Lutz Tool Company, located in Cincinnati, sold hand tools to independent hardware retailers. They bought Gorilla Glue from a small company when its regional sales had flattened to a modest level. Working with Lutz’s new director of marketing, Icon was tapped to help bring the Gorilla brand to life at retail with the goal of boosting distribution in independent hardware and big box as well as to increase consumer brand awareness and trial. The client wanted an evolution of the logo and packaging that was more legible and less recessive on the shelf. In addition, Icon was challenged to create a rich brand toolbox and a character that would grab the attention and imagination of consumers and retailers. Gorilla Glue had to win as a one-SKU product on the shelf alongside major glue brands with years of equity and large marketing budgets.
With a great name like Gorilla Glue, we knew we had the opportunity to build a rich personality and visual brand identity. We refreshed the logo, preserving the gorilla, but making it brighter,
bolder and more readable. We wanted to own the color orange in the glue space, redesigning the packaging and creating fun, memorable merchandising. To bring the gorilla to life, we created photography using life-like gorilla hands always presenting the product. We created an aggressive national consumer and trade advertising campaign that intrigued buyers and encouraged them to take a chance on a premium-priced glue with a funny name.
Sales exploded. Awareness skyrocketed. New product development began in earnest, beginning with Gorilla Tape, then Super Glue, Epoxy, Wood Glue, and more. To assist with the expansion, Icon designed a new global packaging architecture that allowed for category growth, while preserving brand equities and shopability. Gorilla Glue became a common case study in hardware marketing. The Gorilla brand grew so much that the Lutz Company moved into large new headquarters and changed its name to The Gorilla Glue Company.