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Company > WD-40: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

WD-40: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2024

Published: Jan 19, 2024

Inside This Article


    In this comprehensive blog post, we delve into the intricate world of WD-40, exploring its unique business model that has allowed it to stand out in the lubricant and maintenance product industry. We conduct a thorough SWOT analysis to uncover the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the company as it navigates the challenges and opportunities of 2024. Additionally, we provide an insightful comparison with its competitors, shedding light on how WD-40 maintains its competitive edge in an ever-evolving market landscape. Stay tuned as we unravel the secrets behind WD-40's enduring success and what the future holds for this iconic brand.

    What You Will Learn

    • Ownership and Vision: Discover who owns WD-40 and delve into the company's mission statement to understand its core values and strategic objectives.
    • Revenue Streams and Business Strategy: Learn how WD-40 generates income, with an in-depth look at their Business Model Canvas, offering insights into their operational, financial, and marketing strategies.
    • Market Position and Analysis: Explore WD-40's competitive landscape by identifying its main competitors and assessing its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats through a comprehensive SWOT analysis.

    Who owns WD-40?

    Who owns WD-40?

    WD-40 is a name synonymous with the squeak-stopping, rust-preventing, and moisture-displacing spray that has found its place in households and workshops around the globe. But, who exactly owns this iconic brand?

    WD-40 Company is the proud owner of the WD-40 brand. The company, originally named Rocket Chemical Company, was founded in 1953 by a small team in San Diego, California. They were on a mission to create rust-prevention solvents and degreasers for the aerospace industry, culminating in the development of the formula we now know as WD-40. The product's name stands for "Water Displacement, 40th formula," signifying the 40 attempts it took to perfect the formula.

    The WD-40 Company is a public entity, traded on the NASDAQ stock market under the ticker symbol WDFC. This means that while it is owned by a corporation, shares of the company are available for purchase by the general public, making its shareholders the collective owners. Over the years, the company has grown significantly, expanding its product line beyond the original WD-40 formula to include a variety of specialized cleaning, lubricating, and rust-prevention products.

    Despite its global presence and financial success, the WD-40 Company maintains a relatively low profile, focusing on the quality and legacy of its products. It's a testament to the enduring appeal of WD-40 that the brand has cultivated a loyal customer base and a stable place in the market for nearly seven decades.

    In essence, the ownership of WD-40 is twofold: it is managed and operated by the WD-40 Company, but its success and continued existence are also owed to the countless individuals and professionals who use and swear by the product. Through its public shareholders and dedicated customer base, the spirit of innovation and practicality that birthed WD-40 lives on.

    What is the mission statement of WD-40?

    WD-40, a company widely recognized for its multi-use product that helps protect metal from rust and corrosion, penetrates stuck parts, displaces moisture, and lubricates almost anything, has a mission statement that goes beyond just selling a product. The company's mission statement is not only a testament to its business objectives but also reflects its commitment to creating positive impacts in the communities it serves and the environment.

    The Mission Statement of WD-40

    The mission statement of WD-40 is to "create positive lasting memories in everything we do." This goes to show that the company aims not only for excellence in its product offerings but also strives to ensure that every interaction with its customers, employees, and stakeholders is memorable and impactful in a positive way.

    Breaking Down the Mission

    WD-40's mission statement may seem broad at first glance, but it encompasses several key elements that guide the company's operations, culture, and approach to business:

    • Creating Positive Lasting Memories: This aspect of the mission places a strong emphasis on the emotional connection between the brand and its consumers. WD-40 aims to be more than just a product; it seeks to be a part of people's lives, solving problems and creating moments of relief, satisfaction, and success.

    • In Everything We Do: This phrase highlights the comprehensive approach WD-40 takes towards its mission. It's not just about the end product but also about the processes, customer service, community involvement, and environmental responsibility. The company is committed to ensuring that every aspect of its business contributes positively to the memories it aims to create.


