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Brown & Brown, Inc: Opportunities and Threats – An Analysis

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Brown & Brown, Inc:  Opportunities and Threats – An Analysis

 

Economic Forces – Opportunities:

Brown & Brown, Inc. is steadily poised to gain business when the economic winds of the macroeconomy blow fairly.  In times of economic prosperity, Brown & Brown will invariably generate more business, due to the increased need for risk transfer/insurance by the corporate and private entities that are gaining and growing their revenue bases. Every growing business in the economy needs to be properly insured, to protect the interests of the principal actors and investors and other stakeholders in these businesses.

Economic Forces – Threats:

Conversely, when the economy contracts, Brown & Brown is exposed to an unavoidable shrinkage of their policy counts.  Just as a rising tide floats all boats, so does a falling tide leave some stranded and struggling principals across the business spectrum.  Brown & Brown has the duty and task to overcome these economic contractions in the larger business sphere, and they can do this by executing their business plan to its maximum efficiency.

Social, cultural, demographic, and natural environmental forces – Opportunities:

The Socio-Cultural forces link to factors that affect society’s basic values, preferences and behavior. The basis for these factors is formed by the fact that people are part of a society and cultural group that shape their beliefs and values. Many cultural blunders occur due to the failure of businesses in understanding new, different and/or changing cultural norms. For instance, appearance, actions, words, symbols or terminology may carry a positive or negative meaning depending on culture.” [1]

Brown & Brown Inc., through its acquisition method of expansion, can use human resource talent that is familiar with regional and even international customs and mores.  In Brown & Brown’s case, social, cultural, and demographic customs and trends are readily identifiable by their on-the-ground talent.  Opportunities regularly present themselves to Brown & Brown via this specific aspect of the “opportunities and threats” possibilities of the larger society’s business environment.

Social, cultural, demographic, and natural environmental forces – Threats:

This area of the external environment is vast in its dimensions, and, interestingly, brings forth these types of statements by peer-reviewed researchers:

“As SWOT framework does not have a strictly defined structure, sometimes it becomes an art more than a science, which makes it difficult for practitioners to use SWOT and extract strategies of it. However, there have recently appeared many methodological works on SWOT to make it more rigorous and operational. Most of these researchers have pointed to SWOT difficulties and then proposed some solutions to modify its shortcomings. These works are briefly summarized below for practitioners to understand and to apply SWOT in a more objective and precise way.” [2]

Brown & Brown’s Directors, Managers, and Supervisors are highly likely to be completely oriented to potential threats in the social, cultural, demographic, and natural environmental spheres.  The first three of these threat possibilities are distinctly different from the “natural environment” area of risk/threat.  All types of natural disasters affect the insurance industry in ways that are quite different from corporations and governments that have transferred risk to the insurers and reinsurers of the world. In Brown & Brown’s case, their actuaries and underwriters must finely tune the premium demands that are a part of the risk transference process.  The threat, here, is sloppy and inexpert response to external environmental threat; an eventuality that Brown & Brown has probably fully prepared its expert professionals to avoid.

Political, governmental, and legal forces – Opportunities:

Brown & Brown’s business model works on the concept of exercising, always, impeccable, and virtually flawless ethically integrated conduct.  Though doubtless there are sporadic anecdotal cases of misbehavior in a company the size of Brown & Brown, the company works in harmonious lockstep with political, governmental, and legal entities.  Politically, Brown & Brown earns enormous goodwill through their various charitable and philanthropic activities, maximizing their good relationships with governments and lawmakers.

Political, governmental, and legal forces – Threats:

Insurance companies and law firms will often “butt heads”.  While some lawsuits can be frivolous and without merit, often there are matters in fact and law that will allow a law firm to successfully sue an insurance company, due to some problematic behavior by that company.  Brown & Brown, doubtless, has an excellent legal staff of professionals that protect and mitigate against aggressive law firms that attempt to maximize legal remedies and collections of awarded damages. This same dynamic will also be present in governmental threats.  Governments have officers like Attorney Generals, who, if motivated by sufficient evidence of wrongdoing by an insurance company, can bring the full weight of the government down upon the “offending” company.  A good legal team must consistently evaluate corporate operations, protecting against this threat.

Technological forces – Opportunities:

“With the rapid spread of computers and digital devices such as smart phones, the ubiquity of the Internet and corporate intranets (internal corporate computer networks based on Internet standards), and the spread of high-bandwidth fiber-optics and digital wireless technology, the information systems function has moved to center stage in the quest for operating efficiencies and a lower cost structure.” [3]

Brown & Brown, Inc. is constantly advertising, on the “Indeed” jobs website, that it has team position openings available for IT expert talent.  It is obvious that Brown & Brown is doing its best to maximize its IT advantages in the insurance marketplace.  Internet technology, particularly, offers enormous opportunity for outreach, research, prospecting, and sales.  Like any well-run company, Brown & Brown seeks to gain advantage in the market via this avenue of expertise.

Technological forces – Threats:

Various technological threats can harm a corporation’s business interests.  The hacking, phishing, and phreaking black hat communities are all, constantly, attempting to gain their small footholds in corporations’ activities.  A robust IT security series of preventative measures must always be in place.  Though there are sometimes problems with situations like Internet backbone failures and other signal outages, the main threat comes from bad actors; criminals.

Competitive forces – Opportunities:

The prime expedient of simple competitiveness gives Brown & Brown team members the impetus to perform at wonderfully successful levels.  Success in execution translates into higher earnings, higher status, a higher quality of life, and a series of other positive dynamics that attract accomplished and motivated persons.  Brown & Brown has attracted many of these success-oriented team members.

Competitive forces – Threats:

The “flip side” of all these positives of competitive forces is this; competitors also want these same superior qualities in their environments and lifestyles. And so, the races are always “on”.  Competitive persons drive to excel and to gain market share, and Brown & Brown, over the decades, seems to have countered most competitors by designing and executing their business plans in an exceptionally excellent fashion.

References

[1] Adapted from Marketing Insider, (2017).   irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/   Retrieved from       irp-cdn.multiscreensite.com/6e5efd05/files/uploaded/DESTEP%20Model%20-%20The%20Macro%20Environment.pdf

[2] Sepehr Ghazinoory, Mansoureh Abdi and Mandana Azadegan-Mehr.  (March 2011).  SWOT methodology: a state-of-the-art review for the past, a framework for the future/SSGG metodologija: praeities ir ateities analize? .    Journal of Business Economics and Management (Vol. 12, Issue 1).

[3] Hill, Schilling, Jones.  (May 15, 2019)  Strategic Management: An Integrated Approach: Theory and Cases, 13th Edition.  Mindtap Course

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