Though you may not have heard of 3M, it’s likely you recognize their logo, and even more likely that the company has impacted your life in some measure. As a scientific innovator in everything from health care and mining to transportation, 3M knows how to evolve with the times.
Behind the Scenes
Do you ever think about the technical innovations behind most of your modern luxuries? Even if you don’t, 3M does. They produce materials that assist with enhancing the graphics for LCD screens, make office products, and even create devices and pharmaceuticals commonly used in medicine and dentistry.
Ultimately, much of the company’s success rests on scientific experimentation and exploration. As the world continues to move and technology continues to advance, 3M makes it a priority to continue pushing the boundaries and finding new ways to stay relevant.
From Mining to Much More
3M wasn’t just a spontaneous name; it developed as a nickname for the company’s original title: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. The company was founded in 1902, and didn’t adopt its nickname formally for about 100 years.
The company started out making sandpaper, but soon expanded into adhesives and created such major brands as Scotch Tape. During the middle of the century, 3M moved into creating recording tapes, decorative ribbon, and hospital drapes, among many other items.
Now, 3M has expanded their product offerings much further, to the point that it would be difficult to list them all in one place. Supplies for everything from cleaning and healthcare to recreation and office can be found beneath the 3M umbrella, and they’ve always got a careful eye turned toward new opportunities.
Difficult to Compare
Because of the fact that 3M has such a highly diversified line of offerings, it’s hard to pinpoint overall competitors as opposed to simply listing ones in each individual market. Still, this is not to say that 3M has run away with market share.
In fact, one of their largest competitors is General Electric, a company with significantly higher brand value. GE is about 10 years older than 3M, and is miles ahead in terms of revenue, but 3M is in no danger of going under.
Sponsoring Sport and Science
In a show of philanthropy, 3M sponsors something called the Celebrity Challenge at Pebble Beach, where stars golf against one another in the hopes of winning a $100,000 prize that will go to a charity of their choosing. In 2019, Clint Eastwood was one of the winners.
Additionally, the company serves as the science partner of the Minnesota Vikings, as well as a sponsor of other scientific events and initiatives.
Ethics in Question
As a company that deals with their fair share of chemicals, it comes as no surprise that 3M has gotten into some hot water with how those chemicals are affecting people. Certain cancer-causing materials have been found in the drinking water near 3M manufacturing plants.
Still, this hasn’t been enough to knock 3M off of Fortune’s list of most admired companies, where it ranks at number 27 overall, and at number 1 for the chemical industry.
One of 3M’s defining qualities is certainly their penchant for innovation, and as the world continues to expect more and more advancement, it will be a quality that keeps them on top in their industries.