BUSN 620 Central Texas College Strategic Management Discussion


I need four responses of at least 175 words each for the below students discussions for this week. Also in the bold below are the questions the students at answering.

Select a company you have worked for or research a publicly traded company and share the SWOT that you see impacts this company. What seems to work well for this company, and what doesn?t work?

Student one:

 The Coca-Cola Company was founded in 1886 by Dr. John Pemberton, who first started selling his product out of his pharmacy in downtown Atlanta (The Coca Cola Company, n.d.). During his first year, Dr. Pemberton sold about nine drinks at day, and ever since then the company grew rapidly to become one of the most iconic companies in the world. Nowadays, Coca Cola sells 1.9 billion servings of its products per day, in over 200 different countries (The Coca Cola Company, n.d.).  Below there is a brief SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of the company.     

Strengths: The Coca Cola Company has a very popular brand and brand identity.  This significantly increases the emotional connection of its products to the customer who shares the same value as the company (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.).  In addition, the company?s global reach is another one of its strengths. The company has about 250 bottling partners, sells its products in over 200 different countries, and averages approximately about 1.9 million servings at day (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.).

Weakness: Coca has a significantly small merchandise diversification and it has stayed primarily in the soft beverage market. Pepsi, which is Coca Cola?s biggest competitor, has gained significant leverage by producing other non-beverage goods such as Lay?s chips, Kurkure and such (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.). Another weakness of the Coca Cola Company is that most of its product is high in sugar, and this significantly raises the risk for its customer to develop obesity and/or diabetes. To date, many believe that Coca Cola has not yet developed a significant strategy to deal with this situation. Therefore, there is a low demand for Coca Cola products from customers who are or will become health conscious (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.).

Opportunities:  The Company has the opportunity to introduce numerous products to the market such as snacks, chips, healthy food and drinks, and other things of that nature. Furthermore, the company could expand or increase its presence in developing countries in the Middle East and Africa (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.). In addition, improving its distribution chain and finding an alternative to expensive fossil fuels can significantly reduce the company?s marginal cost of production and distribution (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.).  

Threats: There has been bad publicity over water management and pesticides issues for this company. Many critics of the company argue that the company consumes a significant amount of water, especially in countries where water is limited (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.). In addition, the company has been accused of polluting water with pesticide. In addition, environmentally friendly activist have harshly criticized Coca Cola for producing single use plastic bottles, and for not having an effective recycling and renewable source program (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.). Another significant threat for Coca Cola is fierce competition with companies such as Pepsi, Starbucks, Tropicana, and Lipton, all which hold a good portion of the market share (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.).  

           Some of the things that have worked out well for the company has been its successful marketing campaign where the use simple slogan such as ?Enjoy? and ?Happiness? (Smarling, 2020). These simple slogans are very popular and its message is easily understand by costumers all over the world. In addition, the company uses marketing strategies such as personalizing its products by printing country specific popular names on them (Smartling, 2020). Some of the things that have not worked out well is that the Coca Cola Company does not have significant product diversification and does not offer many healthy choices (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.). In addition, the company should take bigger steps into enhancing its water management process and introduce environmental strategies to recycle its containers. This in turn, would increase its image in a positive manner and help the company to gain support from environmentally friendly activists (Business Strategy Hub, n.d.).         


Business Strategy Hub. (n.d.). Coca Cola SWOT analysis 2019: SWOT analysis of Coca Cola. Retrieved from https://bstrategyhub.com/swot-analysis-of-coca-col…

The Coca Cola Company. (n.d.). History.  Retrieved from https://www.coca-colacompany.com/company/history

Smartling. (2020). What can we learn from Coca-Cola?s global marketing success? Retrieved from https://www.smartling.com/resources/101/what-can-w…

Student two:

Last week we learned about the SWOT analysis and how it assists managers in making business decisions to help the firm succeed and thrive. The company I will be using is the last company I worked for prior to joining the Army, Roots Canada. Roots is a Canadian company founded by 2 Americans Michael Budman and Don Green in Toronto in 1973. The two choose to start the business in Canada as they spent their childhood summers at camp in Algonquin Provincial Park (Roots Corporation, 2018). The company focuses on apparel and leather goods, with their apparel focusing on camp style.


The initial strength of Roots Canada was their focus on Canadiana, drawing their inspiration and marketing from the Canadian wilderness. With globalization their models shifted slightly, while they still focus on Canadian ideals in country, they have expanded to the US and Asian markets off the strength of their leather goods. In 2017 the company had their IPO and have seen steady growth since 2014. Much of this growth was off of the Asian market and extended shipping that currently operates in 50 countries (Roots Corporation, 2018). From Roots, their strengths include: their iconic Canadian Brand, a diversified portfolio with enduring products, demographic appeal, strong loyalty and passionate management (Roots Corporation, 2018).


The main weakness of Roots is from my time being there was their Canadiana, which slowed growth in the US. The company first opened exclusively leather stores in high income areas. In order to sell their products they had spokespeople such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a little known Canadian hockey player in LA, Wayne Gretzkey. Today they face issues such as unionization of workers, increased labour contentions abroad, lack of dividends, over stretching of new stores, geopolitical tensions (Canada and China), and a failure to secure competent managers abroad (Roots Corporation, 2018).


Opportunities for Roots are outlined in their 2018 corporate plan. An increase of stores in the US market along the border will look to build upon the 3 existing stores. The overall increase of physical stores in Canada, and a growth in 12 international markets along with sustainable growth in China and Taiwan. Lastly, their opportunities focus on 4 remaining areas: securing key leadership around the world for various facets of the supply chain; a consumer based marketing approach; increase productivity in physical stores with an increase of $9.9M in spending; and lastly an increase in e-commerce globally (Roots Corporation, 2018).


