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3M SWOT & PESTLE Analysis

ID : 52112453| Nov 2020| 15 pages


Business Sector :Industrial Manufacturing, Diversified

Operating Geography :United States, North America, Global

About 3M :

The 3M Company (earlier known as Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) founded in 1902, is an industrial conglomerate based in Minnesota, United States. 3M is one of the leading manufacturers of several products like adhesives, tapes, abrasives, films, filtration, advanced materials, etc. suitable for various markets. 3M owns top brands like Post-It, Scotch, Scotch Brite, Command, ScotchBlue, Nexcare, Filtrete, etc. 3M's operations are governed by five key business segments, viz., Industrial, Safety and Graphics, Health Care, Electronics and Energy, and Consumer. It employs close to 96,163 people globally as of early 2020 with direct operations in more than 70 countries, sales in nearly 200 countries and manufactures more than 60,000 products. 3M has been listed as one of the 2019 World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere for the sixth year in a row.
3M’s corporate vision as per the company annual report is “3M Technology Advancing Every Company, 3M Products Enhancing Every Home, 3M Innovation Improving Every Life.”
3M’s USP or Unique Selling Proposition sprawls in being one of the leading names in the conglomerate's sector. Advancement in Technology and Innovation are not only its USP or unique selling proposition, but key success factors that have led to its rapid organic growth.

3M Revenue :

USD 32.1 billion - FY ending 31st December 2019 (Y-O-Y growth of (negative)-1.9%)
USD 32.8 billion - FY ending 31st December 2018

Ownership / Major shareholders :

As of September 2018, the major shareholders of the company are as follows –
1) Vanguard Group (8.33%)
2) State Street (7.35%)
3) BlackRock Fund Advisors (6.67%)

Competitive Analysis of 3M

Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company started as a small-scale mining venture in Northern Minnesota. Today, 3M through its Scientific, technical and marketing innovations has become a constant name on the Fortune 500 list. With more than 60,000 3M products being used in homes, businesses, factories, institutions, hospitals, and other industries 3M is one of the leading brands in the conglomerates' sector. The SWOT analysis is therefore essential to identify the internal strengths and external opportunities that lead to the saturation of the company. The analysis also presents information on the weaknesses and threats to the company that can hinder its growth.
The cutting edge technology platforms, innovative manufacturing capabilities, renowned brands under its umbrella, operations in over 70 countries and sales in nearly 200 countries are the core competencies of 3M that present this conglomerate mammoth with a competitive advantage. Likewise, internal factors like robust financial position, strong R&D capacity, diversified business models, broad product portfolio, strong employee base etc., are also the most prominent strengths of 3M.
Operating in multiple diverse industries, markets, and sectors attract challenges like litigation matters, environmental issues, a constant requirement for investment, lack of focus and a wide range of competitors. These weaknesses can lead to mistakes that can hurt the brand image of 3M globally.
Acquisitions, tie-ups, new product development, diversification in businesses, emerging markets, natural improvements in various industries etc., are devising growth opportunities for 3M. Rapidly wavering technology is a threat to the company as technology is 3M's core priority and it directly impacts the manufacturing and supply process. 3M faces stringent competition threat from a broad range of rivals across various industries and markets, leading to loss of market share.
The SWOT analysis for 3M is presented below in a matrix followed by the detailed analysis
1. Diverse product portfolio and global reach
2. Business model linked to key megatrends
3. Offering unique and differentiated value and solutions
4. Consistently strong financials
5. Supply chain provides a strong competitive advantage
6. Strong focus on research and development (R&D) driving innovation
7. Corporate restructuring and product portfolio optimization
1. Multiple focus areas
2. Involvement in various litigations
1. Electric vehicles a high growth market area, given 3M’s business presence
2. Business transformation to bring in long-term benefits
3. Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) in strategic high growth areas
4. Increasing demand for N95 respirators and other equipment due to Covid-19
1. Strong US Dollar may impact sales
2. United States trade relations and protectionism
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Detailed SWOT Analysis of 3M



1. Diverse product portfolio and global reach: 3M manufactures more than 55,000 products across diverse industry segments such as healthcare, industrial and safety equipment, electronics and consumer goods. It has direct operations in more than 65 countries and indirectly sells its products in over 200 countries globally. 3M’s global capabilities include its front-and back-office footprint which enables the effective development, transformation and marketing of its products. 3M has created a successful portfolio that helps the company achieve efficient growth while building for the future. The revenue clocked for FY2019 stood at $32.1B net sales, with $7.4B of it generated from Health Care, $5.2B earned from Safety & Industrial, $11.5B from Transportation & Electronics, and $9.6B from the Consumer sector. In 2019, 3M acquired Acelity Inc., a Texas-based, privately held medical device company, for a whopping $4.3 Billion, making it one of the biggest acquisitions so far. This acquisition added bandages and surgical wound products to the portfolio of 3M’s most lucrative business. For FY 2019, the acquisition contributed towards scaling net sales by +1.3% year over year. Also, prior strategic acquisitions such as Scott Safety, a premier safety solutions company in 2017 and of Elution Technologies in food testing, also in 2017 will help 3M strengthen its existing portfolio and make it more relevant to its customers. Further 3M is a globally respected and renowned organization known for quality and innovative products which translates into a major strength for the company.

