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3M Brand Identity

Identity Strategy & Policies
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Private Labeling

Private Labeling refers to situations where one company supplies products to another company to be marketed under the second company's own brand(s). In private labeling there is no usage or reference to the source company or its brands, other than the minimum to meet legal requirements. This includes all elements of trade dress, including color. In a private label situation, the manufacturer remains invisible to the end-user customer.

There are two private label situations:

  • 3M company provides finished goods to another party for sale under their brand(s).
  • Another party provides finished goods to 3M company to sell under our brand(s).


Private labeling is one way sellers add value to their brands by leveraging products from an established, quality manufacturer (such as 3M). But the value of the 3M brand is diluted if the private-label products do not support the seller's or the 3M brand promise.

3M Policy

  • Manufacturers brands cannot be used, whether the manufacturer is 3M or another company.
  • Whenever possible, references to the manufacturer itself will not be used - unless legal requirements for that particular product so stipulate. Check with your legal representative to determine which is required.
  • No trade dress element belonging to the manufacturer can be shown on the private label product or be used to market the private label product.

Universal Brand removable notes - invisible manufacturing company

purple colored abrasives