The major threat to Roots is focused on an overall increase in competitiveness in the outdoor apparel market. The market has seen steady growth in the past 10 years, with the main consumer demographic of 24-34 years old. (Statista, 2019). The Canadian market is tiny in comparison to China, the US, UK, and EU. Many of these markets have their own companies that drive competition for Roots. Roots 4 major competitors in the global market are: Costco, Lululemon, Walmart, and Cabelas (Statista, 2019). This competition has led to another major player in the Canadian market, MEC, to close stores and layoff workers (Brend, 2020). This could serve as an example for Roots.


Brend, Y. (2020, January 22). Some layoffs at MEC but more permanent staff to be hired: CEO | CBC News. Retrieved from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/restructure-mec-11m-outdoor-gear-mountain-equipment-co-op-staff-layoffs-1.5433645

Roots Corporations. (2018, April 17). Annual Information Form. Retrieved from https://www.roots.com/on/demandware.static/-/Sites-RootsCA-Library/default/dw9771b439/content/homepage/annual-report/2017/pdfs/Roots_AIF_2017.pdf

Statista. (2019). Sports & Outdoor – Canada: Statista Market Forecast. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/outlook/259/108/sports-outdoor/canada#market-arpu

Student three:

The company that I will share the SWOT for will be my current employer which is an insurance agency. Strategic positioning has the possibility to be a strength for companies be cause it is how management uses its competitive features like price in relation to their competitors (Carpenter & Sanders, 2007), but with being a broker in the insurance industry, our agency does not have the ability to adjust the prices of insurance for the different types of insurance. With that, one of our strengths is that we have contracts with over fifty insurance companies across the United States and sell pretty much all insurance types except for crop/hail. That diversity allows us to find lower prices for prospects and existing customers to grow our book of business. One of the major weaknesses that I think we have, from a managerial standpoint, is that our agents are not paid on commission, and receive a standard salary. I view this as a weakness to our company because the insurance industry is a sales industry and there is no serious incentive for our agents to sell because they work in teams. With opportunities being external factors that a person or company can take advantage of (Rocha & Caldeira-Pires, 2019), we have two opportunities that I think we can take advantage of. The first would be because we are specialists in the motor home insurance market, we could conquer more of the market with our knowledge and expertise. The other opportunity would be acquiring other agencies that are struggling or have owners that are looking to retire. With already having done this once, we have been through the process and can make the process easier each time we would try to do this. With threats of the SWOT analysis being external factors that possess the ability to damage the organization or the products or services that we sell (Kannan, 2013), I would say that our biggest threats would be a recession and or a substantial growth in independent agents in the motor home market. A recession would affect virtually everyone one, and if there are more independent agents selling the same products we have, it will be extremely hard to effectively retain much of our business.

Carpenter, Mason A. and Wm. Gerard Sanders. Strategic Management, A Dynamic Perspective: Concepts and Cases. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.

Kannan, V. (2013). Strategic management in the 21st century. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.

Rocha, M., & Caldeira-Pires, A. (2019). Environmental product declaration promotion in Brazil: SWOT analysis and strategies. Journal of Cleaner Production, 235, 1061?1072. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.06.266 

Student four:

I chose to research Hershey for this week?s discussion assignment. I have never worked for the company before but chocolate is always interesting. Hershey is currently ranked 391 on the Fortune 500 list. The company has about 15,500 employees and reported about $7.8 billion in revenue (Fortune Media, 2019). Hershey is currently the largest global chocolate manufacturer and maintains approximately 44% of the market share. The company?s largest competitor is Mars, with a 30% market share, and Lindt/Ghirardelli, with a 9% market share.

Strengths- Hershey is the largest chocolate manufacturer in the market. The company also benefits from significant brand equity. The brand name, Hershey, is widely recognizable and signifies quality and excellence. Hershey also has an extensive product list with some of the most popular candies on the market, such as Reece?s, KitKat, and Twizzler (Hershey, n.d.).  

Weakness- Hershey has been criticized for the methods they use to purchase Cocoa. Critics state that the company is disorganized when purchasing Cocoa and does not stick to fair trade practices. Also, the prevalence of counterfeit products in emerging markets has been a concern for the company. It is difficult to expand into new markets and emerging countries when counterfeit products are already available.  

Opportunities- One of Hershey?s main opportunities is to expand the products that they offer into new categories. For example, the company could pursue more products in the snack food segment.

Threats- Although Hershey is an extremely popular brand, the company still faces significant competition. Mars products, such as Skittles, M&M?s, and Snickers, are some of the most popular candies on the market. Mars also has a much more diverse selection of products, including, pet food brands such as Pedigree, Iams, and Royal Canin. Mars also produces food products including Uncle Ben?s Rice.  

I think that Hershey has done a great job developing brand equity for their products. The firm is clearly a leader in chocolate manufacturing. However, I also think that the firm could expand into other products much as Mars, their largest competitor has.

Bhasin, H. (2019). SWOT analysis of Hershey?s. Retrieved from https://www.marketing91.com/swot-analysis-hersheys… 

Fortune Media. (2019). Fortune 500 ? Hershey. Retrieved from https://fortune.com/fortune500/2019/hershey/

Hershey. (n.d.). Our Brands. Retrieved from https://www.hersheys.com/en_us/our-brands.html

Mars. (n.d.). Made by Mars. Retrieved from https://www.mars.com/made-by-mars

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