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The goal of a SWOT analysis is to match Ci Vediamo Amsterdam’s strengths to attractive opportunities in the environment, while eliminating or overcoming the weaknesses and minimizing the threats. As a final point, the SWOT matrix will give a clear review of the most important elements of the SWOT analysis.
Strengths include internal capabilities, resources and strategically desired factors that could increase the company’s ability to serve its customers and to reach its objectives. The company values their close customer relationships. Thanks to personal sales activities of the owner of Ci Vediamo Amsterdam, clients have a strong connection with their ice cream supplier (this can be concluded from the Positioning Advantages and from one current customer mentioning this advantage during the qualitative research). This will eventually lead to brand loyalty. Another strength of the company are their flexible delivery times.
The firm is able to deliver the products every day of the week for the convenience of the buyer. This gives Ci Vediamo Amsterdam the advantage and ability to differentiate itself from its competitors. The company is also able to adapt and customize the ice cream flavours to the wishes of the customer. Through this approach, the firm can always fulfil the needs and wants of the client.
Weaknesses are internal limitations and negative situational factors that may affect the company’s performance and its objectives. A significant missed opportunity for the ice cream seller is their total absence on the corporate website. The website, owned by Ci Vediamo Egmond, does not provide any information of their franchise in Amsterdam. Due to lacking physical and low brand awareness, a strong brand image is not yet created. It must be stated that the company did attempt to apply simple marketing strategies in the past, but failed in succeed in them.
Opportunities are positive trends or factors in the external environment that the company might be able to exploit to its advantages. Through this approach, weaknesses could be decreased. One of Ci Vediamo Amsterdam’s biggest opportunities is the positive development of demand for ice cream in the Netherlands. Besides, the type of ice cream that the company offers (soft scoops) enjoys a stable market position in comparison to other ice cream types such as frozen yoghurt and water ice (page 11). This advantage can be compared as the Cash Cow of the BCG Matrix. A different opportunity for the ice cream firm is the positive forecasts on private consumption of future clients.
This occurrence is caused by the expected positive economic forecasts in 2015. The environmental and climate changes will also form an advantage; due to increasing temperatures and a growing amount of summer days, the high season will last longer. This will have a positive effect on the profit of the business. Another positive development, is the increasing number of health conscious customers. According to the fact that Ci Vediamo Amsterdam also provides the possibility to order fat-free/ sugar-free/ yoghurt ice cream (alternatives that are considered healthier than the classic full fat ice cream), the company is more likeable to fulfil the wishes of this growing amount of clients.
Threats are undesired trends or factors in the external environment that could have influence on the performance of the company. By pointing out these negative factors, the company can intercept problems in time and take precautions. The ice cream industry in the Netherlands is highly competitive and demanding. It must be mentioned that a significant part of the competitors (such as Otelli, Senso Gelato and Ben & Jerry’s) are offering an extended product range in comparison to Ci Vediamo Amsterdam, including showcases and maintenance services. They also run an active promotion program and offer (optional) advertisement material.
Moreover, a significant competitor has created a new technique to improve the creaminess (quality) of their ice cream. This innovative technology will not be available for Ci Vediamo Amsterdam, which might cause a negative effect in the long run. These points are seen as serious threats, due to the fact that the company may lose future customers on these aspects. Additionally, according to a report given by ING (ING economische bureau, 2012), declining purchasing power will lead to a decline in the catering branch. This is a forecast that could form a threat for future plans for Ci Vediamo Amsterdam.
According to the SWOT Analysis, Ci Vediamo Amsterdam invests and values their close relationships with their customers, which strengthens the trust in their products. Although the company offers high quality and customized products to their clients, it misses the opportunity to inform them about the corporate activities on the internet and website. This could lead to negative effects in attracting new clients, who fail to recognize the brand. Serious threats for the ice cream supplier are the high enmity in the ice cream industry and appealing promotion and advertisement program of competitors.
Nevertheless, future perspectives show a growing demand in the ice cream industry and positive economic forecasts on purchasing power of customers. This could lead to opportunities for Ci Vediamo Amsterdam to increase their customer base and to improve relationships with current customers. This is necessary in order to remain successful and to keep up in the competitive environment.