Presentations made painless

Company > 3M: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

3M: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Mar 24, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into a comprehensive analysis of 3M, a multinational conglomerate known for its innovation-driven approach. We will explore the company's business model and how it has contributed to its success over the years. Additionally, we will conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to identify 3M's internal and external factors that may impact its future growth. Lastly, we will examine the competitive landscape of the industry, highlighting the key competitors that 3M faces in 2023.

    What You Will Learn:

    • The ownership structure of 3M and who owns the company.
    • The mission statement of 3M and its core objectives.
    • The various revenue streams and methods through which 3M generates money.
    • An overview of the 3M Business Model Canvas and how it operates.
    • Identification of the main competitors of 3M in the market.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of 3M, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

    Who owns 3M?

    Shareholders of 3M

    3M, a multinational conglomerate corporation, has a diverse group of shareholders who own and invest in the company. As of the latest available information, the ownership of 3M is spread across institutional investors, individual shareholders, and the company's own treasury shares.

    Institutional Investors

    Institutional investors play a significant role in the ownership of 3M. These include mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and other investment firms. These institutions often hold large quantities of shares, which can influence the direction and decision-making of the company. Some well-known institutional investors that own shares in 3M include The Vanguard Group, BlackRock, and State Street Corporation.

    Individual Shareholders

    Individual shareholders also have a stake in 3M. These are everyday investors who purchase shares of the company through brokerage accounts or other financial platforms. While individual shareholders may own smaller portions of the company compared to institutional investors, their collective ownership can still have an impact on 3M's performance and long-term strategy.

    3M's Treasury Shares

    Additionally, 3M holds some of its own shares as treasury shares. These shares are typically repurchased by the company from the open market or through other means. Treasury shares do not have voting rights and are not entitled to dividends, but they can be reissued or retired in the future. These treasury shares are often used for various purposes, such as employee stock option plans, acquisitions, or to offset dilution from stock-based compensation.

    Ownership Structure

    While the specific ownership percentages of each group may vary over time, it is important to note that 3M is a publicly traded company listed on major stock exchanges. This means that anyone can potentially become a shareholder by purchasing shares through the stock market. The ownership of 3M is dynamic and subject to change as investors buy or sell their shares based on their investment strategies and market conditions.

    It is also worth mentioning that 3M's ownership structure is governed by regulations and reporting requirements set by relevant financial authorities. These regulations ensure transparency and accountability in the ownership of publicly traded companies, allowing investors and the general public to access information on major shareholders and their holdings.

    Understanding who owns 3M provides valuable insights into the company's ownership landscape and the various stakeholders who have an interest in its success. As with any publicly traded company, the ownership of 3M can fluctuate over time, reflecting the dynamic nature of the stock market and the interests of investors.

    What is the mission statement of 3M?

    The Mission Statement of 3M: Innovating to Improve Lives

    At the core of 3M's operations lies a clear and concise mission statement that encapsulates the company's purpose and commitment. 3M's mission statement reads: "To improve every life through innovative solutions."

    This succinct statement reflects the company's dedication to making a positive impact on individuals and communities worldwide. 3M, a multinational conglomerate known for its innovative products, aims to enhance the quality of life by constantly striving for groundbreaking solutions that address societal challenges.

    The mission statement highlights 3M's focus on innovation as the driving force behind its endeavors. This emphasis on innovation has been deeply embedded in the company's DNA since its inception in 1902. 3M believes that through innovation, they can create products and technologies that improve lives and contribute to the greater good.

    3M's commitment to innovation is not limited to any specific industry or sector. The company operates across a diverse range of markets, including healthcare, transportation, consumer goods, and electronics, to name just a few. By leveraging their expertise in various fields, 3M aims to develop and deliver solutions that meet the evolving needs of individuals, communities, and businesses.

    Moreover, 3M's mission statement reflects their customer-centric approach. By focusing on improving lives, the company acknowledges the importance of understanding and addressing the needs and challenges faced by their customers. Through close collaboration and engagement, 3M strives to develop innovative solutions that positively impact the lives of those they serve.

    In conclusion, 3M's mission statement serves as a guiding principle for the company, expressing their commitment to innovation and their dedication to improving lives. By constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible, 3M aims to create lasting change, making a difference for individuals and communities around the world.

    How does 3M make money?

