English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was writing a market research report the other day and listed the challenges my company faced in the market in question, then I created a new section header for the... uhh... easy bits?

That's when I realized I could think of no reasonable antonym for challenge in the noun form. I can certainly describe it -- characteristics of the market that will be of benefit to our entry

"Advantages" is close to the mark but doesn't quite capture the idea because I feel that is in reference to our company, rather than in reference to the market itself.

To give an example:

  > customer purchasing power is low
  > public perception of our manufacturing location is negative

(Easy Bits / Cakewalks / Happy Things / etc.)
  > no competitive product on the market
  > strong transportation network with low logistical costs

"Incentives" also seems close, but not quite there.

Any ideas?

share|improve this question
The challenges are challenges faced by your company. The "other things" are advantages which your company has. They don't relate to the market in general. What am I missing here? – Andrew Leach Jun 14 '13 at 7:18
@AndrewLeach - the opposite of advantage is disadvantage. Both are from the perspective of our company. I'm looking for a slightly different feel, something like "inducements" I guess... Or maybe I'm just misunderstanding the words involved. This is also possible. – Andrew Heath Jun 14 '13 at 8:01
Since this is biztalk, the antonym of challenge for market research purposes would be merely difficult. – John Lawler Jun 14 '13 at 13:19
up vote 0 down vote accepted

'comparative advantage' is an economic term coined by David Ricardo and underpins the Theory of Free Trade'. An 'absolute advantage' is enjoyed by a country, firm or individual if that entity can produce goods in every area of economic activity with greater efficiency than its competitors. A country, firm or individual enjoys a 'comparative advantage' if it can produce goods more efficiently in certain select economic areas where its competitors can't. (The Economist)

share|improve this answer

Not sure how helpful this is, and you've probably already thought about this, but to me it looks like you're putting together a kind of SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats), in which case the "easy bits" would be a combination of the "opportunities" available to your company and "strengths" your company posesses. In the same vein, the "challenges" would be a combination of the "weaknesses" your company has and the "threats" it faces.

share|improve this answer

From @Matt's SWOT suggestion, "strength" is probably the best choice because the opposite of strength is weakness and a "challenge" can be considered a less negative way of saying weakness (IMO). "Opportunity" isn't a good choice because it is based on something that does not yet exist but has potential.

share|improve this answer

I had a similar requirement and after searching for the same I settled on 'Virtues'. 'Comparative advantages', while good, doesn't roll off your tongue.

share|improve this answer

How about "victories". Challenges, when met, overcome, or transformed, are definitely victories.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.