SWOT Analysis of Oakley

Oakley Inc. is privately owned company based in Foothill Ranch, California. They are a subsidiary of Luxottica, an Italian company who oversees a lot of other brands. Oakley first began as a specialist company, only dealing with sunglasses. Since their opening in 1975, they have expanded their range of products to include clothing, winter wear, and backpacks among other things. In their forty-two years of existence, Oakley has managed to become one of the most recognized sunglass brands in the world. Their iconic “O” has been seen on the sunglasses of  many famous athletes and common people alike. In this blog post, I will discuss a swot analysis that I have done and describe some of the things that I think Oakley has going for and against them. I will examine Oakley’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.


I think that one of Oakley’s biggest strengths as a company is that they do not just specialize in sunglasses. Since becoming a recognized company in 1975, they have expanded their range of products to include sunglasses, clothing, winter coats and pants, ski goggles, bags and backpacks, shoes, and swimwear. This gives them a big competitive advantage over other notable companies such as Ray Bans who only specialize in only sunglasses. Another strength that I think Oakley possesses is their outlet stores. Most of the big name competitors of Oakley do not have discount outlet stores to sell their products. Discounts allow people to check out a brand’s products for a cheaper price, in the hopes that they will become a loyal customer. Brand loyal customers also tend to get more incentives so that they continue to buy Oakley. At these outlets, you can get previous models of newer sunglasses for a discounted price and there is often buy one get one deals. The third strength that I think Oakley possesses is that they have a lot of celebrity sponsorships. If you simply take the MLB for example, more often than not, if a player has sunglasses on, they’re probably Oakleys. They usually have a big name athlete as their sponsor for almost every sport. They got big publicity during the 2016 Olympics when a lot of beach volleyball players wore Oakleys during the tournament. These sponsorships have given people icons to look up to. “Miguel Cabrera (major league baseball player) wears Oakleys, and I want to look like him when I play in my own games.” Wearing a pair of Oakleys inadvertently symbolizes a winner and somebody who wants to compete at the highest level. Most people now associate Oakley with competitive sports rather than just leisure activities. Athletes have propelled Oakley in a direction to gain a better following, since most sports are outside and young kids, especially, want to look like their favorite sports stars.


To me, Oakley’s biggest weakness is the fact that they do not really have advertisements outside of the publicity they get when shown on athletes during sporting events. There aren’t big time commercials promoting the purchase of Oakley products. Another weakness of Oakley is the fact that they don’t really have a whole lot of products directed towards the female population. A lot of their frames are for male sports and their female clothing line isn’t too deep. From previous experience in an Oakley store, there never seems to be a lot of female shoppers in the store. A third weakness that I think Oakley has is their pricing. A lot of their sunglasses are are upwards of $150. To the average person, this is very expensive and there are a lot of other options to take the place of Oakleys for much cheaper. Cotton shirts can also reach prices starting at $40, so their products are directed towards the upper middle class and people who want to wear stylish, sporty products.



Building off of the weaknesses, I think a big opportunity for Oakley would be to start putting out advertisements or commercials to promote their products. They already have a sponsor for almost all of the big time sports, so making a commercial shouldn’t be out of their realm of possibilities. Since it is the biggest earning sport in America, I think that another opportunity would be making products for the NFL. Obviously, sunglasses are not a necessity (or even plausible) in football, but they could make a visor like Nike or Under Armor that can fit into a player’s helmet. A third opportunity that Oakley can take advantage of is gaining female athletes to be on their team of endorsements. This could promote Oakley sunglasses towards the female population and later open up doors to expand the female clothing line.


A major threat to Oakley is the fact that their competitors are known more for luxury products and not sporty products. What I mean is that companies like Ray Bans or Gucci sell sunglasses at the same price, but they are meant for more stylish looks. Oakley has always been known as a sporty, outdoors company and people may not be inclined to buy their products over better known luxury brands. Another threat to Oakley would be counterfeit products. Fake Oakleys, or “Foakleys” as they have been commonly referred to as, are very easy to come across. On foreign websites, you can find counterfeit products for around $20 that look exactly the same except for minor deformities. Backpacks have also been recently easy to find counterfeits for, which takes away from profits for Oakley. These products may be cheap and can break easy, but in the case of sunglasses, you can buy a minimum of 6 pairs of fake Oakleys before you come close to reaching the price of an actual pair. A third threat that I think will start to impact Oakley in the near future is the growing market for eyeglasses. In today’s world, glasses and sunglasses are becoming more and more stylish. With a large amount of companies now making eyewear, Oakley could be facing increased competition from new or existing brands making their way into the market. The last big threat that I think Oakley faces is people’s notions that Oakley is specialized into a sunglasses company. Their other products, such as backpacks, are potentially looked over for other brands like Nike or Under Armour who have been making these products for years. Creating awareness to people that they are much more than just an eyewear company will be a big challenge that they face in the growing economy.


http://www.oakley.com: Most of the thoughts in this paper I used either Oakley’s website or my own knowledge of the product from purchasing from them over the years.


The weakness of not effectively marketing to women was given to me by my cousin who loves to ski and uses oakley goggles on the slopes.