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A SWOT analysis of Trump vs. Clinton

Rob Enderle | July 11, 2016
Competitive assessment takes the publicly known attributes of a product and compares it to its competition. Columnist Rob Enderle uses SWOT to compare and contrast Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton.

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One of the things I’m often asked is what do analysts actually do? The answer depends on what kind of analyst you are talking about. Generally, industry inquiry analysts are brought in to answer questions on a variety of subjects having to do with the market, what customers want, what has historically worked, and to help strategize about competition. In many cases we effectively replaced competitive analysis departments with an outsourced shared resource. This is often desired because our being outsiders means we are less likely to either be corrupted by company bias or become afraid to tell the truth due to fears about our careers.  

One of the tools we use, though not as often as I’d like, is the competitive assessment. This is where we take the publically known attributes of a product and compare it to its competition. This was most commonly done using something called SWOT, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats followed by a recommendation.

I thought it might be interesting to do an abbreviated version of one against the current presidential candidates. Let’s look at Trump vs. Clinton SWOT this week.

Before we start

Now, before we start, let me point out this would typically be a summary of a longer report and/or tied to a presentation where the analyst would defend the points and answer questions. But this should give you a sense of how this might be done. The goal of this is not to create a definitive competitive document but to showcase how you’d break down the analysis.  


Clinton: Decades of experience both in and around the job and with regard to politics in general. Strong public speaker, ex-president as husband, strong financial support from a variety of sources, appeals to woman in particular.   Very strong minority support. A scrapper and not afraid of a fight.

Trump: An accomplished CEO, deadly on social media, particularly strong on the attack. Charismatic public speaker, strong brand management, a billionaire (could self-fund), appeals strongly to those most likely driven to vote by fear. Able to own a news cycle better than most.


Clinton: Under her husband’s cloud, massively distrusted, thinks tactically not strategically, tends to drop into a rut. Not particularly charismatic. Not willing to take big risks. Tied tightly to Wall Street and other private interests (good for funding bad for image and primary demographic). Doesn’t appeal to those that want change.

Trump: Tends to speak without thinking, highly reactive (could be easily manipulated), appeals to relatively narrow demographic. Alienates large numbers of people needlessly. Doesn’t appear “presidential.” Lies needlessly and excessively.   Tends to drift off message, a lot. Disruptive in a scary way. Lack of political experience. Poor fund raising, poor impulse control.


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