Choosing the best wood glue for a project can be more complicated than it seems. Does the job call for a water-resistant adhesive or or one capable of regular dousing or immersion? Will the glue allow enough open time to get a dozen clamps in place before it begins to set, or do you need it to get tacky quickly? What about ease of cleanup? Decisions, decisions … and there you are in the “big box” glue aisle with numerous options in front of you. How do you choose the right glue?
For most of us, it comes down to the transparency of what’s on the label — and that staccato of a few statements or key words can make all the difference in what you take up to the counter. The folks at Franklin International, who offer the most comprehensive line of woodworking glues in the industry, know that when it comes to communicating clearly with woodworkers, you can always do better. That’s why the company has spent about nine months redesigning the iconic Titebond® glue labels to make them even easier to understand so you can buy with greater confidence. Those updated labels are beginning to appear on store shelves now for Titebond Original, II and III formulations.
“There’s confusion (on behalf of consumers) with the entire product category of wood glues,” says Craig Stone, Franklin’s marketing innovation director. “In our case, we have seven primary formulations for hobbyists/DIYers and over 30 variations for the professional woodworker, which in and of itself can be a little overwhelming.”
Franklin is also now selling wood glue products in more than 60 countries as well as to a wider audience. Sometimes that includes new woodworkers and other users who aren’t familiar with the Titebond options. It’s also been a decade since Titebond unveiled the current glue labels, so for a variety of reasons, an update was seen to be in order.
If you are a longtime Titebond user, the familiar red, blue and green background colors of Titebond Original, Titebond II Premium and Titebond III Ultimate glues aren’t changing. But lots of other elements are undergoing a “facelift” on the new labels, which Stone says can be credited to direct feedback from customers through participation in market research, focus groups and store intercepts. In order to make room for new label elements, the wooden duck and clamp icons are no more.
Stone says that four characteristics of wood glue are key to woodworkers. In order of importance, they are strength, set time, cleanup and water resistance. These four aspects figure prominently in the new labeling system, which now will include two bold yellow bars below the glue’s formulation name. In the yellow area, you’ll learn whether the glue is suitable for interior or exterior use, or both. You’ll also see quickly whether the glue is waterproof or water-resistant and, in the case of Titebond Original, its “Professional” bond strength.
Below the yellow bars, white type will call out other key features in an at-a-glance way, such as general clamping/assembly timeframes, no run/no drip and method of cleanup.
A second new color scheme on the labels will also help drive home a “Good, Better, Best” determination for consumers. The term “Wood Glue” on Titebond Original will be yellow, silver on Titebond II and gold on Titebond III. Silver and gold will denote the degree of water resistance as being “better” for Titebond II and “best” with Titebond III.
The company has also added what it calls a “leadership statement” to the label in white type, positioned directly below the product name. Titebond Original is “The Industry Standard,” Titebond II is “#1 Selling Formula” and Titebond III is “Rated #1 by Pros.” Stone says this reinforces the fact that Titebond II is the company’s most popular glue, with end users appreciating its water resistance and faster set times. Titebond III is experiencing the fastest growing market, from both professionals and consumers, because “it’s just as waterproof as the current polyurethanes when bonding wood to wood” and cleans up with water instead of stronger solvents.
To complement the new label styles and further clarify the specific purposes for each Titebond glue, Franklin also has updated the carton designs by printing the glue attribute information on the front. The store packaging features a new Titebond “Performance Meter” that arranges the four key product performance characteristics of strength, exterior use, assembly time and cleanup within a “Good, Better, Best” continuum.
Whether you are a new woodworker buying an occasional bottle or a professional who’s purchased glue by the gallon for years, Stone says we all seek similar product information when choosing wood glues. So, the clearer and simpler the packaging for all customers, the easier it will be to find exactly the formulation you need for a given application. Presently, the three primary Titebond wood glues are first to market with the new labels. Updated product began to reach store shelves in May. Over the next six months, Franklin’s other specialty consumer glues, plus the entire line of professional cabinet shop products, will transition into the new labeling scheme.
So, the next time you reach for a new bottle of Titebond at the store, or need to shop for a specialized formulation to meet a specific need, Stone hopes the simplified and updated label design will help you save time and confusion. “Accuracy and believability has always been the cornerstone of any Titebond product labeling, and users are very happy that we’ve decided to stay true to that philosophy with our enhanced packaging. No hype or gimmicks — just straightforward communication.”