The product is named for its “apelike” toughness and ability to withstand the everyday abuses—bumps, drops and scratches—that consumer devices such as smartphones endure. The glass was dubbed “Gorilla” internally during product development, but the name stuck, Collins said. “We had a eureka moment and realized that this product is really tough and what name is better than this internal name to communicate to the world that this product is tough?” he said.
Corning had done focus groups and determined that users liked the cool feel of the glass when compared with plastic, Mannion said. “[Glass] has a different, visceral feel to it,” he said. “So the thought was, is there a way to capitalize on this preference that's starting to emerge? Could we start to develop some preference for this among the consumer marketplace and in so doing create some co-marketing opportunities with some of our biggest customers and further enhance people's impressions of these products?”
Launching at CES was a natural fit, Mannion said. Though Corning had attended the show previously, this was the first year the company had a presence on the show floor, enabling it to connect with tech-savvy attendees while taking advantage of co-marketing opportunities with manufacturers that use Gorilla Glass in their products, he said.
“It sent the message to [Corning's] partners that we were undertaking a serious go-to-market branding opportunity for this product,” he said. “It was the first time Corning stepped out, front and center, to introduce itself and let people come up and touch the product—to scratch it, kick it, do all kinds of things to it.”
Though the campaign was only recently launched, Collins is optimistic. Corning signed a contract with Sony at CES that will incorporate Gorilla Glass into high-end Sony televisions. “We're also having conversations with appliance manufacturers, auto manufactures and architects,” he said. “We think it's got a lot of possibilities, and as we go into other markets it creates enormous opportunities for us.”