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WD-40 protects metal from rust and corrosion, penetrates stuck or jammed parts, displaces moisture, and lubricates just about anything. WD-40 is also great when it comes to cleaning grease, grime, and other marks from most surfaces. The original WD-40 can already be sprayed on wider areas and when using an additional straw also more precisely on problem areas. When testing WD-40 under working conditions in 2002 German professionals were highly satisfied with the WD-40 performance. But they often lost the straw. This was identified as a chance for further improvement.

After three years of development WD-40 Smart Straw® was launched in 2006. Smart Straw features a permanently attached spray head with an integrated straw and so ‘sprays two ways’. Simply flip the straw up for a precision stream and down for regular wide spray action. This innovation was well received by professional target groups and DIY users because the double spray head offers an easier, more convenient way to get the job done. The Smart Straw can solve the number one complaint about WD-40 products losing the little red straw.

Market development: WD-40 Smart Straw™ caused additional growth momentum. In 2008 the total WD-40 brand achieved an ever high market share of 59 percent. WD-40 Smart Straw™ exceeded its initial objectives with a market share of 19% in the second year.

This case study proves again that investment in innovative market research can achieve positive return on investment even with limited marketing budgets. WD-40 Smart Straw™ became an international success.

Methods used: double explorations before and after intensive professional WD-40 usage


Paul Gill (WD-40), Dr. Ralf Mayer de Groot: WD-40: Mit kleinem Budget zum Marktführer (How WD-40 gained market leadership in Germany with a small budget), absatzwirtschaft 9/2008, S. 44 ff.