    WD-40's mission statement is a reflection of its holistic approach to business. It's not just about selling a versatile product; it's about making a positive impact in every possible way. By focusing on creating positive, lasting memories, WD-40 positions itself as a brand that cares deeply about its customers, employees, and the broader community. This mission drives the company to continuously innovate and improve, ensuring that it remains a beloved brand for generations to come.

    How does WD-40 make money?

    How does WD-40 make money?

    WD-40 Company, the maker of the iconic blue-and-yellow can, has a business model that revolves around the production and sale of its flagship product, WD-40 Multi-Use Product, along with a range of other maintenance products designed for various consumer and industrial applications. The company's revenue streams can be broadly categorized into three main areas:

    1. Sales of WD-40 Multi-Use Product

    The original WD-40 Multi-Use Product is the cornerstone of the company's success and remains its best-selling item. This versatile lubricant, rust preventative, penetrant, and moisture displacer is beloved by DIY enthusiasts, professionals, and industries worldwide. The company has successfully marketed WD-40 as a must-have product in every toolbox and household, leading to consistent sales across various markets. The product is available in several formats, including aerosols, bulk containers, and trigger spray bottles, catering to different user preferences and applications.

    2. Diversification into Specialty Products

    Recognizing the importance of diversification, WD-40 Company has expanded its product lineup to include a range of specialty products designed for specific applications. This includes the WD-40 Specialist line, which offers solutions for more specialized maintenance needs such as silicone lubricants, white lithium grease, and contact cleaners. These products target a more niche market, including automotive, construction, and industrial sectors, providing the company with additional revenue streams and helping to mitigate the risks associated with relying too heavily on a single product.

    3. Global Market Penetration

    WD-40 Company has established a strong global presence, with its products being sold in more than 176 countries and territories worldwide. The company has strategically divided its operations into geographical segments, including the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia-Pacific. By tailoring its marketing strategies to suit the preferences and needs of different regions, WD-40 has been able to penetrate international markets and stimulate growth outside of its home market in the United States. This global expansion strategy has significantly contributed to the company's revenue, making it a truly global brand.

    Licensing and Partnerships

    In addition to direct sales, WD-40 Company has explored licensing agreements and partnerships as a way to expand its brand and enter new markets. Through these collaborations, the company leverages its well-established brand name to reach new customers and generate additional income streams without the need for significant capital investment in new product development.

    In summary, WD-40 makes money through a mix of direct sales of its flagship and specialty products, strategic global market penetration, and leveraging its brand through partnerships and licensing. This diversified approach has enabled the company to maintain steady growth and profitability over the years, making WD-40 an enduring and iconic brand in the maintenance product market.

    WD-40 Business Model Canvas Explained

    WD-40 is a brand that has become synonymous with lubricants, rust prevention, and cleaning products, used in a multitude of settings from households to industrial environments. Understanding the WD-40 business model can provide insights into how this company has achieved such widespread recognition and success. The Business Model Canvas, a strategic management template for developing new or documenting existing business models, can help in breaking down and analyzing WD-40's approach. Below, we explore the key components of the WD-40 Business Model Canvas.

    Key Partners

    WD-40's key partners include raw material suppliers, manufacturing partners, distribution channels, and retail partners. Strategic alliances with hardware stores, home improvement retailers, and e-commerce platforms are crucial for its market reach. Additionally, partnerships for co-branding and promotional activities help in reinforcing brand visibility and appeal.

    Key Activities

    The core activities that drive WD-40's business model revolve around product development, quality control, marketing, and distribution. Continuous innovation in product formulation and application methods ensures the brand stays relevant in solving new and existing customer problems. Marketing activities, particularly those that build brand lore and engage the community, are pivotal in maintaining consumer interest and loyalty.

    Value Propositions

    WD-40's value proposition lies in its multi-use product capabilities, reliability, and brand trustworthiness. The product is not only a lubricant but also cleans, protects, penetrates, and displaces moisture. This versatility means consumers can rely on a single product for various needs, from silencing squeaky hinges to preventing rust. The brand's long history and the iconic status of the product further reinforce its value proposition through a blend of effectiveness and nostalgia.

