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Corporate & Brand Key Messages

Key messages are created to help describe who 3M is and what solutions we offer, both in words and images. Key messages are not intended to be used word-for-word. Instead, they are to serve as guides, and as the foundation for expressing 3M’s distinct personality and tone.

Below you will find key messages that support our company (the foundational elements of our philosophy and structure as a diversified technology company) and our brand (the messages that leverage our brand promise and essence to connect external audiences with the power of the 3M “authority” brand underlining innovation).

You’ll note that our Corporate Key Messages are accompanied by proof points. These are meant to provide a launch point for you to tap into key areas that may help substantiate communication regarding our profile as a corporate enterprise. Depending on your communication objective, you may want to explore such proof points more deeply to bring your message to life when describing our company.

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The Brand Key Messages provide more color around what we stand for as an innovation company. Such messaging is helpful to communicating the personality, culture and vision of 3M that enable us to achieve our ultimate purpose: to make progress possible.

Like all of the tools on this site, these are meant to get you started in the right direction. In addition, 3M Brand Identity and Design department members are always available to assist you in better understanding and bringing these messages to life in your marketing and communications efforts!

Corporate Key Messages

3M Proof Points



Message 1

  • 45 technology platforms
  • Shared technologies



Message 2

  • Technologies are used to develop solutions for multiple markets.



Message 3

  • McKnight Principles



Message 4

  • Technical and manufacturing resources closer to global customers.



Message 5

  • Operational efficiency
  • Environmental achievements and goals
  • 3M Foundation
  • Volunteer programs



Message 6

  • Leadership Development Program



Message 7

  • Business Conduct Policies



Writing Style and Tone

Whether written or verbal, it is important that all 3M communications “sound like 3M.” That means the tone reflects our personality, our brand promise, brand essence, and our core attribute: innovation. Write and speak in a way that reinforces our culture of innovation, customer focus and diversified technologies. Messages should sound professional, yet approachable, not intimidating. Always indicate understanding of customers’ challenges and provide relevant solutions offered by 3M, highlighting points of advantage over competitive offerings.

Message 8

Be Clear and Concise

In certain communications, organizing and conveying accurate facts is enough. Inform and educate with as much precision as possible.

Message 9

Know Your Audience

Use a style that’s appropriate to both your reader (be it a customer, stakeholder, employee, the media, etc.) and the situation or context. What is clear to one person may not be clear to another. Write in a tone of voice appropriate to the audience. Here, the audience is the parents of medical students. Show the reader you understand the reality of the situation. Empathize. Sympathize. Celebrate.

Message 10

Write to Persuade

In communications like advertising, direct mail, packaging and recruiting materials, writing with persuasion is especially beneficial.