3M is one of most admired companies worldwide

3M is the number eighteenth most admired company in the world, according to cnnmoney.com in 2012.   Apple was number one, Google came in second and Amazon is ranked at number three.  3M’s stock market rating, as of Friday, September 27, is at $120.12.  That’s down about a tenth of a percent from yesterday.  To compare it to other brands, Apple’s stock market share is $482.80 today, Google is at $875.24, and Amazon’s is at $316.01. 

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The cnnmoney.com site says that 3M is an admired company because of its many markets that the business is involved in.  3M’s annual revenues increased 11 percent and now are at $29.6 billion.  Much of that growth comes from its business products and office supplies, including the Safety, Security, and Protection Services as well as their Industrial and Transportation business segments.  They have six business segments total.  According to cnnmoney.com, the largest growth for the company was in Canada and Latin America. 

A way that I personally think 3M is contributing to consumer confidence is through their investments in renewable energy.   The company has increased their spending and is using portions of $1.4 billion to work on supplies that would include renewable energy.

I referenced this in an earlier blog post as well about 3M’s Twitter presence.  Their social media is focusing on being green and creating products made out of recycled materials.  I think this Twitter increases consumer confidence by making the company seem down to earth, and caring for it. 

Another way 3M is caring for the world is through their employees.  Though consumers aren’t necessarily employees, a lot of employees are consumers.  I checked to see what employees thought of the places they worked, and was surprised that many employees on a workplace-rating site were very pleased with where they worked. 

Nearly all of the reviews on the job ranking website indeed.com were highly positive.  There were a variety of jobs that were reviewed, from factory work to upper level management.  The most commonly cited positive comment was that the company allowed its workers to be themselves and play up their strengths. 

 I think having a strong employee relationship is very important for consumer confidence.  A person’s work is a huge factor in their life, and the people who work there represent the business.  Besides just being a good moral practice to do in the first place, what a great way to get PR for a company by making the people who work there happy. 

 According to the Director of Economic Indicators Lynn Franco, nationally, consumer confidence in businesses was unchanged.  Franco says consumers are aware that the overall economy is improving, but are hesitant to feel that it will keep doing so. 

 

Sources:

http://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/most-admired/2012/snapshots/284.html

http://www.indeed.com/cmp/3M/reviews

http://3m-ssd.implex.net/documents/NISO_3M_Members_Spotlight.pdf

The Big Bold M

3M’s main value is their commitment to environmental protection.  They put themselves in the middle of a triangle between economic success, environmental protection, and social responsibility.

One example of this is shown in their way they thought about the usual desktop tape dispenser.  Instead of the usual, clunky heavy type, 3M came up with a new one that was cheaper to manufacture and better for the environment.  The disposable take dispenser is made from recycled products, and is recyclable.

I think “being green” is really trendy right now; it makes businesses seem less like a old fashioned company and more caring about their employees, customers and world.  When I say old fashioned, I mean the turn of the century and industrial age type of thinking.  Henry Ford was known to joke why the whole person showed up to work at his car manufacturing factories instead of just the hands, which was all he needed from a worker for that type of line manufacturing.

This makes them seem relatable and personal.  It’s also just good for the environment.  As a manufacturer of many plastic products, much of what they do could be very bad for the environment.

3M is a worldwide company, and their website says they work to maintain relationships with their companies across seas.  Their branding is universal.  3M does not have an American Facebook page, but there are other counties that the brand is in that do run a page.  All of those other pages have 3M’s signature bright red logo.

It seems strange to me that 3M does not have a Facebook page in the United States.  I can’t really think of a reason why they would choose to not have a page other than something I heard Tom Brokaw say when talking about a presidential election.   He said that the more an audience hears about a candidate in excess, the less they are liked.  Maybe 3M is applying this principal to their social media presence and believe that they are strong in other aspects of advertising and marketing and that a Facebook would be too much for their audience.

However, they do have an active and interesting Twitter account.  It is focused on the environment and the ways their company is helping it.  The example below is a sample of the content they tweet.

 

Another aspect of 3M’s core values that I think makes them a strong and attractive business is the way they enable their employees to work on the things that interest them.  Scientists are allowed 15 percent of their time to research things that personally interest them.  This type of management allows each employee to be used for his or her best potential.

What are the 3’M’s in 3M?

The three “M”s in 3M represent their original business title which used to be the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company.   That’s what the company started out as, a mining company in Minnesota.  Five businessmen had goals to mine corundum in 1902, but failed because there was none in the area.  Three years later the men changed their business into creating products made from sandpaper.

 

I’m familiar with the 3M brand because there’s one just 20 minutes from the small town in Northeast Iowa where I grew up.  I know what products they create because my mom is a teacher and one student she had got a variety of his school supplies from 3M.

 

The business has over 55,000 different products produced by 88,000 people.  I remember those products as being mostly typical home and office supplies, but some were very innovative and creative.  According to the company’s website, they have a variety of office and home supplies, dental products, electronics, medical products, car maintenance products and film.

 

The website also says the company has $30 billion in sales and has employees in 65 countries.

 

The 3M company has a history of being innovative, it makes sense considering those 55,000 different products.  They were the first company to make the world’s first waterproof sandpaper.  This was important, according to their company website, because it made manufacturing automobiles in the 1920s safer for the workers.

 

3M also has ties to war products.  Although it was not said what exactly 3M made, the company did manufacture products for World War II.  This change of products for the war inspired creative thinking for what other products could be useful for America after the troops came home.  These products included some graphic art and even highway reflectors and magnets.

 

 

The advertisement below is an example of an online ad for 3M.  The company has specific guidelines for their branding, such as immediate recognition of the business logo, the red 3M.  The company even has a required guideline for what font is supposed to be used for all ads, that font is Helvetica Neue Condensed.  The part about the advertising guidelines I found personally most interesting was the last one; it prompts a question about storytelling.  The guidelines ask if the advertisement tells a story, specifically a visual story about how the elements connect to each other, the product being advertised and the logo.

 

I’ll end with a story about 3M to finish up this blog post.

 

The name “scotch tape” came from a painter using 3M tape.  He was annoyed that the tape did not have enough adhesive, and told the company he bought it from to take the tape back to their “Scotch” bosses to fix.  And, the name stuck.

About Me

I’m Jacqueline Schutte, a college senior. I graduate in May of 2014 and hope to get a job as a broadcast reporter.  I grew up on a small town Iowa farm with one older sister and one younger brother.   I like to cook with the produce we grow on our farm.  I was taught how to cook by my mom and grandmas.  My favorite produce to cook with is the apples we grow in our yard.