    Customer Relationships

    WD-40 maintains its customer relationships through consistent quality, customer service, and community engagement. The brand has a strong presence on social media and uses these platforms for customer interaction, feedback, and storytelling. Additionally, WD-40 has cultivated a community of users through tips, uses, and user-generated content, creating a sense of belonging among its customers.

    Customer Segments

    The WD-40 brand caters to a diverse set of customer segments including DIY enthusiasts, professional tradespeople, and industrial users. While it has broad appeal, the company tailors its marketing and product offerings to meet the specific needs of these segments. For instance, there's a distinction in product line-up and promotional efforts targeted at households versus those aimed at professional and industrial markets.


    WD-40 utilizes a multi-channel distribution strategy to ensure its products are widely available. This includes physical retail channels such as hardware stores, supermarkets, and specialty stores, as well as online marketplaces and its own e-commerce platform. Direct sales and distribution partnerships expand its reach to professional and industrial customers.

    Revenue Streams

    The company's revenue streams are primarily derived from product sales across its various customer segments. Specialized formulations and product extensions, such as the WD-40 Specialist series, allow for premium pricing strategies in specific markets. Additionally, promotional merchandise and licensing agreements provide supplementary revenue streams.

    Key Resources

    WD-40's key resources include its brand, proprietary formulas, manufacturing facilities, and its skilled workforce. The brand's intellectual property, notably its secret formula, is closely guarded and forms the core of its competitive advantage. Human resources, particularly in R&D and marketing, play a critical role in innovation and brand storytelling.

    Cost Structure

    The major costs for WD-40 include raw materials, manufacturing and packaging, marketing and advertising, and distribution logistics. Investments in research and development for product innovation and market expansion also constitute a significant portion of its expenditure. Efficient supply chain management and strategic marketing investments are essential for balancing cost-efficiency with growth objectives.

    By dissecting the WD-40 business model using the Business Model Canvas, we can appreciate how the company has built and sustained its market position. The combination of a strong value proposition, effective distribution channels, and a focus on customer engagement has enabled WD-40 to become a household name recognized globally.

    Which companies are the competitors of WD-40?

    WD-40 is a well-known brand, especially famous for its multi-use product that helps in protecting metal from rust and corrosion, penetrating stuck parts, displacing moisture, and lubricating almost anything. While it might seem like a unique product, there are several companies in the market that produce similar lubricants and maintenance products, creating a competitive landscape for WD-40. Here, we delve into some of the main competitors of WD-40 in the maintenance and lubrication sector.


    Owned by the WD-40 Company itself, 3-IN-ONE offers a wide range of lubricants catering to different needs, including professional-grade and general lubrication products. While it might seem counterintuitive to list a brand owned by the same parent company as a competitor, the brand differentiation and targeted application areas make 3-IN-ONE a distinct entity that competes in the same space, often on the shelves right next to WD-40 products.

    CRC Industries

    CRC Industries is a global leader in the production of industrial and automotive chemicals, with a wide array of products that serve similar purposes as WD-40. Their product line includes multi-purpose lubricants, corrosion inhibitors, and cleaners. CRC's products are well-respected in both the industrial and automotive sectors, making them a significant competitor.

    Liquid Wrench

    Liquid Wrench is a brand under the Radiator Specialty Company and offers a variety of lubricants and penetrants designed for specific applications. Their products are often compared to WD-40 in terms of effectiveness and price, catering to both professional and DIY markets. Liquid Wrench has built a strong reputation, particularly for its penetrating oil, which is a direct competitor to WD-40's flagship product.


    Permatex is another notable competitor, offering a wide range of chemical products for maintenance and repair, including sealants, adhesives, and lubricants. While Permatex is perhaps more famous for its gasket makers and thread lockers, its line of maintenance products directly competes with WD-40, especially in the automotive and industrial repair sectors.

