To begin with, let us understand the role of SWOT Analysis in launching a product or service.
1. SWOT Analysis in Planning
Generally speaking, and in most of the references you will find on the Internet, SWOT is one of the first steps taken within a larger scope of planning. That planning can be strategic, marketing or launching of a product or service that usually involves the understanding of some items such as:
- Definition of target audience
- Marketing Mix (4Ps of Marketing)
- Defining goals and targets
- Marketing strategies
Of course, the more you go deeper, the more chance you have of getting a better understanding of your market and therefore having better results, but what I'm going to show you is how to be extremely practical, using only SWOT to come up with excellent insights regarding launching a product or service.
2. What is SWOT's Role?
When we are about to launch a new product or service, we may be tempted to do a lot of analysis, study and spend a lot of time on what is not essential. So when we come to the single use of SWOT it is precisely with the intention of giving the right direction to what really matters.
It's the kind of dynamics you can do in an afternoon with your team or even alone ... and now I'll show you an example for launching LUZ worksheets, from the first version (1.0) to the present day.
3. Step by Step to Use SWOT Analysis in Launch
If you like this tool and are thinking of using the SWOT Analysis to launch a product or service, I suggest the following steps:
- 1 step - Definition of the product or service to be released
- 2 step - Application of SWOT Analysis (pre-launch)
- 3 step - Making changes based on insights
- 4 step - Product or Service Launch
- 5 step - Follow-up (Customer feedback, satisfaction survey and measurement of NPS - Net Promoter Score)
- 6 step - New application of SWOT Analysis
- 7 step - Making changes from new insights
4. Case Study - SWOT Analysis - LUZ Spreadsheets
For those who do not know the beginning of the history of LUZ, until 2012 more or less our focus was totally geared to the realization of management consultancies for startups, micro and small companies. In the strategic planning we did later this year, we decided that we would change our business model to a more scalable targeting and one of the ideas that came up was to have digital products, more specifically spreadsheets.
4.1. SWOT of the First Sheets Launch
Thinking about launching the spreadsheets themselves, the SWOT Analysis was as follows:
- Ready to use spreadsheet
- Affordable price
- Prepared by consultants
- Design left to be desired
- Difficult to use (without manual, instructions, etc)
This is an example of our second developed worksheet, the Sheet Cash Flow 1.0:
- Few competitors
- Free spreadsheets are often very ugly (below you see an example of this)
- Free spreadsheets
- Market nonexistent (people have no custom of buying spreadsheets)
See that the same item (free spreadsheets) can appear as a threat or opportunity, it all depends on what you do in relation to it.
4.2. SWOT Insights and What We Did
Perhaps this is the most important part, because it is here that you discover what is most important and take action to improve your product or service.
See that the SWOT is punctual, that is, it represents the reality of a specific moment. This analysis we did above has as reference the years of 2012 and 2013 more or less and only raised the main items (because I believe that it is worth focusing on what is most important). These were our main insights:
- As we saw that the design was an item that could improve a lot (even making a comparison with software), we made a good investment for the spreadsheet to have a professional design. In this process we hired a designer who for a good period was allocated exclusively for the development of spreadsheets. This is how the 3.0 version of our spreadsheets came about.
- Besides not being the most beautiful, it was difficult to use a 1.0 worksheet from LUZ. They had no instructions, manual, guide or explanatory videos. So we ran usability tests to map how the best use of the spreadsheet would be. So we made conversations with clients, made them use our spreadsheets, analyzed common mistakes and corrected them before making a new version. In this process we used the Balsamiq to draw wireframes and Invision to facilitate the feedback process of spreadsheets.
This was one of the drawings made even before we created the worksheet in Excel itself:
- One of our major concerns (in the beginning) was the "competition" that could occur with free spreadsheets, after all, why pay if I can have it for free. This was one of the motivations (not the only) to have a quality support service, with online chat, quick and professional answers, technical support in using Excel itself and so on.
It is obvious that a much greater number of ideas have arisen (and will emerge). Here I separated the 3 main insights that made us get up to the 3.0 version ...
Another important thing is to have the notion that often the best ideas and insights can Cross SWOT, when you identify how a force can maximize potential opportunities or mitigate potential threats. Likewise, in this process it is very worthwhile to understand how to reduce weaknesses and their risks of affecting opportunities and increasing threats.
4.3. Launch of Spreadsheets in the 3.0 Version
Currently, if we were to make a new SWOT analysis, we would have some changes in relation to our first scenario. See that one thing or another can remain the same and that some items change:
- Ready to use tool
- Authoring methods, created by consultants who have already experienced the situation in practice
- Affordable price
- Top design (side menu, protected cells, visual pattern, etc.)
See an 3.0 worksheet:
- 100% Microsoft Excel Technology
- Does not work online
- Does not allow multiple access at the same time
- Use macros, pivot tables, and advanced Excel features
- Programa de afiliados
- Changes in the version of Excel 2016
Based on this most current SWOT, what kind of insights into the future would you give to LIGHT?