A sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Successful businesses regularly analyze their processes to ensure they’re operating as efficiently as possible and maintaining their competitive advantages. Although you can assess a company in many ways, a common technique is the SWOT analysis. In this assignment, you will practice using a SWOT analysis to better understand the factors involved in making business decisions that promote sustainable competitive advantage.

  1. Select and research a company from the 2019 Fortune 500 list that demonstrates a sustainable competitive advantage in the marketplace.
  2. Evaluate the selected company’s sustainable competitive advantage using the SWOT analysis technique.

Write a modified SWOT analysis that includes the following:
An introduction with a detailed description of the company
A SWOT analysis diagram that includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
An evaluation of how specific internal factors (strengths and/or weaknesses) support and/or promote a competitive advantage; examples may include:
Financial, physical, or human resources
Access to natural resources, trademarks, patents, or copyrights
Current processes (employee programs or software systems)
An evaluation of how specific external factors (opportunities and/or threats) support and/or promote a competitive advantage; examples may include:
Market trends (new products or technology advancements)
Economic trends (local and/or global)
Regulations (political, environmental, or economic)
Conclusion with an evaluation of how the company has retained its competitive advantage

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Sample Answer

The company I have chosen to analyze is Apple Inc., a multinational technology company that specializes in consumer electronics, computer software, and online services. Apple is one of the Big Five American information technology companies, along with Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook.

SWOT Analysis


  • Strong brand recognition and brand loyalty
  • Innovative products and services
  • Strong financial position
  • Global reach
  • Highly skilled workforce

Full Answer Section


  • High prices
  • Reliance on a few key products
  • Limited product lines
  • Manufacturing challenges


  • Growth in emerging markets
  • Expansion into new product categories
  • Development of new services
  • Acquisitions of other companies


  • Competition from other technology companies
  • Economic downturn
  • Changes in consumer preferences
  • Technological obsolescence

Evaluation of Internal Factors

Apple’s strong brand recognition and brand loyalty are two of its most important strengths. The company’s products are known for their quality and design, and its customers are fiercely loyal. This gives Apple a significant advantage over its competitors.

Apple’s innovative products and services are another key strength. The company is constantly coming up with new products and services that appeal to consumers. This has helped Apple to stay ahead of the competition and maintain its market share.

Apple’s strong financial position is also a major strength. The company has a large cash reserve that it can use to invest in new products and services, acquire other companies, or weather economic downturns.

Evaluation of External Factors

The growth of emerging markets is an opportunity for Apple. The company has already seen strong growth in China and India, and it is well-positioned to continue to grow in these markets.

Apple could also expand into new product categories. The company has already dipped its toes into the wearables market with the Apple Watch, and it could continue to expand into this market or into other markets such as home automation.

Apple could also develop new services. The company has already launched a number of successful services such as the App Store and Apple Music, and it could continue to develop new services that appeal to its customers.


Apple has a number of strengths that support its sustainable competitive advantage. These strengths include its strong brand recognition and brand loyalty, its innovative products and services, its strong financial position, and its global reach. Apple also faces a number of opportunities, such as the growth of emerging markets, the expansion into new product categories, and the development of new services. These opportunities could help Apple to continue to grow and maintain its competitive advantage.

Apple has retained its competitive advantage by consistently innovating and providing high-quality products and services. The company has also been very good at marketing its products and services, and it has built a strong brand reputation. Apple has also been able to maintain its competitive advantage by expanding into new markets and developing new products and services.

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