Thin­su­late™ Brand
Launching an Iconic Brand Back into Relevance

Telling the emo­tion­al sto­ry of the cold

For near­ly 40 years, 3M™ Thin­su­late™ Insu­la­tion has stood for tech­ni­cal pro­tec­tion from the cold. But as the cat­e­go­ry matured, new com­pe­ti­tion entered the are­na — mak­ing dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion dif­fi­cult. In 2014 the brand turned to Zeus Jones to rearchi­tect and redesign their brand amongst both part­ners and consumers.

Mindy Murray
Brand­ed Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Man­ag­er, 3M™ Home Care Division

Our rela­tion­ship with Zeus Jones began with a project for a retail­er based in Great Britain. Specif­i­cal­ly, this retail­er asked for some ideas around a part­ner­ship that high­light­ed Thin­su­late™ Insu­la­tion with­in their cloth­ing. We had nev­er done this type of work before and real­ized we need­ed help.

Julie Drietz
Brand Man­ag­er, 3M™ Thin­su­late™ Insulation

We asked Zeus to con­cept how our brands could work togeth­er to inspire the retail­er — cov­er­ing every­thing from cobrand­ed hang­tags to web­site to social acti­va­tions to in-store mer­chan­dis­ing, etc. All of the ideas were received extreme­ly well — and it real­ly ener­gized the team that pre­sent­ed them.

But the real­ly cool thing was the think­ing that Zeus brought to the table and how it chal­lenged what we thought the Thin­su­late™ brand actu­al­ly stood for.

Julie Drietz
Julie Drietz

Inter­nal­ly, we had lim­it­ed our com­mu­ni­ca­tions to a hang­tag and word mark but the work from Zeus Jones showed that the Thin­su­late™ brand is much, much big­ger and could actu­al­ly stand for some­thing besides tech­ni­cal specs. It real­ly start­ed the ball rolling as far as new ways to com­mu­ni­cate and share our brand.

Elsa Perushek
Strate­gist, Zeus Jones

It was also inter­est­ing to see an approach that went out­side of just com­mu­ni­cat­ing tech­ni­cal and sci­en­tif­ic val­ues and specs. There was a huge emo­tion­al com­po­nent to the work and we brought that val­ue all the way to the con­sumer fore­front. It became a proof point — and we knew we could take this sto­ry to so many places. 

Mindy Murray

In fact, we took that proof point all the way through to our prod­uct archi­tec­ture and, with Zeus Jones, redesigned it to bring these emo­tion­al ele­ments to the surface.

“Now the tags come across as a story about our brand versus getting lost in the clutter.”

Mindy Murray
Julie Drietz

Simul­ta­ne­ous­ly we also went to the Bur­ton US Open. We weren’t quite done with the hang­tags yet and were still work­ing on artic­u­lat­ing what our brand stood for but we decid­ed to use the event as a test.

Mindy Murray

Peo­ple were real­ly respon­sive. We were engag­ing them in a con­ver­sa­tion that was much dif­fer­ent from what we had done in the past. Sud­den­ly, we were hear­ing a lot of com­ments about how wel­com­ing the brand felt. Peo­ple just con­nect­ed with us on an emo­tion­al lev­el for the first time.

The Bur­ton Open is a major event, so we were excit­ed to be able to go there to test the reimag­ined brand and design approach. Our team was a lit­tle ner­vous as we were shift­ing from telling a tech­ni­cal sto­ry to an emo­tion­al one.

After the Bur­ton Open, peo­ple were like, Awe­some, I feel good about this. It can work!”

Mindy Murray

From there, it’s real­ly tak­en off. We’ve received lots of pos­i­tive respons­es from cus­tomers across seg­ments and con­ti­nents. And we’re cur­rent­ly work­ing on our sec­ond year of col­lab­o­ra­tion with Carhartt. Plus, brands like Rossig­nol have tak­en our new brand assets and applied them to their mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions and activities.

Julie Drietz

Dis­cov­er­ing who we are as a brand has giv­en us real­ly great momen­tum, and the work we’ve done with Zeus has made our efforts even stronger.