2. Business model linked to key megatrends: 3M’s business model is linked to key global megatrends in order to develop relevant solutions. Sustainability, digital economy, urbanization and global middle class are the megatrends created as a result of technology conversion and demographic shift. With diversified business units spanning across areas such as healthcare, industrial and safety equipment, electronics and consumer goods, 3M uniquely positioned to win in all types of economies.

3. Offering unique and differentiated value and solutions: Unique technology platforms, exceptional manufacturing, leading brands, and global capabilities are some of the fundamental strengths of the Company that helped it innovate, manufacture, and sell products across the globe. It further presents the Company with competitive advantages that it leverages across all its businesses. The company believes in technology guarded by deep intellectual property as a unique approach in providing distinct business solutions to multiple markets it operates in. Particularly 3M's healthcare business sector focuses on helping health care experts, prevent complexities and improves patient outcomes. Additionally, the company also aims at improving safety, enhancing environments, developing sustainable solutions, enriching lives, and instituting 3M to the souls and minds of consumers.

The remaining section under "Strengths" is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.


This section is available only in the 'Complete Report' on purchase.

Major Competitors :

Major Brands :

  • 3M
  • Scotch
  • Scotch-Brite
  • Post-it
  • Nexcare
  • 3M Thinsulate

Key Business Segments / Diversification :

Safety and Graphics Health Care Electronics and Energy
Industrial Consumer

Recent Acquisition / Mergers / Alliance / Joint Ventures / Divestitures :

Open Table Preview
Business Segment
Objective/Synergy Achieved
Acelity IncMedical products2019AcquisitionAcquired for $4.3 billion, its biggest acquisition so far. With this 3M strengthens its most profitable business by adding bandages and surgical products to its portfolio
MModalHealth care technology provider2018AcquisitionAcquired for a value of $1.0 billion, this acquisition aims at expanding 3m’s Health Information Systems business and revenues
Scott SafetySafety products2017AcquisitionThe acquisition of Scott Safety’s combines its well-regarded safety products, with 3M’s products, brands and global capabilities in personal protective equipment. This will provide 3M a broader array of safety products and solutions.
Elution TechnologiesFoot testing equipment 2017AcquisitionThe acquisition strengthens 3M’s presence food safety product segment.
Capital Safety Group S.A.R.LSafety products2015AcquisitionThe acquisition strengthens 3M’s presence in fall protection equipment.
Ivera MedicalHealth care products2015AcquisitionThe acquisition of Ivera helped 3M to broaden its array of vascular access solutions
Source: Company website and other reliable sources. The detailed table is available in the Complete Report.
SWOT & PESTLE (combined)
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Check Out Analysis of Other Relevant Companies


1. The SWOT and PESTLE analysis report of 3M Company presents an understanding of the complex internal and external factors affecting the brand and its operations
2. The SWOT report presents an in-depth analysis of the internal factors like the strengths and weakness of 3M and provides strategic intelligence on opportunities and threats prevailing in the external environment
3. The summary of strategic initiatives that were taken by 3M to stay ahead of its peers and competitors and attain a competitive advantage
4. The PESTLE analysis of the manufacturing industry helps to recognize the current trends and factors that impact the industrial manufacturing market.
5. Employment of the PESTLE/ PESTEL/ STEEPL analysis for the overall analysis of all external factors namely, political, economic, social, technological, legal and environmental and highlighting their outcome on the operation of 3M
6. An extensive view of the business model of 3M with further categorization and examination of key business segments and business case study
7. Intelligence on 3M’s mergers and acquisition, its subsidiaries, capital raising and equity, partnership and alliances that were subscribed by 3M to achieve its milestones, business aims, and synergies.
8. Comprehensive company analysis to obtain company information, company profile, business model, marketing and growth strategy.
9. A glimpse of 3M's USP or unique selling proposition, mission statement, and vision statement
10. Exposure to 3M's value proposition, key performance indicators, success factors, and core competencies that contributed to the fullness of the company
References used in 3M Analysis Report

1. 3M sustainability report 2020 -

2. 3M 2019 annual report -

3. 3M financial presentation 2019 -

4. 3M investor presentation -

5. About the company- 3M -

The detailed complete set of references are available on request in the 'Complete report' on purchase.

How to Reference This Page?

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SWOT & (2021). 3M SWOT & PESTLE Analysis - SWOT & [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Feb, 2021].

In-text: (SWOT &, 2021)

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3M SWOT and PESTLE analysis has been conducted by senior analysts from Barakaat Consulting.

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