    Blaster Corporation

    Blaster Corporation is best known for its PB Blaster, a penetrating oil acclaimed for its ability to break free rusted or frozen parts. The effectiveness of PB Blaster in tough situations has earned it a dedicated following, particularly among professionals in the automotive and mechanical fields. Blaster Corporation's range of lubricants and penetrants offers stiff competition to WD-40 in the market for solutions to rusted and stuck parts.

    Each of these companies has carved out its niche in the maintenance and lubrication industry, offering products that directly compete with WD-40. While WD-40 remains a household name, the presence of these competitors ensures that consumers have a variety of options to choose from, based on their specific needs and preferences.

    WD-40 SWOT Analysis

    WD-40 SWOT Analysis

    WD-40, a globally recognized brand, is famed for its versatile, multi-use product that has found its way into both professional and household settings. Understanding its position in the market through a SWOT analysis—identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—can offer valuable insights into its current status and future prospects.


    1. Brand Recognition: WD-40 enjoys high brand recognition and loyalty across various demographics, making it a go-to solution for lubrication and protection needs.
    2. Versatility: The product's multifaceted applications, from loosening rusted parts to preventing squeaks and displacing moisture, cater to a broad audience.
    3. Global Reach: With its presence in numerous countries, WD-40 has established a strong international market presence, contributing to its consistent revenue streams.
    4. Innovation and Quality: Continuous improvement and commitment to quality have kept WD-40 relevant in a competitive market. New formulations and product lines meet a wider range of consumer needs.


    1. Product Dependency: WD-40 Company's heavy reliance on a single flagship product could be risky if market dynamics shift or in the face of aggressive competition.
    2. Limited Diversification: While its core product is versatile, the company's portfolio is relatively narrow, which could limit growth opportunities in unrelated market segments.
    3. Price Sensitivity: In various markets, especially those with lower economic growth, consumers may opt for cheaper alternatives, affecting WD-40's sales.


    1. Market Expansion: Emerging markets offer new revenue streams. Tailoring marketing strategies to these regions can boost brand presence and adoption.
    2. Product Line Extensions: There is room for innovation within the WD-40 brand, including environmentally friendly formulas and products designed for specific industries.
    3. Strategic Partnerships: Collaborating with industries that heavily use lubricants, such as automotive and manufacturing, could cement WD-40's role as an indispensable tool.


    1. Competition: The entry of lower-priced competitors, especially in less regulated markets, poses a significant threat to WD-40's market share.
    2. Regulatory Changes: Stricter environmental regulations could impact the formulation, packaging, or distribution of WD-40, necessitating costly adjustments.
    3. Economic Downturns: Global economic instability can lead to reduced consumer spending on maintenance products, directly affecting sales.

    In conclusion, WD-40's SWOT analysis highlights its robust market position and the challenges it faces. Leveraging its strengths and opportunities while addressing its weaknesses and threats will be key to sustaining its growth and ensuring its continued success in the global market.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Ownership and Corporate Structure: WD-40 is owned by its shareholders and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol WDFC. This structure means that the company is owned by individuals and institutional investors who have purchased shares.

    • Mission Statement and Purpose: WD-40's mission revolves around creating positive lasting memories by solving problems in factories, homes, and workshops around the world. They focus on delivering unique, high-quality products that fulfill a wide range of maintenance needs.

    • Revenue Streams: WD-40 makes money primarily through the sale of its maintenance products, including the iconic WD-40 Multi-Use Product and a range of specialized products designed for specific maintenance tasks. Their revenue is also bolstered by global sales across multiple markets, including the Americas, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia-Pacific regions.

    • Business Model Canvas: WD-40's business model emphasizes value propositions such as reliability, versatility, and a strong brand reputation. Key partners include suppliers and distributors, while key activities focus on research and development, marketing, and global distribution. Customer relationships are maintained through quality assurance and brand loyalty, driving revenue through direct sales and partnerships.

