W. L. Gore & Associates

Bringing clarity to a household name in innovative materials science

From the seeming miracle of outdoor fabrics that are waterproof yet breathable to advanced materials that have transformed electronics, aerospace, telecommunications and medicine, the innovations of Gore have touched many millions of lives. In the years since it was founded in 1959, Gore has built a legacy not only as an innovator, but as an organization that innovates with purpose—solving complex challenges through the application of advanced materials.

Gore is an enterprise unlike any other. Those who work at Gore are Associates who collaborate within a non-hierarchical “lattice” organizational structure and distinctive culture that values the creativity, inventiveness and freedom of the individual. Everything they do is underpinned by strong sustained beliefs and values established by the Gore family.

Perhaps the best-known of Gore’s products is GORE-TEX Fabric, the breakthrough performance fabric found in everything from shoes to outdoor shelters. It’s well-known around the world, but awareness of all that Gore does and what it stands for were not as widespread.

With a milestone 60th anniversary approaching, Gore saw an opportunity to build on its heritage to shape its future legacy. The anniversary would celebrate a renewed commitment to operating as a purpose-driven organization, crystallizing what Gore stands for in the minds of Associates and customers around the world. A fresh, clear approach to the brand, from its underlying framework to its visual and verbal identity, would be one of the key elements.

Finding what unifies Gore and empowers people

Gore has always been seen as a market leader and innovator. However, over time interactions with customers tended to focus on products and transactions. This, along with the relative independence of the organization’s three divisions—Fabrics, Medical, and Performance Solutions—had diluted awareness of Gore’s original purpose-driven intention.

It was time to step back and identify what was true to the Enterprise, meaningful to its customers and distinctive from competitors. This was a new look at the “hidden secret” of how Gore contributes to society every day, through its products and its people. Ultimately, this reassessment led to a natural brand promise—“Together, improving life”—that unifies Gore’s purpose, products and customers.

Building an identity that clarifies and unifies the master brand

Qualitative and quantitative research to understand brand perceptions and associations had revealed a deep hunger, both internally and externally, for a cohesive master brand. Gore called on Tenet Partners to build on the revised brand framework and help unify the enterprise under “One Gore” through robust visual and verbal identity systems.

Recognizing the equity and heritage in the existing GORE Logo that Bill and Vieve Gore had a hand in developing, Tenet used its angular “alar” shape and red-and-black palette as the launch pad for a redesign of the corporate visual identity system. Incorporating the logo’s signature triangle and angled shapes was a way to reflect the innovation so vital to Gore while also making the identity more modern and forward-looking. The bold palette with Gore’s red at its core, communicates the company’s passion and serves as a metaphor for improving life.

Tenet also developed new nomenclature, a messaging framework and brand voice firmly grounded in the brand framework to communicate the One Gore concept and revised brand attributes. In support of the new branding program, Tenet designed a new brand center and strategic communications to Gore Associates, partners and customers.

It all comes together in a unified Gore master brand

Thanks to the strength of Gore’s brand framework, the input of dozens of Gore Associates across all divisions and regions as well as more than 1,200 external stakeholders, and a close-knit, collaborative working relationship, Tenet delivered what Gore needed: a unified master brand with new focus that’s empowering and inspiring Gore Associates around the world, every day.

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