C-Suite Network™

Why A Blue and Yellow Can Is In the Memory Making Business – Lessons From WD-40 CEO, Garry Ridge


I don’t even have to say anything else.

Perhaps you remember the blue and yellow can. Maybe the smell reminds you of a specific time and place. Or maybe you needed it to get yourself out of a sticky situation.

“We exist to create positive, lasting memories solving problems in factories, homes, and workshops around the world,” WD-40 CEO, Garry Ridge, said during a recent C-Suite Network Digital Discussion. “There’s nothing better in the world, or in life, in a positive lasting memory, and that’s what the product delivers.”

I remember when my wife’s uncle Dick used WD-40 to “freshen up” the paint job on his Mercedes. He wiped the whole car down with WD-40. It looked great until he drove it on South Dakota’s dirt roads. One of the many uses of WD-40 is taking tar and road grime off vehicles. But, unfortunately, it attracted more dirt to uncle Dick’s car.


Memories are the Mission

While you may have memories of using WD-40, you don’t think of WD-40 as being in the memories business. Garry would disagree.

“I meet someone they’d say ‘what do you do?’ I say ‘I work for WD-40’ and without doubt, nine out of 10 times the first words out of their mouth was ‘I remember when WD-40…’ or working with my granddad on the farm with WD-40 or remember fixing my bike or I remember where I got brownie points from my wife because I use WD-40 to make myself a hero,” Garry said. “We’re in the memories business. That’s what we do every day.”

Those memories aren’t just limited to the workshop. They’re made at the company’s corporate headquarters in San Diego, CA as well. The memories made at work are all part of the company’s shared values of doing the right thing and creating positive lasting memories in all relationships.

“We call ourselves a tribe, not a team,” Garry said. “Our promise is a group of people that come together to protect and feed each other, which is so important. We value making (the world) better than it is today. We value excelling as individuals and thriving as a tribe.”


The Power of “How To”

I’ve already gotten you to start thinking of WD-40 as a memory maker. So, let’s go a step further — WD-40 is also a media company. They had more than 1.2 billion impressions globally over the past year. While Garry admits a lot of that is due to the pandemic keeping people indoors, his tribe laid the groundwork for this surge a while ago.

“Sometimes, you’re lucky. Sometimes you’re smart,” Garry said. “About six years ago, before COVID, we made a decision to substantially increase our investment in increasing our digital IQ. When the world kind of turned off the switch, we were there.”

WD-40 was there in a big way. Their website is home to more than product information and social media posts about the products. There’s a library of how-to videos covering everything from lubricating emergency brake cables, to removing crayon scribbles from the wall. WD-40 also maintains several YouTube channels broken down into categories with even more tips and tricks. Since the do-it-yourself world knows no borders, WD-40 created YouTube channels catering to Brazilian and Latin American customers.

There’s so much going on inside that blue and yellow can; you’ll never look at it the same way again.  Listen to the full interview here:

Want to Build an Audience to Sell to Like WD-40?

To stand out in today’s digital economy, you’re going to need to find ways to make your brand stand out and attract traffic. You’re going to need to take your signature product and create content to attract an audience to sell to (just like WD-40 does).

Want to learn the strategy to operate as a media company? We created a comprehensive overview where C-Suite Network Chief Marketing Officer, Tyler Hayzlett, can teach you how to run your business as a media brand in 32 pages.  Learn how to compete in a marketplace full of content. Click the link below.

Download a copy HERE


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