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Date. July 22, 2015

To. Marketing students

From. Dr. Kate Lawrence

RE: TOWS Matrix

TOWS matrix is an application of the SWOT situational analysis. First, you need to identify the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats of a company.

First, collect the facts.

Strengths.What are the firm’s unique advantages that other companies don’t have? What does the firm do well when it satisfies customers’ needs?

Weaknesses.What can be improved? What is done poorly? Refusing to admit to weaknesses will only further hurt the firm. Think of the weaknesses that a customer might see.

Opportunities and Threats. These look at changes (i.e., trends) in the external environment. What are the interesting trends? If it’s a good trend for your company, then, it’s an opportunity. If it’s a bad trend, then it’s a threat.

Sociocultural Environment.Social and cultural trends have to do with changes in behaviors, attitudes, beliefs, norms, customs,career trends (attitudes towards work), lifestyle trends.

Political/Legal Environment.Taxes, law, political stability, regulation and regulatory actions by government agencies often restrict the activities of companies.

Technological environment. Mostly this relates to technology and science innovation.

Economic environment.Interest rates, inflation rates, unemployment rates, income rates/distribution and tariff rates. Changes in the economic environment will have an impact on a company.

Now, organize the information like this:

The TOWS matrix allows you to see the interrelationships between the facts. The matrix requires to you consider how the strengths of a firm can overcome the threats in the environment and the weaknesses in the firm can be minimized thanks to the opportunities in the environment. The suggested strategies that emerge from considering the TOWS matrix may or may not be implemented in the final analysis, but the exercise to generate ideas is useful regardless.

Strengths (list 2-3 here)

Weaknesses (list 2-3 here)


(list 2-3 here)

Generate ideas here, that match: Strengths of the firm aligned with opportunities in environment.

Generate ideas here, that match: Opportunities that can be pursued and weaknesses of the firm that can be offset.


(list 2-3 here)

Generate ideas here, that: Utilize organization’s strengths to minimize vulnerability to external threats.

Generate ideas here, that: Protect the firm against threats by identifying and addressing firm’s weaknesses.

1. Focus on points that matter directly to the customer. This will help you develop customer focused strategy.

2. Use two to four bullets per box, max. Focus on specific points; do not over-generalize.

3. Do not be afraid to do new things and put new combinations of things together to make things happen.





To turn in.

1. Research the external environment in the industry and supporting industries of your company. Find the most important ideas or trends that you think will affect your company. Organize the trends as either threats or opportunities. Indicate these in the TOWS.

2. Research your company as much as you can. Find the most important facts that you think will matter to consumers. Importance to customers is key in the TOWS. Don’t just say, “great brand image”. Organize the facts as either strengths or weaknesses.

3. Match the ideas of a strength with an opportunity to generate your own fantastic strategic idea to benefit your company. Think of something that would appeal to your ideal customer.

4. Do the same for strength/threat, weakness/opportunity, and weakness/threat.

5. Select one of your ideas that you generated in steps 3 and 4. Write a one page single spaced paragraph explaining why you think this idea would be advantageous to your company. Support your claim with the facts you uncovered in 1 and 2. Use as much specific facts as you can.

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