InterContinental Hotels Group PLC SWOT Analysis / Matrix

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SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by InterContinental Hotels Group PLC managers to do a situational analysis of the organization . It is a handy technique to evalauate the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is facing in its current business environment.

The InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is one of the leading organizatations in its industry. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC maintains its prominent position in market by carefully analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis.  SWOT analysis a highly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the firm such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.


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The SWOT Analysis framework enables an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.

The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix enables the managers of the InterContinental Hotels Group PLC to develop four types of strategies:

  • SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
  • WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
  • ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
  •  WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC swot analysis / matrix

SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective

The primary purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that a company can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect InterContinental Hotels Group PLC strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.

Step by Step Guide to InterContinental Hotels Group PLC SWOT Analysis

Strengths of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC – Internal Strategic Factors


As one of the leading firms in its industry, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC has numerous strengths that enable it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC are –


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  • Highly skilled workforce through successful training and learning programs. InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is investing huge resources in training and development of its employees resulting in a workforce that is not only highly skilled but also motivated to achieve more.
  • Automation of activities brought consistency of quality to InterContinental Hotels Group PLC products and has enabled the company to scale up and scale down based on the demand conditions in the market.
  • Superb Performance in New Markets – InterContinental Hotels Group PLC has built expertise at entering new markets and making success of them. The expansion has helped the organization to build new revenue stream and diversify the economic cycle risk in the markets it operates in.
  • Highly successful at Go To Market strategies for its products.
  • Successful track record of integrating complimentary firms through mergers & acquisition. It has successfully integrated number of technology companies in the past few years to streamline its operations and to build a reliable supply chain.
  • Successful track record of developing new products – product innovation.
  • High level of customer satisfaction – the company with its dedicated customer relationship management department has able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction among present customers and good brand equity among the potential customers.
  • Strong dealer community – It has built a culture among distributor & dealers where the dealers not only promote company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.


Weakness of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC – Internal Strategic Factors


Weakness are the areas where InterContinental Hotels Group PLC can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where an organization can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.


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  • Days inventory is high compare to the competitors – making the company raise more capital to invest in the channel. This can impact the long term growth of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC
  • Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, InterContinental Hotels Group PLC needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.
  • The profitability ratio and Net Contribution % of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC are below the industry average.
  • The marketing of the products left a lot to be desired. Even though the product is a success in terms of sale but its positioning and unique selling proposition is not clearly defined which can lead to the attacks in this segment from the competitors.
  • Not very good at product demand forecasting leading to higher rate of missed opportunities compare to its competitors. One of the reason why the days inventory is high compare to its competitors is that InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is not very good at demand forecasting thus end up keeping higher inventory both in-house and in channel.
  • Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
  • Limited success outside core business – Even though InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.

Opportunities for InterContinental Hotels Group PLC – External Strategic Factors


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  • The market development will lead to dilution of competitor’s advantage and enable InterContinental Hotels Group PLC to increase its competitiveness compare to the other competitors.
  • Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC’s products thus providing an opportunity to the company - either to boost its profitability or pass on the benefits to the customers to gain market share.
  • The new technology provides an opportunity to InterContinental Hotels Group PLC to practices differentiated pricing strategy in the new market. It will enable the firm to maintain its loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value oriented propositions.
  • New customers from online channel – Over the past few years the company has invested vast sum of money into the online platform. This investment has opened new sales channel for InterContinental Hotels Group PLC. In the next few years the company can leverage this opportunity by knowing its customer better and serving their needs using big data analytics.
  • Stable free cash flow provides opportunities to invest in adjacent product segments. With more cash in bank the company can invest in new technologies as well as in new products segments. This should open a window of opportunity for InterContinental Hotels Group PLC in other product categories.
  • Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided InterContinental Hotels Group PLC an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
  • New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the InterContinental Hotels Group PLC . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
  • Lower inflation rate – The low inflation rate bring more stability in the market, enable credit at lower interest rate to the customers of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC.

Threats InterContinental Hotels Group PLC Facing - External Strategic Factors

  • Rising raw material can pose a threat to the InterContinental Hotels Group PLC profitability.
  • Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for InterContinental Hotels Group PLC   in those markets.
  • The demand of the highly profitable products is seasonal in nature and any unlikely event during the peak season may impact the profitability of the company in short to medium term.
  • New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
  • Rising pay level especially movements such as $15 an hour and increasing prices in the China can lead to serious pressure on profitability of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC
  • Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
  • Imitation of the counterfeit and low quality product is also a threat to InterContinental Hotels Group PLC’s product especially in the emerging markets and low income markets.
  • Liability laws in different countries are different and InterContinental Hotels Group PLC may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.

Limitations of SWOT Analysis for InterContinental Hotels Group PLC

Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.

  • Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
  • SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
  • The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC
  • SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
  • SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.

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Weighted SWOT Analysis of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC

In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.

This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis InterContinental Hotels Group PLC managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.

Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of InterContinental Hotels Group PLC

This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.

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Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis

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SWOT Worksheet & Template

If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.


References / Citations & Bibliography

  • M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
  • A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
  • O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
  • L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
  • R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)