Product Design, Development and Strategy since 1976

Minneapolis Shanghai
View All Case Studies

Smart Straw Solves Decades-Old Problem

An Iconic Problem

For decades the iconic WD-40 spray can came with a separate red straw taped to the side of the can. However the company discovered the straw was clumsy to use and over 80% of users lost the straw at some point during product use. WD-40 requested that Worrell develop a solution to this longstanding problem.

WD-40 is positioned in a mature and very competitive market. They wanted to not only solve the dilemma of the flimsy straw, but also enhance their brand and product.

Designed with Duality in Mind

Worrell created the Smart Straw, which allows the WD-40 straw to be permanently attached while maintaining duel action spray functionality. When the straw is in the down position, the dispenser has a regular spray action and when folded out at a 90-degree angle the dispenser delivers a precision stream through the straw.

This significant improvement enables WD-40 to draw new attention to a decades-old product and increase market share by enhancing their product’s advantage over the competition. Just as important is the fact that instead of raising costs, the design solution created a mechanism that could actually be manufactured and assembled at a lower cost. The proprietary size of the straw design prevents it from being placed on competing brands, defending the company’s market share.

Smart Straw Proves Profitable

The Smart Straw product was launched in the US in July 2005 and has since been sold to millions of household and industrial consumers around the world. It has become a significant commercial success and now represents an important percentage of the company’s global sales.

Thanks to the high demand for this innovative new product, WD-40 is able to charge a significant premium for the Smart Straw. As a result, WD-40 and its retailers make 30% more per sale at the same margin compared to the original product.

Back to Top