    Diversified Revenue Streams

    3M, a multinational conglomerate based in the United States, generates its revenue through a diverse range of business segments. This strategic approach has allowed the company to establish a strong financial foundation and sustain consistent growth over the years.

    Industrial Segment

    One of 3M's primary revenue streams is its Industrial segment. This segment encompasses a wide variety of products and solutions that cater to sectors such as manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, and construction. 3M offers innovative solutions in areas like adhesive tapes, abrasives, safety equipment, and advanced materials. These products are essential in enhancing manufacturing processes, improving efficiency, and ensuring workplace safety. The Industrial segment plays a crucial role in driving 3M's revenue by serving as a trusted partner for businesses across diverse industries.

    Safety and Graphics Segment

    Another significant revenue generator for 3M is its Safety and Graphics segment. This segment focuses on providing products and solutions for personal safety, traffic safety, commercial graphics, and architectural markets. 3M is renowned for its wide range of safety equipment, including respiratory protection, hearing protection, and reflective materials for high-visibility apparel. Additionally, the company offers solutions for creating eye-catching commercial graphics and architectural finishes. The Safety and Graphics segment caters to the growing demand for safety and visual communication products, making it a key contributor to 3M's revenue.

    Health Care Segment

    The Health Care segment is a vital revenue stream for 3M, driven by its innovative medical products and solutions. 3M's health care offerings include medical tapes, wound dressings, surgical drapes, infection prevention products, and oral care solutions. With a focus on improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs, 3M has established itself as a trusted partner for healthcare professionals worldwide. The Health Care segment's revenue is bolstered by the increasing demand for advanced medical products and the company's commitment to delivering innovative solutions for the constantly evolving healthcare industry.

    Consumer Segment

    3M's Consumer segment caters to the everyday needs of consumers worldwide. This segment offers an array of innovative products for home improvement, office supplies, stationery, and DIY projects. Some of 3M's well-known consumer brands include Scotch, Command, and Post-it. From adhesive tapes and hooks to ergonomic office products and reusable adhesive notes, 3M's Consumer segment provides solutions that enhance convenience and productivity in various aspects of consumers' lives. The Consumer segment contributes significantly to 3M's revenue by addressing the evolving needs and preferences of consumers across the globe.

    Electrification and Energy Segment

    3M also generates revenue through its Electrification and Energy segment. This segment focuses on delivering innovative solutions for electrical systems, renewable energy, and electrical protection. With products ranging from insulating materials and wire connectors to renewable energy components, 3M plays a vital role in advancing the electrification and energy sectors. As the world increasingly shifts towards sustainable energy sources, the Electrification and Energy segment presents substantial growth opportunities for 3M.

    Geographic Reach

    In addition to its diverse business segments, 3M's revenue is also derived from its global presence. The company operates in over 70 countries, serving customers across the world. This extensive geographic reach allows 3M to tap into diverse markets, leverage local insights, and adapt its products and solutions to meet specific regional needs. By having a strong global presence, 3M can access a broad customer base and ensure a steady stream of revenue from various parts of the world.

    In conclusion, 3M's revenue streams are diversified across its Industrial, Safety and Graphics, Health Care, Consumer, and Electrification and Energy segments. This strategic approach, combined with its global presence, enables 3M to generate consistent revenue and remain a leader in multiple industries.

    3M Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool developed by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur. It provides a visual representation of a company's business model and helps to understand and analyze the various components that contribute to its success. The canvas consists of nine building blocks that cover key aspects of a business, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partnerships, and cost structure.

    Understanding 3M's Business Model Canvas

    3M, a multinational conglomerate corporation, is known for its innovation and diversified product portfolio. Let's explore how the company's business model canvas helps explain its success.

    Customer Segments

    3M serves a wide range of customer segments across various industries, including healthcare, transportation, consumer goods, and electronics. They cater to both B2B and B2C markets, offering products and solutions that meet the needs of different customer segments.

    Value Propositions

    One of 3M's key value propositions is innovation. The company has a strong focus on research and development, constantly introducing new products and technologies to the market. Their products are known for their quality, reliability, and functionality, providing customers with unique solutions to their problems.


    3M utilizes a multi-channel approach to reach its customers. They distribute their products through direct sales, online platforms, retail channels, and partnerships with distributors and resellers. This diverse distribution strategy allows them to effectively reach customers in different markets and industries.

