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competitive analysis using SWOT and the Five Forces Model

Retailers use a variety of resources, tools, and approaches to analyze performance. One of the most common tools for evaluating the competitive environment in retail is a SWOT analysis, or the tool for analyzing a business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You have been introduced to the SWOT analysis and its use in previous courses in this program. In retail, the SWOT analysis may be used to analyze a number of different aspects of the business such as diagnosing an opportunity for expanding a line of business or to determine how to compete head-to-head with competitors.

Retailers apply a SWOT analysis against the backdrop of the company’s entire integrated strategy. The SWOT analysis alone does not have meaning unless it is used within the context of the business to examine and understand the internal and external factors in the environment. However, it must also be used in a broader context to be an effective analysis process, and that means the retailer takes action from the analysis.

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For this final assignment in the course, you will combine a SWOT analysis and Porter’s Five Forces Model to compare performance between Verizon and one of its major competitors, AT&T. You will use the results of your combined analysis to develop recommendations to improve Verizon’s performance against this competitor.

Instructions:

Review course content and conduct outside research on the SWOT analysis, its purpose, and how to use it.  Conduct additional research to gather the financial and other information necessary to complete your SWOT and Five Forces Model analysis of both companies. Annual financial reports contain information that will be very useful in completing your analyses. Company websites and other financial reporting publications are excellent sources for this type of information.  Carefully analyze and evaluate the information used to support your thinking. The accuracy, relevance, logic, and objectivity of the information should be thoroughly examined for any flaws or issues. The credentials, biases, and viewpoints of authors and experts should be identified and objectively assessed. Your conclusions should be a synthesis and logical extrapolation from the findings of your inquiry and analysis. Relevant limitations and implications should be stated with supporting detail.

Click here to access and review SWOT analysis templates for Verizon and AT&T.
Click here to access a diagram showing Porter’s Five Forces of Competitive Position Model.
After you have completed the SWOT analysis for both companies, and evaluated each company using Porter’s Five Forces Model, address the following questions:
Assess the competitive environment for the industry in which both companies operate.
Compare and contrast the results of your SWOT analysis for the two companies.
Compare and contrast the results of your analysis of both companies using Porter’s Five Force Model.
Based on the results of your analyses of the companies, make and defend at least three recommendations for how Verizon can compete more effectively against AT&T over the next one-year period.  Be sure to include the actions that will be needed to implement each of your three recommendations (e.g. – marketing/advertising activities, operational activities, merchandising activities, etc.)
Conclude your work by summarizing how you will effectively communicate your recommendations to management, so that they will be included in Verizon’s long-term integrated retail strategy to improve sales and increase profitability.
Include your completed SWOT analysis templates and Porter’s Five Forces diagrams as appendices to your paper.
Present your answers to the preceding questions in a six-page (minimum) paper.  The minimum length does not include the title page, abstract, reference page, or any additional pages containing charts, appendices, etc.  A minimum of three outside research sources are required for this assignment.
Format Instructions:  Your paper must be double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1” margins on all sides.  It must consist of a title page, abstract, body of the paper, and a reference page.  A running header and page numbers must be included per APA style guidelines.  Level I, Level II, and Level III headings must be used in the body of the paper.  An appendix (or appendices) must be included after the reference page.  The appendix/appendices should contain materials to support your answers to the questions posed in this paper. Since outside sources are required on this assignment, APA style in-text citations must be included in the body of the paper.  The guidelines for In-Text citations may be found here.  You are expected to follow all APA style guide requirements.  Here are your resources for more information and examples of papers in the APA style:

 

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