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SWOT Analysis of Zipcar Essay

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Zipcar is affected by its internal strengths and weaknesses with respect to competitors and is presented with opportunities and threats from its macro environment. By understanding these various factors, an organization may successfully thrive in the business environment at large. The following analysis of Keegan’s article “The Best New Idea in Business” provides a SWOT analysis of Zipcar, which illustrated the factors affecting the firm’s rapid growth.
The internal strengths of a firm refer to positive factors with respect to competitors within an industry. Zipcar possesses internal strengths in possessing superior customer response, simplicity of transactions, and the hosting of memorable marketing events. The derivation of individual strengths of Zipcar is based upon how this organization adds value to the marketplace better than its rivals.
Customer response is improved through measurable aspects such as the minimizing traffic congestion, lower carbon dioxide emissions, and reduced operating costs. A single usage of a shared vehicle, such as from Zipcar, “… takes up to 20 cars off the road as members sell their rides or decide not to buy new ones.” (Keegan, 2009) Budgetary savings and green initiatives are significant deciding factors for members. “(Drivers) who give up their cars and switch to Zipcar say they save an average of $600 per month… and surveys in Europe show CO2 emissions are being cut by up to 50% per user.” (Keegan, 2009)
Contrary to the traditional rental transaction, wherein customers stand in lines, pay multiple charges or fees, and fill out lengthy paperwork for usage by the day or week; The Company offers simpler transactions that differentiate their services and builds customer loyalty. Zip...


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...z is able to “… get volume discounts on cars, mobilize its huge fleet and customer-support call centers, invest heavily in each city, and absorb losses if it wants to start a price war.” (Keegan, 2009)
Provided the firm is able to successfully focus on its strengths of differentiation in adding value to the customer experience, and can successfully take advantage of opportunities in the global marketplace by focusing on a broader demographic of potential clients, Zipcar may be able to successfully traverse the potential threats from new competitors in the car sharing industry and overcome its weaknesses stemming from technology gaps and limited product offerings. With a history of dramatic levels of growth, Zipcar possesses the momentum to keep moving forward.



Works Cited

Keegan, P. (2009, September 14). The Best New Idea in Business. Fortune , 160 (5), p. 42.


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