    Customer Relationships

    Building strong relationships with customers is crucial for 3M. They strive to understand their customers' needs and provide exceptional customer service. Through regular communication, feedback collection, and tailored solutions, they aim to establish long-term relationships based on trust and loyalty.

    Revenue Streams

    3M generates revenue through a combination of product sales, licensing agreements, and royalties. Their wide range of products and solutions ensures a diverse revenue stream, reducing dependency on any single product or market.

    Key Activities

    Research and development is a key activity for 3M. They invest heavily in innovation, continuously developing new technologies, products, and solutions. Manufacturing and supply chain management are also crucial activities, ensuring the delivery of high-quality products to customers.

    Key Resources

    3M's key resources include their extensive intellectual property portfolio, research and development capabilities, manufacturing facilities, and a talented workforce. These resources enable them to develop and deliver innovative products that meet customer needs.

    Key Partnerships

    Collaboration is an integral part of 3M's business model. They form strategic partnerships with other companies, universities, and research institutions to leverage expertise and access new markets. These partnerships help drive innovation and expand their product offerings.

    Cost Structure

    3M's cost structure includes expenses related to research and development, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sales. While innovation and quality come at a cost, their diverse revenue streams and operational efficiencies help maintain a competitive cost structure.

    In conclusion, 3M's business model canvas highlights their focus on innovation, diverse customer segments, strong customer relationships, and strategic partnerships. By consistently delivering value through their products and solutions, 3M has established itself as a leader in multiple industries.

    Which companies are the competitors of 3M?

    3M's Competitors in the Diversified Manufacturing Industry

    When it comes to the diversified manufacturing industry, 3M faces competition from several prominent companies. Despite being a global leader in innovation, 3M encounters tough competition from the following key players in the industry:

    1. General Electric Company (GE)

    Known for its diverse range of products and services, GE is a major competitor for 3M. With a strong presence in various sectors, including aviation, healthcare, power, and renewable energy, GE competes with 3M in several overlapping markets. Both companies invest heavily in research and development (R&D) to drive innovation and maintain their competitive edge.

    2. Honeywell International Inc.

    Another significant competitor of 3M is Honeywell. Like 3M, Honeywell operates in multiple industries such as aerospace, building technologies, performance materials, and safety solutions. The company's broad portfolio of products and services often puts it in direct competition with 3M, especially in areas such as industrial automation, personal protective equipment, and advanced materials.

    3. Johnson & Johnson

    While primarily known for its healthcare and pharmaceutical products, Johnson & Johnson also competes with 3M in various sectors. Both companies have a presence in the medical device industry, where they develop and manufacture products like surgical equipment, wound care solutions, and infection prevention technologies. This positions Johnson & Johnson as a significant rival to 3M in the healthcare market.

    4. DuPont de Nemours, Inc.

    DuPont, a well-established company in the diversified manufacturing sector, poses competition to 3M with its extensive range of products and solutions. DuPont focuses on areas such as industrial materials, safety and construction, electronics, and transportation. With overlapping interests in sectors like adhesives, coatings, and specialty materials, the two companies frequently encounter each other as competitors.

    5. Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

    Owned by legendary investor Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate with diverse business operations. While not a direct competitor to 3M in all sectors, it does compete in certain areas. Through its subsidiaries, Berkshire Hathaway operates in industries like manufacturing, transportation, energy, and consumer products. In segments such as electrical products, construction materials, and industrial supply chains, Berkshire Hathaway's subsidiaries can be seen as competitors to 3M.

    These are just a few examples of the companies that compete with 3M in the diversified manufacturing industry. Each of these rivals brings its own strengths and unique product offerings, making the industry fiercely competitive. As 3M continues to innovate and expand its global footprint, it must remain vigilant and adaptable to stay ahead of its formidable competitors.

    3M SWOT Analysis


    • Innovation: 3M is known for its strong commitment to innovation and has a track record of developing groundbreaking products. This strength allows the company to stay ahead of its competitors and maintain a strong market position.

    • Diversified product portfolio: 3M operates in various industries, including healthcare, consumer goods, and industrial technology. This diversification helps the company mitigate risks associated with dependence on a single market and provides multiple revenue streams.

    • Strong brand reputation: 3M has built a strong brand reputation over the years through its focus on quality and reliability. Customers trust the company's products and are more likely to choose 3M over competitors.


    • Cost structure: One of the weaknesses of 3M is its relatively high cost structure. The company invests heavily in research and development, which can impact its profitability. Additionally, the high cost of production may limit the company's ability to compete on price in certain markets.

