Complete SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline

Updated on: Sep 2, 2023
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The GSK is known for its production of medicines all over the world. The SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline helped them achieve all the positions in the market. The company is renowned for its tough competition in marketing and has its vision on how far a company can withstand the pressure or threats in the market.

In this blog let us try to understand the SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline but before that let’s have a brief insight into the company.

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About GlaxoSmithKline

SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline | IIDE

GlaxoSmithKline is a  healthcare brand that engages in the research, development, and manufacturing of medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. GlaxoSmithKline(GSK) is a multinational British pharmaceutical and consumer health products company.  GlaxoSmithKline was the world’s sixth-largest pharmaceutical company. The company operates in more than 100 countries and has a strong presence in the US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. GSK is investing heavily to expand its product portfolio. The core business of GSK is pharmaceuticals. 

What’s new with GlaxoSmithKline

Check out some current news about GlaxoSmithKline:

  • For those 60 and over, the Food and Drug Administration has given the green light to GSK’s RSV vaccine. The GlaxoSmithKline shot is currently the first respiratory syncytial virus vaccine in the world to receive full approval.
  • GSK launches vaccine for herpes zoster.
  • GSK invests €250M-plus in vaccine manufacturing as Shingrix surges.
  • GSK Invests €250 Million to Allow Freeze-Drying of Vaccines

Now let us move further and know about who the potential customers of GSK are:

Target Audience of GSK

Adults between the ages of 18 and 49 make up the main target market for GSK Consumer Healthcare, with a focus on active, health-conscious people.

Below is a buyer persona of GSK to understand the target customer better;

Buyer’s Persona






26 years




  • Reliable healthcare products.
  • Health improvement.
  • Trusted, proven solutions.
  • Healthy lifestyle alignment.
  • Staying updated with healthcare trends.

Interest & Hobbies

  • Education, teaching.
  • Reading, writing, art (possibly).
  • Extracurricular activities.
  • Cultural events, exhibitions.
  • Occasional outdoor activities.

Pain Points

  • Student and personal health.
  • Healthcare product options.
  • Staying informed on health trends.
  • Managing stress, and work-life balance.

Social Media Presence

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Now that we are brief about GlaxoSmithKline, let’s dive straight into the SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline.

SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline

SWOT analysis is an organisation’s strategic planning to identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By this, the organization can know about their strong points, and where they are lacking, and can grab the opportunities to minimize the loss or the risk.

Any organization needs to maintain a SWOT analysis. By this, they can make optimum use of resources and can minimize the risk.  Let’s deep dive into the SWOT analysis of GlaxoSmithKline.

1. Strengths of GlaxoSmithKline

  • Strong Research and Development: GSK has made a strong effort in research and development. They have made progress in respiratory, HIV, and cardiovascular medicines. Due to its technology-driven practises there is an advancement in the role of the organization. It helps to strengthen their market position.
  • Efficient sales and distribution network: GlaxoSmithKline has improved its distribution network in India and around the globe as well. Due to their improved distribution network, there is an availability of products everywhere. This increases sales and brand recognition. They can provide new products as well as a proper and improved network of distribution.
  • Global presence: GlaxoSmithKline operates in different countries, reducing the risk of over-dependence on a few markets and getting the market share. GlaxoSmithKline is a renowned company all over the globe.
  • Customer relationships: GlaxoSmithKline maintains customer relationship management, which can achieve a high degree of customer loyalty with current customers and potential customers. Maintaining good relations with customers increases brand image and brand loyalty.
  • Training and development: GSK spends a huge amount on the training and development of staff. It requires highly trained workers. The company spends huge funds on training and career growth which effectively turns into an asset for the company.  Highly skilled employees will always strive to achieve more and make profits for the company.
  • Newmarket performance: GSK has gained and has been flourishing in the new market. The extension has been helpful for the company to develop additional income sources and diversify the impact of the economic cycle in the countries in which it works.

2. Weaknesses of GlaxoSmithKline

The company has its weaknesses and we need to understand how the company works to set it right let’s know the SWOT analysis of GlaxoSmithKline on its weaker side. 

