SWOT AnalysisStrengthsThe Swiffer brand has much key strength, which helped it create, and dominate the market. Onestrength, which is potentially underestimated, is its parent company P&G, with vast resources andwillingness to spend big dollars to promote products. This along with the distribution, and innovative(line extension) leadership, is a key element to success and a strong point for Swiffer. Swiffer has itsown brand specific strengths as well.Being the first to and on the market, though a huge risk, helped Swiffer develop other key strengths.Through heavy promotion in the beginning, Swiffer was quick to capture nearly ¼ of all cleaningdollars in a relative short amount of time. The innovator behind new products is often considered to bethe standard.With an already captured growing market, Key and timely innovations allowed Swiffer to expand themarket even more creating even more brand loyalty and brand recognition through line extensionsThe Kleenex phenomenon- some times in an industry certain brands become the identity of the productcategory as a whole to a very large degree with end users. For Example: It is common to refer to afacial tissue as a Kleenex rather than a tissue. It is also common to here people ask for a Coke ratherthan the specific carbonated beverage that the venue carries. For some time early in the in therefrigerator product life cycle, it was common to call it a Frigidaire as opposed to the brand it actuallywas or just refrigerator. “Q Tips” are another example. We believe due to primary and secondaryresearch that, the swiffer brand is in a position to cash in on this phenomenon.Swiffer has a reputation for being high quality and has high satisfaction rates among consumers. This isdefinitely a strength for many reasons, some of which include, making it easier to keep current marketshare and taking others share, Giving clout to future innovative product extensions and line expansions,Allowing swiffer to maintain current positioning with out fear of a fall out due to customer satisfactionSwiffer’s Price point is strength because there is not strong risk of loss for trial. In addition toincreasing trial purchasing the relatively low cost of the product makes it a great fit for product tie-insand product bundling. They can put other P&G products that have huge markets in packaging bundlesat low costs to get in the doors of new markets.WeaknessesPricing, it would seem is a two edged sword with swiffer. While it is a relatively low price point forproduct trial purchases and the refills are also a relatively low ticket item, when you look at the biggerpicture and include substitute products, there is an issue. Traditional mop and bucket non conveniencebased cleaning expenditures over a life time would never cost as much as using a disposable substitute.It is similar to the idea that while eating on paper plates all the time would be convenient, most don’tdo it because it would cost a fortune over a life time compared to reusing non disposable plates. Thismay never have a huge impact on swiffer, but this is a feature of the product that eliminates at leastsome portion of the potential market. This is a weakness that a substitute product company couldexploit if they were concerned about loosing category dollars or market share. We live in aconvenience based economy and world, and for the most part people who need, or desire stronglyenough, the convenience are willing to pay premiums for it. However it would be a bit short sided toover look the potential chink in the armor.
Product innovation, while a strong suite for P&G, has had some negative effects on the swiffer brandimage. Line extensions and product expansions are key ways to attack the market and swiffer did justthat. They put out every kind of swiffer that one could imagine and some were hits and others hurt thebrand. One such flop was the swiffer carpet flick, recently recalled, the flick had lackluster sales resultsand it did not really work all that well and began to bring down the quality perception of the brand.Now because of over extended lines and a quality issue, the market is saturated with swiffer likeproducts that are not quite delivering like the original did. Getting rid of these product variations thatdon’t fit the script will help keep the quality up to a level were it can still be considered a strengthOpportunitiesYet another perk of have P&G as parent company is a leg up on distribution. One key opportunity is totake advantage of the convenience appeal, and the price point. This means they could do much likerazors of late (not far from our price point) and put refills and even the product in the impulse buyingareas of stores. They could get them in the convenience stores and gas station quickly and effectivelydue to the presence in these places by P&G. This would further promote the convenience andavailability of products and supplies. They could become one of those products that you can literallyget anywhere.Swiffer got a 143% bump in advertising budget for 2004 over 2003. This leverage with parentcompany P&G is an enormous opportunity. It puts swiffer in a position that allows them to really findtheir branding strategy and know that when they get the right one, they can go big and have the fullsupport of P&G.Another opportunity is swiffer’s success with events, contests, and celebrity interaction. Swiffer hasbeen holding various contests and events to increase product awareness and have found celebrities likeJessica Simpson, and Cindy Crawford to help connect with their brand image and target markets.ThreatsEnvironmental groups have caught on to the waste issue that the quick clean industry presents. Thereare several groups that have called out not only swiffer but all disposable quick clean products,claiming that it is unnecessary to create this much additional waste. This is a small concern now but ifthis cant be spun or dealt with, eventually the bad image will start to erode the brand.Another similar threat are some claims that a chemical used in the swiffer wet jet solution can hurt orkill small animals. At the moment these are nothing more that urban myths, but if there is any truth tothem, they could also potentially damage the brand image. Still the negative myth doesn’t helpregardless if it true or falseA slightly easier way to clean then the quick clean way is the automated way. A new robot cleaningmachine, called Scuba, is available at stores like Sharper Image and online at irobot.com. This is apotential market share thief. If this product delivers, and catches on, then swiffer would almost be indirect competition with the robot.The last main threat has to do with being on the top of this emerging industry. A healthy 75% marketshare is a huge target of any other competitor. With only 25% market share spread across seven otherbrands, there is inevitably going to come a time when the smaller brands directly attack swiffer
customers. They are at risk of having several crafty companies plotting to take them out and capture themarket.