    • Competition and Market Position: WD-40 faces competition from other maintenance and lubrication product manufacturers such as 3-IN-ONE, Liquid Wrench, and CRC Industries. Despite this competition, WD-40 maintains a strong market position due to its brand recognition, diversified product line, and global footprint. The SWOT analysis identifies strengths such as brand loyalty and global reach, opportunities in expanding markets, weaknesses in dependency on a single flagship product, and threats from competitors and market saturation.


    In conclusion, WD-40 Company, a publicly traded company, stands as a testament to the power of a single product that has grown into a global brand with a diverse product range. Rooted in its mission to create positive lasting memories by solving problems in factories, homes, and workshops around the world, WD-40 has successfully carved out a niche for itself in the maintenance products market. The company's revenue streams are primarily derived from its flagship lubricant product, alongside its expanding portfolio that addresses a wide array of consumer needs.

    Exploring the WD-40 Business Model Canvas reveals a strategic approach that emphasizes value propositions such as reliability, versatility, and brand trust, which are delivered through an efficient and globally scaled operation. This model has facilitated WD-40's sustained profitability and growth, despite the competitive pressures from other maintenance and lubrication product manufacturers like 3M, CRC Industries, and Blaster Corporation.

    A SWOT analysis of WD-40 highlights the company's strong brand recognition and loyal customer base as key strengths, while also noting the potential threats from competitors and market saturation. Opportunities for expansion into new markets and product innovation offer pathways for continued success, although challenges related to raw material costs and environmental regulations require careful navigation.

    Overall, the enduring legacy of WD-40 is a reflection of its ability to adapt and thrive in a competitive landscape, backed by a commitment to its mission and an effective business model. As WD-40 continues to innovate and expand its product offerings, it stands well-positioned to maintain its status as a staple in homes and industries worldwide, ensuring that the squeaks, creaks, and rusts of the world are kept at bay.


    What is a SWOT analysis for digital products?

    A SWOT analysis for digital products is a strategic planning tool that helps identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a digital product.


    • Innovative features and functionalities that set the product apart from competitors
    • Strong brand reputation and customer loyalty
    • Ability to easily scale and reach a global audience
    • Access to data and analytics for optimizing performance and user experience


    • Technical issues and bugs that may impact user experience
    • Limited resources for marketing and promotion
    • Dependence on third-party platforms or technologies
    • Lack of differentiation from competitors


    • Growing market demand for digital products and services
    • Expansion into new markets or customer segments
    • Collaboration with partners or influencers to increase visibility
    • Integration with other digital platforms or devices


    • Rapid technological changes that may make the product outdated
    • Competition from new entrants or established players
    • Data security and privacy concerns that may impact user trust
    • Changes in regulations or industry standards that could affect product development and distribution.

    What are 5 examples of strength in SWOT analysis?

    1. Strong brand reputation
    2. Robust financial performance
    3. High customer loyalty and retention
    4. Skilled and experienced workforce
    5. Efficient supply chain and distribution network

    What are 3 examples of opportunities in SWOT analysis?

    1. Market expansion: Identifying new market segments or geographic locations where the company can potentially grow its customer base and increase sales.

    2. Technological advancements: Leveraging new technologies to improve products or services, streamline operations, and stay ahead of competitors in terms of innovation.

    3. Strategic partnerships: Forming alliances with other organizations or companies to access new resources, expertise, or distribution channels that can help drive business growth and success.

    What are 3 threats for SWOT analysis?

    1. Competition from existing or new competitors: Competitors can pose a threat by offering similar products or services, potentially taking away customers and market share.

    2. Changes in the regulatory environment: Changes in laws and regulations can have a significant impact on a company's operations, potentially increasing costs or limiting growth opportunities.

    3. Economic downturns or fluctuations: Economic factors such as recessions, inflation, or changes in consumer spending habits can impact a company's bottom line and overall performance.

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