in the new Movie Contraband? Product Placement
While some people find this kind of marketing unethical, some may not even notice it, I personally believe if done well it’s a great thing, and If done badly, it’s bordering on insulting to my intelligence.
Thanks for reading, I think I’ll go have myself a cool refreshing Boulevard Pilsner…
Oh wait, was that product placement?
Yes, but was it effective? I guess that depends on whether you have one and if anyone at Boulevard sees this to throw me a case as payment.
Till Next Time,