    • Dependence on a few key customers: While 3M serves a diverse range of industries, it relies heavily on a few key customers for a significant portion of its revenue. This dependence on a limited customer base exposes the company to the risk of losing business if any of these customers decide to switch to competitors.

    • Limited international presence in certain markets: Although 3M is a global company, it may face challenges in certain international markets where it has limited presence. This could limit its growth opportunities and make it more susceptible to local competition.


    • Emerging markets: 3M can capitalize on the growing demand for its products in emerging markets, such as China and India. These markets offer significant growth potential and can help offset any slowdown in mature markets.

    • Technological advancements: The rapid pace of technological advancements presents opportunities for 3M to develop innovative products and solutions. By staying at the forefront of technology, the company can continue to meet evolving customer needs and gain a competitive advantage.

    • Focus on sustainability: As environmental concerns continue to rise, there is a growing demand for sustainable products and solutions. 3M can leverage its expertise in research and development to develop eco-friendly alternatives and tap into this expanding market.


    • Intense competition: 3M operates in highly competitive industries where rivals constantly strive to outperform each other. The company faces the threat of losing market share to competitors who may offer similar products at lower prices or with better features.

    • Economic uncertainty: Fluctuations in the global economy can impact 3M's business. During economic downturns, customers may cut back on spending, affecting demand for the company's products. Additionally, currency exchange rate fluctuations can also impact profitability.

    • Regulatory challenges: As a multinational company, 3M operates in various jurisdictions, each with its own set of regulations. Compliance with these regulations can be time-consuming and costly, and any changes in regulations can pose challenges and impact the company's operations.

    Key Takeaways

    • 3M is a publicly traded company, meaning it is owned by its shareholders who buy and sell its stock on the stock market.
    • The mission statement of 3M is "To improve every life through innovative solutions."
    • 3M makes money by manufacturing and selling a wide range of products across various industries, including healthcare, consumer goods, electronics, and industrial products.
    • The 3M Business Model Canvas is a strategic tool that explains how 3M creates, delivers, and captures value. It highlights key components such as customer segments, value propositions, channels, revenue streams, and cost structure.
    • Some of the main competitors of 3M include companies like DuPont, Honeywell International, General Electric, and Johnson & Johnson.
    • In a SWOT analysis of 3M, its strengths include a strong brand, a diverse product portfolio, and a global presence. Its weaknesses may include potential product recalls and legal issues. Opportunities for 3M include expanding into emerging markets and investing in new technologies, while threats come from intense competition and economic downturns.


    In conclusion, 3M is a multinational conglomerate corporation that is publicly traded, meaning it is owned by its shareholders. The mission statement of 3M is to use science to improve people's lives and solve their everyday problems. They achieve this by applying their expertise in various technologies to create innovative products for a wide range of industries.

    3M generates revenue through its diverse portfolio of products and services, which are sold to businesses and consumers worldwide. They have a robust business model that incorporates research and development, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. This allows them to cater to different markets and industries, ensuring a steady stream of income.

    To understand 3M's business model in more detail, the Business Model Canvas can be utilized. This tool breaks down the key components of a company's operations, including customer segments, value propositions, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key activities, key resources, key partnerships, and cost structure. By analyzing these elements, one can gain a comprehensive understanding of how 3M operates and creates value for its stakeholders.

    In terms of competition, 3M faces several formidable rivals in various sectors. Some of its main competitors include companies like DuPont, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, and Kimberly-Clark. These companies also operate in diverse industries and offer similar solutions, making the competition intense.

    A SWOT analysis of 3M reveals its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The company's strengths lie in its strong brand reputation, extensive product portfolio, and global presence. However, weaknesses such as a complex organizational structure and reliance on a few key customers can pose challenges. Opportunities for 3M include expanding into emerging markets and investing in research and development, while threats include intense competition, economic downturns, and changing regulations.

    Overall, 3M is a successful and innovative company that continues to thrive in a competitive market. With its focus on science-driven solutions and commitment to improving lives, 3M remains a leader in various industries and is well-positioned for future growth and success.


    What are the strengths of 3M company?

    Some strengths of 3M Company include:

    1. Diverse product portfolio: 3M offers a wide range of products across various industries, including adhesives, abrasives, automotive, healthcare, electronics, and safety products. This diversity helps the company mitigate risks associated with a single market or industry, and allows it to capture opportunities in different sectors.

