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any factor in the market, external to the marketing organization, that has the potential to negatively impact demand for the marketer's product or service. An environmental threat might be the entrance of a new competitor, the merger of two competitors, the introduction of a new brand, the development of new technology, legislative changes, or social and economic trends. For example, the tobacco industry has faced numerous environmental threats due to increased social, medical, and legislative pressure against smoking. The marketer must be positioned through competitive intelligence and other market trend research to respond quickly to environmental threats. The tobacco industry responded by deeply discounting some brands and redirecting its resources to non-tobacco products and to foreign markets where the environmental threats are not as great.