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?

  • 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. – Drew Jun 14 '13 at 8:01
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    Since this is biztalk, the antonym of challenge for market research purposes would be merely difficult. – John Lawler Jun 14 '13 at 13:19

'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)

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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.

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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.

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

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