    2. Strong innovation capabilities: 3M has a strong focus on research and development, with a significant investment in innovation. The company has a track record of developing groundbreaking products and technologies, with over 100,000 patents granted. This innovative culture enables 3M to stay ahead of competitors and continuously bring new products to the market.

    3. Global presence and distribution network: 3M operates in over 70 countries worldwide, serving customers in nearly every country. The company has a well-established global distribution network, allowing it to reach customers efficiently and effectively. This extensive presence and distribution network provide 3M with a competitive advantage in terms of market reach and customer service.

    What are the threats to 3M companies?

    There are several threats that 3M, a multinational conglomerate, may face. Some of the key threats include:

    1. Intense competition: 3M operates in various industries, including healthcare, consumer goods, and industrial products. These industries are highly competitive, and 3M faces competition from both established players and emerging companies that may offer similar or innovative products.

    2. Economic downturns: Economic fluctuations and recessions can affect the demand for 3M's products. During tough economic times, businesses and consumers may reduce their spending, impacting 3M's sales and profitability.

    3. Regulatory challenges: As a global organization, 3M operates in different countries with varying regulations and compliance requirements. Changes in regulations, trade policies, or environmental standards can pose challenges and impact its operations and profitability.

    4. Counterfeit products: Being a renowned brand, 3M faces the risk of counterfeit products, particularly in markets where intellectual property rights enforcement may be weak. Counterfeit products can erode the company's brand reputation and lead to financial losses.

    5. Technological advancements: Rapid advancements in technology can disrupt industries and impact demand for existing products. 3M needs to stay innovative and adapt to new technologies to remain competitive and meet evolving customer needs.

    6. Raw material price fluctuations: 3M relies on various raw materials for its manufacturing processes. Fluctuations in the prices of these raw materials, such as oil, metals, or chemicals, can impact the company's production costs and profitability.

    7. Environmental concerns: As a company involved in manufacturing and chemical production, 3M faces scrutiny and challenges related to environmental sustainability. Increasing pressure to reduce carbon emissions, waste generation, and use of hazardous materials can impact the company's operations and require investments in sustainable practices.

    8. Litigation and product liability: 3M faces the risk of product liability claims and lawsuits, particularly in industries such as healthcare. Any adverse legal judgments or settlements can impact the company's financial performance and reputation.

    It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and other threats specific to 3M's industry segments and markets may also exist.

    What are the 5 elements of SWOT analysis?

    The 5 elements of SWOT analysis are:

    1. Strengths: These are the internal factors that give an organization a competitive advantage over others. Strengths can include unique resources, expertise, strong brand reputation, or a loyal customer base.

    2. Weaknesses: These are the internal factors that put an organization at a disadvantage compared to others. Weaknesses can include lack of resources, outdated technology, poor management, or low employee morale.

    3. Opportunities: These are external factors that can be leveraged by an organization to its advantage. Opportunities can include emerging markets, new technologies, changing consumer trends, or potential partnerships.

    4. Threats: These are external factors that can potentially harm an organization's performance. Threats can include intense competition, economic downturns, changing regulations, or new market entrants.

    5. Trends: These are the broader patterns or developments in the external environment that can impact an organization. Trends can include social, technological, economic, environmental, or political factors that may influence the organization's strategy and operations.

    What are the 3 Cs of SWOT analysis?

    The 3 Cs of SWOT analysis are:

    1. Company: This involves analyzing the internal factors and capabilities of the organization, such as its strengths and weaknesses. It focuses on understanding the company's resources, expertise, brand reputation, financial position, and other internal aspects that can impact its performance.

    2. Customers: This involves studying the external factors related to the customers, such as their needs, preferences, behavior, and expectations. It focuses on understanding the target market, identifying customer segments, analyzing their buying patterns, and assessing their satisfaction levels.

    3. Competitors: This involves examining the external factors related to competitors, such as their strengths, weaknesses, market share, strategies, and offerings. It focuses on understanding the competitive landscape, identifying direct and indirect competitors, evaluating their market positioning, and analyzing their strengths and weaknesses.

    Want to create a presentation now?

    • instantly

      Instantly Create A Deck

      Let PitchGrade do this for me

    • smile

      Hassle Free

      We will create your text and designs for you. Sit back and relax while we do the work.

    Explore More Content