  • Healthcare frauds and allegations: GSK has been alleged for unlawful practices such as promoting prescription drugs, false pricing charges, misleading sales charges and failure to disclose safety information in certain countries. For example, charges in the US for endorsing antidepressants that have not been approved by the FDA. Due to such instances, brand image can be adversely affected.
  • Generic competition and maturity of flagship drugs: Multiple GSK products and vaccines are exposed to the competitive markets from generic medicines to flagship drugs. This affects the sales of GSK.
  • Bad Product demand forecasting: GSK is poor in forecasting product demand. They are leading to a higher rate of missing opportunities than their competitors. One of the reasons why the day’s inventory is very high compared to its competitors. GlaxoSmithKline keeps its inventory very high both house and channels. They are not good at forecasting their product demand.

3. Opportunities for GlaxoSmithKline

  • Growth by acquisition and collaboration: In recent years, GSK has expanded its portfolio inorganically through acquisitions and collaboration. Acquisitions and collaboration help GSK to expand its growth and increase in market share. For example, the collaboration with ViiV, GSK’s HIV specialist company collaborated in 2016 with Pfizer and Shionogi and the acquisition of GlycoVaxyn in 2015. Such Acquisition and collaboration help the company to reach greater heights and capture the market.
  • New product launch: Recently, GlaxoSmithKline has launched various new products in the metabolic and respiratory business. Launching Nucala as a treatment for refractory eosinophilic asthma patients in adults is a prime example. Through such product launches, the portfolio of the company strengthens and improves its brand image.
  • Increasing Demand and Quality Healthcare: The increasing demand in India and other emerging nations and awareness of quality healthcare have given opportunities for companies like GlaxoSmithKline to improve and strengthen their bottom line and the top line of their product line. These days, people are more concerned with their health and the healthcare products or medicines they use. The organization must maintain quality in their healthcare product.
  • New technology: The new technology will help GSK company to practise different pricing strategies in the new market. This will enable the organization to maintain loyal customers with great service and lure new customers through other value-oriented services. Since it’s a pharmaceutical company the organization must shortly adapt and be updated with new technology. By adopting new technology, it will help the organization to be in a competitive market.
  • Increase Opportunities in the Vaccine Industry: Since the core business of GlaxoSmithKline is pharmaceuticals, GSK has the opportunity to grow its market in the field of developing vaccines for contagious diseases. This will increase their market share and trust among customers for the brand.

4. Threats of GlaxoSmithKline

  • Intense competition: GlaxoSmithKline deals with consumer and pharmaceutical products as well so this creates intense competition between other brands which not only limits market share but gives rise to price wars.
  • Government Regulations: In the pharmaceutical industry, there is a lot of interference from the Government. Government regulations can affect the production and sales of GlaxoSmithKline and it is a major threat to the company. There are different laws practised in different countries and GSK has to look after the laws of each country and then practise their production.
  • Price controls: In many countries, pricing is selected by the laws of their countries. For example, in India, a new pricing management strategy has been proposed under which drug prices may decrease. Due to this Gsk has to follow the price rate fixed by the country.

After understanding the SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline. Let us have a look at some of the competitors of GSK.

Competitors of GlaxoSmithKline

AstraZeneca: AstraZeneca is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of prescription medicines.

Eli Lilly: Eli Lilly and Company is a company that discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets pharmaceutical products.

Johnson & Johnson: J&J is a company that engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of a range of products in the healthcare field. You can get more insights about the company by understanding its SWOT Analysis.

Merck & Co.: also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme is a healthcare manufacturer and distributor of pharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Rahway, US.

Pfizer: Pfizer is a research-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture, and distribution of healthcare products. Headquartered in New York, US.

This brings us to the end of the case study of SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline. Let us now summarize our understanding in the next section.

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GlaxoSmithKline has very strong research and development and is globally presented. In the above SWOT analysis of GlaxoSmithKline, we came to know that the weakness of the company is making the company drop its value in the market which is very questionable among the customers thought it is popular for its wide network this weakness is becoming its prior attention in the analysis which company needs to take any action on its brand management. 

As did the SWOT Analysis of GlaxoSmithKline company, it is obvious that this company will continue to be the leading board in the pharmaceuticals industry in the world. Despite knowing the fact that the company has weaknesses and threats, GSK still has a lot of opportunities that are going to improve soon.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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