The Thermos® 360°: Still Hot


  • Enhanced ethnography
  • User experience
  • Structural product design

What’s Brewing?

The Thermos® 360° commuter mug features a lid solution designed by the Verv team more than 10 years ago. And it’s still a hot item on the shelves at Target, Amazon and Walmart in several configurations. What is this innovation and why has it remained a category leader for over a decade?

Getting a Grip on the Problem

Thermos® challenged us by asking, “What’s next in our category?” It was a category that had seen little innovation beyond styling. No one had looked at the opportunities to truly delight users. But we did. After traveling to work with more than a dozen commuters, our consumer visits uncovered these three challenges:

Locking Down the Solution

Our design thinking approach engaged designers with users to surface this initial concept early in the program. And it was a winner. A rotating lid that has three settings:

  • Locked down
  • Venting
  • 360° drinking

Problems Solved

  • The sunken cavity drinks like a cup… but never spills.

  • The “open” position allows the user to pick it up and drink any which way. Great for keeping eyes on the road!
  • The “vent” settings let the beverage cool a bit before the first sip.

The Road to Success

This innovation has profitably endured and proliferated for years. Here’s why:

  1. We were quick to identify the problems and define what we were solving for in a user-centric way.
  2. We leveraged users to inspire rather than direct iterative-concept ideation.
  3. We designed a single, efficient, intuitive and elegant solution that solved a bunch of real-life problems.
  4. As a modular unit, the lid could be grafted onto any cup body to transform it visually and functionally.

Headquarters 11 West 42nd Street
Penthouse Floors 31/32
New York, NY 10036
212 329-3030

Kansas City
San Francisco

A hexagon-shaped badge from Clutch, with the text 'Top Branding Company' on top and '2024' on the bottom