Nucor

Integrated brand campaign recasts steel manufacturer’s sustainability image.

B2B , Buildings & Construction , Energy & Sustainability

Advertising // Digital // Media Planning & Buying

Nucor continually rewrites the rules on how steel is made and what it’s made from. But despite its achievements in innovation and sustainability, the manufacturer struggled to rise above negative perceptions of an industry the public saw as an ecological threat, steel buyers saw as a commodity purchase and Wall Street considered a poor investment.

Mower’s B2B marketing experts set out to change that through an integrated brand campaign built on a powerful insight our research had uncovered: that Nucor’s strongest competitive asset was not its steel mills. Instead, what resonated with stakeholders were its people and values around innovation, the environment and lean management.

Innovation: It’s in Nucor’s—and Mower’s—nature.

Our team developed a series of print and digital ads with audience-specific messages, using Nucor’s own stories to position the steelmaker as a catalyst for positive change simply because “It’s our nature.”

To the trade, this meant specifying Nucor steel would result in better products and projects. To investors, that investing in Nucor would result in a better portfolio. To opinion leaders, that Nucor is making the world a better place through recycling and innovations in technology.

Thinking outside the traditional buy.

When it came to placing the ads, Mower’s media buyers sought prime real estate in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other targeted business publications. But like Nucor, our team wasn’t content with business as usual. Our experience showed that as impressive as Wall Street Journal center spreads look, readers easily skip over them in search of the next article. So we requested a spread that, instead of filling two full pages, was framed by an editorial column on either side. The concept worked so well it led the newspaper to create a whole new buy.

Brand awareness and profitability soar.

A quantitative target-tracking study of the Nucor ad campaign showed that unaided brand awareness jumped 85%. Sales and profitability soared, and Nucor rose in the rankings of the Fortune 500.

85%

increase in unaided brand awareness

20%

Increase in positive perceptions of Nucor

33%

Increase in net sales

42%

Increase in net sales per employee

We turn brands into friends.

Great brands have great stories. In an industry that sparks a lot of negative chatter, Nucor stands out for its commitment to sustainability and innovation and the way it cares for the people who make it all possible. And that’s a compelling story, indeed.

Key Brand as Friend® drivers:

Hey! Our name is pronounced Mōw-rrr, like this thing I’m pushing.