Are 3M products worth the premium?

Before anyone thinks I’m about to review every 3M product out there, you’re so wrong. I’m a self-confessed stationery junkie from long ago – even my leaving presents at companies were always stationery oriented (including my Little Princess lockable case with coloured star stickers, stamps and customised paper clips).  Over the years, I’ve managed my pocket money to get just what I wanted for my pencil case after spending years with inferior products and hearing my mother belt at me “what do you mean you need more highlighters?”, clearly not understanding the level of social currency I was obtaining in the school yard. Now, aged 36, I thought perhaps some people needed to hear why 3M products are worth the premium.

Let’s start with the humble Post-It Note (P-IN).  Let’s face it, you’re standing in the supermarket and see the different types of P-INs and the most obvious thing you’re fronting is the difference in cost. How can a P-IN from 3M appear to be so much more than the Coles house-brand? The answer is simply that the Coles house-brand use an inferior glue, a glue that just doesn’t stick quite like a 3M one. OfficeMax are by far the worst. By the morning, you find your note peeling up at the corners. If the whole premise of a P-IN is to stick, then why would you buy a product that doesn’t stick as well? Sounds like I’m buying tyres for my car. The basics are P-INs stick to paper. That’s it. That’s all they’re designed to do. So don’t get yourself frustrated when you leave a note on the fridge and 2 mins later you find it lying on the floor. It’s supposed to be on the floor because it’s not meant to stick to the fridge.

To overcome the problem, use a 3M Super Sticky P-IN.  Not only do they stick like s**t to anything you care for, they come in some great designs, colours and customisation to make your fridge, oven, car, windows or garage wall bright and cheerful. Now I’m equally frustrated at the whole 3M brand, here I am trying to tell people what Super Sticky does, and well, their website has the Super Sticky logo on it but it doesn’t even have a blurb on what they are – or anything that shows how colourful and fun they can be. Rather, the site says something is “coming soon”- perhaps the blurb I’m talking about? Perhaps a dedicated website?  Considering that they’ve been in market for years now, I’m left wondering exactly what’s coming soon… I keep on looking….. and….

…..voila, I’m glad I did my 3rd Google search to try and find the 3M Stationery site. Why didn’t the original site have a lovely little re-direct to the Aussie stationery site? Why did it take 3 Google searches to find what I was looking for, even as I used the brand name? There are some quick wins here 3M, stuff that can be implemented very quickly and inexpensively – starting with the basics in SEO & SEM. I was, quite simply, left with a very poor consumer experience. I can view the entire catalogue, oh yes I can, in a flash file that I can’t click on. So I managed to “catch” the page number that Super Sticky’s were on, and bow-bouw (that’s the fail sound on a game show), only to find that Page 10 is all about colours, and going page by page, I discovered Super Sticky’s on Page 6. Truly, who views catalogues like this? With such an array of products, I’m quite surprised that there wasn’t a hugely interactive experience utilising all the Stationery products – no tabs to mark certain categories, to flags to mark great uses, in fact, no humour to show funny uses of P-IN – turning these uses into games to play – like Celebrity Head – actually giving users ideas of what to do with their notes other than the obvious.

Regardless of the online experience, Super Sticky’s do what they say they’re going to do – and well worth the investment. Just ask Kraft who used sticky notes to decide between iSnack 2.0 and Cheesybite as product names – Post-It Note voting has never been so important before.  Well nearly. Clearly this is the same method the labour party used to vote for Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.

My next 3M product are those wall hanging hooks.  I bought 2 different inferior brands to hang up a lightweight 20cm x 20cm canvas print, which was within the weight restrictions. One brand lasted less than 2 hours before the whole hook came off the wall. The following week, brand 2 came off after 4 days. Frustrated, I bought the 3M hooks and well – they stuck, good and proper. 10 months later, they are still there.

Now I realise that there are hundreds of 3M products out there, and I do have something to say about most of the stationery catalogue, so I encourage you to invest in a 3M brand and enjoy the difference.



  1. Elise Cooper

    Considering i experienced the wall hanging hooks for our client logo’s debacle first hand…i am now a 3M loyalist! Nothing beats i stopped trying

  2. Jacki James

    Your stationary appreciation & insight should be rewarded by Zuni getting a stationary client! And they haven’t even seen your long list of ideas!!! Any takers?

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